Since a very young age the world knew that Tony Dow was cut from a different cloth and was going to do great things. He started out in life as a champion swimmer/diver and it was this situation that led him to acting, believe it or not! You can say that Tony discovered his Hollywood prowess "accidentally". There was a lifeguard at the pool where Tony was swimming as a child and this lifeguard was about to go on an audition. The role that the lifeguard was going after was a two-part so he took Tony with him because he fit the description of what was needed. So it was upon this audition that young Tony Dow was discovered and the funny part? The lifeguard didn't get the part. The show never got off of the ground but since this new discovery Tony decided to go on a few other auditions and he tried out for a little show that came to be known as, "Leave it to Beaver". So there started, unofficially, a long and prosperous career for Tony Dow in Show Biz but it really can be traced back to this lifeguard bringing him on this audition!
Many of us have carefully followed the life and career of Mr Dow and have seen him in several roles beyond his landmark role of Wally Cleaver. What some people forget though is Tony was more than an onscreen adventurer...he spent several years behind the camera with several different productions at various pointed in time. YES! Tony Dow was an actor, director, producer, writer, Special fx and so much more! So we are focusing now on some of his excellence behind the camera!
Tony Dow made his directorial debut with an episode of The New Lassie entitled "Once Upon a Time..." In this episode he casted Tony Jay who was a guest star on STAR TREK: The Next Generation. Speaking of Star Trek, “Field of Fire” is the 163rd episode of the television series STAR TREK: DEEP SPACE NINE, the 13th episode of the 7th season. The episode first aired February 10, 1999, and was written by Robert Hewitt Wolfe and directed by Tony Dow! As we delve the prolific career of Tony we start to uncover some pretty amazing gems!
Tony was the director for several episodes of the hit situational comedy "Coach" between the years 1990 and 1997. He had the opportunity to direct a wide cast of characters including Steven Anderson, Keene Curtis, D.C. Douglas, Alan Oppenheimer, and Mark L. Taylor. He worked with some top notch folks in the biz during his COACH days and has some pretty cool stories to tell from his adventures...but that's for another day! Another pretty cool notch in Tony's directorial belt was SWAMP THING! This happened between 1990 and 1993, Dow directed five episodes of Swamp Thing, which starred Dick Durock in the title role. Actually, he was pretty busy in 1990, remember the show "GET A LIFE"? Well, he directed Earl Boen in an episode of Get a Life. Tony had a lot of fun on the set of Harry and the Hendersons where he directed several episodes and Bruce Davidson and Courtney Peldon were regulars during this time!
A really cool and visually stunning era of his directorial prowess occurred during his time with the Sci-fi show Babylon 5. Mr. Dow directed actors such as Caitlin Brown, Andreas Katsulas, Bart McCarthy, Leigh J. McCloskey, Bill Mumy, Reiner Schöne, Tracy Scoggins, Skip Stellrecht, Patricia Tallman, John Vickery, and TOS star Walter Koenig throughout five episodes of the popular science fiction series and later Dow directed McCloskey in his episode of DS9! Another one that you may not remember was the Honey! I Shrunk the Kids series, starring Barbara Alyn Woods and Thomas Dekker. Tony had the thrill of working on that show as well! Shortly after that he directed two episodes, in 1999, of the Babylon 5 spin-off series Crusade, working with Sharisse Baker-Bernard, Daniel Dae Kim, Marjean Holden, James Parks, and Brian Thompson.
Moving into 2000 Tony directed two episodes of Cover Me: Based on the True Life of an FBI Family, both of which aired in 2000. The first episode that he was involved with, "The Line", featured performances by Star Trek: Voyager guest actresses Nancy Bell and Debbie Grattan. The second episode that he had a hand in, "Where Have You Gone, Sandy Koufax?", guest-starred Susan Diol, also of Voyager.
~So that is just a little glimpse into some of the amazing work that Tony has done behind the camera...and, sure enough, there was more! We didn't even go into how he spent some time as a writer on the reboot of Leave it to Beaver that came out in the 1980s called, The New Leave it to Beaver! We also didn't mention Dr. Who! Yes, the list goes on! Tony has certainly lived a very full and fruitful life. Here in 2016 he hasn't shied away from the biz completely. He still dabbles in various projects, select gigs. He was recently in a play with Beverly Washburn called Love Letters. But Tony's primary focus in his "soft retirement" is his sculpting! He has always expressed quite an interest in the arts and now he "has the time" to actively pursue sculpting and treat it like a career...and did we mention that his work is pretty amazing!!
You can check out his sculptural work HERE: http://silverscreenartists.com/collections/tony-dow/
We had the opportunity to sit down with Tony and ask him a few questions...Check out this EXCLUSIVE video where Tony explains a silly little story from his directing days with SWAMP THING! ENJOY!1