Have you ever wondered how child stars manage to maintain their careers?
Many celebrities become famous very early in life and then quickly fade from the public eye. However, some manage to remain famous throughout their lives and enjoy richly varied careers.
Tony Dow is perhaps one of the most famous child stars from the 1950s and ‘60s. However, he also went on to star in numerous shows long into adulthood.
So, let’s take a closer look at Tony Dow net worth and find out more about his interesting career.
Anthony Lee Dow was born in 1945 in the Hollywood neighborhood of Los Angeles, California. He was the son of Muriel Virginia, who was a stuntwoman in Westerns, and designer and contractor John Stevens Dow. He trained as a swimmer and as a child and was a Junior Olympics diving champion. He went to live with his mother after his parents divorced when he was nine years old.
Tony Dow had an interest in the arts, and he began painting and drawing when he was a child. He was active in both sports and drama at Van Nuys High School and then attended Los Angeles City College. After briefly studying filmmaking and journalism, he dropped out of college to pursue an acting career.
His acting career began when he was just ten years old when he starred in a couple of plays. He also appeared in two television pilots. At the age of twelve, he attended an open casting call and secured his famous role of Wally Cleaver in Leave It to Beaver.
Leave It to Beaver first aired in 1957 and ran until 1963. Tony Dow played the role of an intelligent and polite all-American boy. The title role of his brother Beaver was played by Jerry Mathers.
The TV show proved to be very popular, and it thrust Tony Dow into the spotlight. As he became a teenager, he was adored by millions of young girls and was viewed as a heartthrob. He starred in the show until it ended in 1963 and appeared in 234 episodes.
After the show ended, the actor appeared on a number of TV shows. By now, he was a household name, and he was invited to guest star on hits like My Three Sons. He even played the character of Wally Cleaver in two episodes of The Love Boat.
By the 1970s, Leave It to Beaver had secured a place in popular culture. In 1977, Tony Dow was called on to parody his role of Wally Beaver in the Kentucky Fried Movie. This sketch comedy film proved to be a big hit and exposed a new generation of viewers to the character.
The New Leave It to Beaver
He reprised his role of the now grown up Wally Cleaver from 1983 to 1989. The New Leave It to Beaver reunion television series was a hit among people who watched the original show and their children. He even wrote an episode for this show in 1986.
Other screen appearances of note include:
- 1963 – Dr. Kildare
- 1964 – The Greatest Show on Earth
- 1963 to 1965 – Mr. Novak
- 1965 – Never Too Young
- 1970 – Adam-12
- 1971 – Love, American Style
- 1971 – The Mod Squad
- 1975 – Death Scream
- 1977 – The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries
- 1982 – Square Pegs
- 1983 – Quincy, M.E.
- 1983 – Knight Rider
- 1987 – Murder, She Wrote
- 1987 – Back to the Beach
- 1989 – Charles in Charge
- 1990- A Nightmare on Elm Street: The Series
- 1999 – Diagnosis: Murder
Tony Dow and his Leave It to Beaver co-star Jerry Mathers starred in the play Boeing, Boeing in 1978. The play ran in Kansas City, Missouri, for ten weeks and proved to be a hit. The play So Long, Stanley was written for the two actors, and they toured with it for eighteen months.
Directing and Producing Career
Tony Dow has also enjoyed a varied and interesting life behind the camera. He made his directorial debut in 1985 with an episode of the television series The New Lassie. He then went on to direct episodes of popular shows like Swamp Thing, Harry and the Hendersons, and Coach.
In the 1990s, he directed several episodes of Babylon 5. This sparked his interest in visual effects, and he later worked as a visual effects supervisor on the show. He also provided visual effects for the television movie Doctor Who.
Other roles behind the camera include:
- The Adventures of Captain Zoom in Outer Space (producer and visual effects)
- It Came from Outer Space II (producer)
- Child Stars: Their Story (director)
- Manhattan, AZ (director)
- Crusade (director)
- Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (director)
- Honey, I Shrunk the Kids: The TV Show (director)
- Celluloid Heroes (director)
- Get a Life (director)
In addition to his career in the entertainment industry, Tony Dow was a talented artist and sculptor. He is particularly known for his abstract bronze sculptures. He also created wooden sculptures from wood that he found in the hills of Topanga Canyon.
Tony Dow was chosen to be one of three sculptors to show their work at the Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts exhibition. The exhibition was held in December of 2008 in the Carrousel du Louvre in Paris, France. His bronze sculpture of a woman holding a shield was shown at the Parisian shopping mall and was titled Unarmed Warrior.
Tony Dow married Carol Marlow in 1969, and the couple had a child together. Christopher Dow was born in 1973. However, the couple filed for divorce in 1978.
He met Lauren Shulkind soon after his divorce, and the couple were married in 1980. The couple remained married until the end of his life, and they had a daughter together. Tony Dow enjoyed an active lifestyle and could often be seen surfing in Malibu.
