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Anthony Lee Dow (13 April 194527 July 2022; age 77), better known as Tony Dow, was an actor, director, producer, and visual effects supervisor from Hollywood, California. He directed the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine seventh season episode "Field of Fire". The producers hired Dow at the suggestion of Dow's friend, actor Bill Mumy, who previously guest-starred in the DS9 episode "The Siege of AR-558". (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion (p. 649))

Acting career

Dow is best known for his role as Wallace "Wally" Cleaver on the classic, family-oriented situation comedy series Leave It to Beaver, which ran on CBS during the 1957-1958 season and on ABC from 1958 through 1963. He reprised the role of Wally in the 1983 made-for-TV reunion movie, Still the Beaver (which aired on CBS and co-starred Ed Begley, Jr.) and the subsequent sequel series of the same name (later renamed The New Leave It to Beaver), which ran from 1985 through 1989.

After the end of first Leave It to Beaver, Dow made guest appearances on such series as Dr. Kildare (in an episode with Richard Carlyle), My Three Sons, and NBC's Mr. Novak. He appeared in several episodes of the latter series, working with such Star Trek performers as Kim Darby, Harry Townes, and series regulars Vince Howard and Bill Zuckert. During the 1965-66 TV season, he starred in the ABC soap opera Never Too Young.

Following a stint in the National Guard, Dow returned to television in 1968, appearing in a three-episode arc on Lassie. He then appeared in a 1970 episode of Adam-12 with William Boyett and Ted Gehring. The following year, he appeared on The Mod Squad, which starred Michael Cole and Clarence Williams III. He then appeared on Emergency!, starring Kevin Tighe, and had a role in the ABC Movie of the Week A Great American Tragedy, with William Windom and William Sargent. In 1975, he was a regular on the soap opera General Hospital, portraying Ross Jeanelle.

In 1977, he made his feature film acting debut in the comedy Kentucky Fried Movie, spoofing his Wally Cleaver character in a courtroom sketch. That same year, Dow was seen in an episode of The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries, which starred Phillip Richard Allen. Afterward, Dow began working in the construction business while also studying journalism and filmmaking. [1] He returned to television with a role in the 1981 CBS movie The Ordeal of Bill Carney.

In 1982, Dow co-starred with Craig Richard Nelson in an episode of the short-lived CBS series Square Pegs, on which Merritt Butrick was a regular. He subsequently guest-starred on Quincy, M.E. (with Paul Lambert and Michele Marsh), Knight Rider (with Marshall R. Teague), Murder, She Wrote (with Michael Horton, James McIntire, and William Windom), Charles in Charge, and two episodes of Freddy's Nightmares, including one with Tim Russ. Dow also made a cameo appearance in the 1987 comedy film Back to the Beach, which starred Todd Bryant, Tommy Hinkley, and David Bowe; James Komack, Peter Krikes, and Steve Meerson were among the writers of this film.

Dow only acted occasionally after he started directing in 1989. He co-starred with Richard Beymer, Raymond Cruz, Brad Dourif, Sam Hennings, and Lindsay Ridgeway in the 1998 comedy/pseudo-documentary Playing Patti, which was released in 1998. That same year, he appeared with Charles Dierkop in an episode of Beyond Belief: Fact or Fiction, hosted by Jonathan Frakes. Dow later appeared in a Diagnosis Murder two-parter written by David Bennett Carren and J. Larry Carroll.

Dow made a cameo appearance as himself in the 2003 Paramount Pictures comedy, Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star. Spencer Garrett also appeared in this film.

Directing career

Dow made his directorial debut with an episode of The New Lassie entitled "Once Upon a Time..." One of the actors he cast for this episode was Star Trek: The Next Generation guest star Tony Jay. [2]

Dow directed several episodes of the hit situation comedy series Coach between 1990 and 1997. Some of the actors he directed on this series include Steven Anderson, Keene Curtis, D.C. Douglas, Alan Oppenheimer, and Mark L. Taylor. From 1990 through 1993, Dow directed five episodes of Swamp Thing, which starred Dick Durock in the title role. Also in 1990, Dow directed Earl Boen in an episode of Get a Life. In 1991, Dow directed multiple episodes of Harry and the Hendersons, on which Bruce Davison and Courtney Peldon were regulars.

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 Star Trek: The Original Series star Walter Koenig throughout five episodes of the popular science fiction series, Babylon 5. (Dow later directed McCloskey in his episode of DS9.) Also around this time, Dow directed three episodes of the Honey, I Shrunk the Kids series, starring Barbara Alyn Woods and Thomas Dekker. He then directed two 1999 episodes of the Babylon 5 spin-off series Crusade, working with Sharisse Baker-Bernard, Daniel Dae Kim, Marjean Holden, James Parks, and Brian Thompson.

Dow later directed two episodes of Cover Me: Based on the True Life of an FBI Family, both of which aired in 2000. His first episode, "The Line", featured performances by Star Trek: Voyager guest actresses Nancy Bell and Debbie Grattan. His second episode, "Where Have You Gone, Sandy Koufax?", guest-starred Susan Diol, also of Voyager.

Other projects

Dow co-wrote a 1986 episode of The New Leave It to Beaver entitled "Murder in Mayfield". This was his only known writing credit.

In 1995, Dow produced the made-for-TV comic science fiction movie The Adventures of Captain Zoom in Outer Space. Starring in the title role was Daniel Riordan, while Nichelle Nichols, Ron Perlman, and Liz Vassey had supporting roles. Dow also produced the visual effects for this project and even made a cameo appearance as a producer.

In addition to directing several episodes of Babylon 5, Dow supervised the show's visual effects. He was also visual effects producer on the 1996 TV movie revival of Doctor Who, starring Daphne Ashbrook.

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