During the 1990s, the actor revealed that he had suffered from clinical depression. He then starred in self-help videos that recounted this battle. This includes the popular self-help video Beating the Blues in 1998.
He also opened up about his struggles with addiction and depression in 22017. However, in an interview with Fox News, he assured fans that he was in recovery. In fact, at that time, he had already been in recovery for 25 years.
In May of 2022, Tony Dow was diagnosed with liver cancer. He died on July 27 of the same year. In a weird twist of fate, the mass media actually reported his death the previous day. He was 77 at the time of his death and was celebrated and mourned by millions of people around the world.
Tony Dow’s ventures into real estate began when he was working on Leave it to Beaver. His parents decided to invest his earnings in two apartment houses located in the San Fernando Valley. This smart investment decision has earned the family a lot of money over the years.
He also invested in several other properties, most of which he sold for a profit. He purchased his spacious home in Topanga Canyon in the 1970s. It can be found in the Santa Monica Mountains in the western area of Los Angeles.
The house covers more than 1,800 square feet and boasts three bedrooms and two bathrooms. It was built in 1950 and extensively renovated in 1962. It has now been valued at $2 million, and the grounds include a large private swimming pool.
His real estate portfolio also includes a large home in Studio City. He lived there for several years, along with his wife and daughter.
Net Worth and Income
Tony Dow was estimated to be worth $4 million at the time of his death. The majority of his income has come from his six decade long career in the entertainment industry. During the height of Leave It to Beaver, he reportedly earned as much as $100,000 per episode.
A large part of his income also comes from royalties from the show and various endorsements. Over the years, he appeared in a large number of television commercials. He also worked as a brand ambassador for Levi Strauss & Co.
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Ok, back to…
It is estimated that Tony Dow was worth $4 million at the time of his death.
The life of Tony Dow proves that it’s possible to maintain a career both in front and behind the camera. He was thrust into the spotlight at a very early age and was once among the biggest celebrities in the United States. The Young Artist Foundation honored him for his role as Wally Cleaver with the Former Child Star Lifetime Achievement Award in 1987.
Part of the secret behind his long and lucrative career was his ability to diversify. In addition to acting, he has directed, produced, and written several successful shows. He was also a talented artist and decided to follow his passion for woodwork later in life.
tainment industry as a whole.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Is Tony Dow still alive?
Yes, Tony Dow is still alive. He was born on April 13, 1945, and is currently 76 years old.
What is Tony Dow’s most famous role?
Tony Dow is best known for his role as Wally Cleaver in the classic sitcom “Leave It to Beaver.”
Did Tony Dow have any other jobs besides acting?
Yes, Tony Dow has also worked as a director and producer over the years. He has directed episodes of several TV shows and produced the TV movie “Still the Beaver.”
What is Tony Dow’s net worth?
Tony Dow’s net worth is estimated to be $4 million.
How many children does Tony Dow have?
Tony Dow has two children, a son named Christopher from his first marriage and a daughter named Emily from his second marriage.
What is Tony Dow’s favorite hobby?
Tony Dow is an avid surfer and enjoys riding the waves in Malibu. He is also a skilled woodworker and has created many beautiful pieces of furniture and sculptures over the years.
What is Tony Dow’s wife’s name?
Tony Dow’s wife’s name is Lauren Shulkind. They have been married since 1980.
Has Tony Dow ever won any awards?
Tony Dow has not won any major acting awards, but he was nominated for a Daytime Emmy Award in 1989 for his work as a director on the TV show “The New Gidget.”
What is Tony Dow’s favorite “Leave It to Beaver” episode?
Tony Dow has said that his favorite episode of “Leave It to Beaver” is “The Grass is Always Greener,” which aired in 1958.
What other TV shows has Tony Dow appeared in besides “Leave It to Beaver”?
Tony Dow has appeared in numerous TV shows over the years, including “The Greatest Show on Earth,” “The Eleventh Hour,” “Mr. Novak,” and “Adam-12.”
What inspired Tony Dow to become an actor?
Tony Dow was inspired to become an actor after watching movies and TV shows as a child. He also had a natural talent for the arts and began drawing and painting at a young age.
How did Tony Dow get his start in the entertainment industry?
Tony Dow got his start in the entertainment industry after he was discovered by a talent scout while playing on the beach in Malibu. He was cast in several TV commercials and then landed his breakout role as Wally Cleaver in “Leave It to Beaver.”
What is Tony Dow’s favorite memory from his time on “Leave It to Beaver”?
Tony Dow has said that his favorite memory from his time on “Leave It to Beaver” was when he and co-star Jerry Mathers went to the White House to meet President Eisenhower. They were invited because the president’s granddaughter was a fan of the show.
What advice does Tony Dow have for aspiring actors?
Tony Dow advises aspiring actors to pursue their dreams with passion and to never give up. He also recommends that they study the craft of acting and get as much experience as possible.