Tony Dow was reportedly very well-behaved compared to his child star peers

This is according to his father, though, so take it with a grain of salt.

Every kid thinks they can be famous nowadays. More than half of all polled Generation Zers think they ''can easily make a career in influencing,'' according to MSNBC. There have always been famous kids, but social media changed the ways kids can get famous. It democratized fame. Now, kids can become famous without grown-ups. They don't need a studio system, a management team, or even their parents. 

In bygone eras, all those extra facilitators, all the agents, publicists, and handlers involved in keeping a child famous, could also enable some really bad behavior. When there are grownups whose livelihood is dependent on your ability to perform in a show or a movie, those grownups will put up with anything to make sure you can do your job. It can't be good for a kid's psychology to look out on a whole mini-economy built around their acting skills. Those kids probably learn quickly that they can get away with being a brat until the director yells "Action!" 

Not our Wally though. Back in '62, the Mansfield, Ohio News-Journal printed a whole story about what a good boy Tony Dow was. 

He was 17 back then, and Tony Dow could've been a real nightmare if he wanted to be. The young star was a real commodity for ABC, who depended on Dow as a crucial component of Leave It to Beaver. He was important to stories on the program and drove viewership. Despite the power Dow wielded, his dad said Tony was a nice kid.

"The boy hasn't got a single Hollywood show-off quality about him," said Dow, Sr. 

"We've seen a lot of movie people over here, wearing their yachting caps and all, and this kid doesn't fit at all in the group. And I don't even think he'll ever change, even if he stays in the crazy business."

Tony Dow's dad wasn't totally invincible to the charms of Hollywood, though. He admitted he was fond of Stan Laurel.

"If Hollywood can occasionally put out a Mr. Laurel and a kid like Tony, it can't be all bad."

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8 Comments

Frank Bank said in his autobiography that one day when the guys were all wondering around the lot Tony gave Marlon Brando "The Finger!". Anybody else read that book? It's probably out of print.
MikefromJersey 12 days ago
I remember the episode of Adam-12 where Tony played a Marine just back stateside from
Vietnam prompted a slew of rumors. That both he and Jay North and assorted other -
take your pick - once kid actors had gotten killed over there.
People today still repeat the rumor.

I read some years back that Carl "Alfalfa" Switzer was a handful. He would urinate
on the massive stage lights, causing the sound stage to reek when they were turned on
and heated up. He had run ins with the law as he grew up and as an adult, and generally
behaved as a jerk. Dead at 31.
He was shot and killed by his buddy who claimed Carl told him he was going to
kill him with his knife. The buddy claimed self defense and basically got away with
it though the physical evidence indicated otherwise, and the D.A. curiously never
had the gunman's stepson testify as he has always maintained what he saw was murder.
obectionoverruled 12 days ago
Sequels I’d like to have seen: Beaver gets beat up by Judy after school for pulling on her pigtails in class; June has an affair with Eddie Haskell and leaves Ward for a more exciting life; Wally gets Mary Ellen Rogers pregnant after the senior prom and has to marry her and get to work, skipping college; and Miss Landers quits teaching to become a barmaid down on Main Street by the firehouse.
jmworacle 12 days ago
One of my fondest memories of the "Leave it to Beaver" shows were the times I spent watching with my "Grand Daddy". I remember reading a "Where are They Now?" book and he seemed so level headed.
Zip 14 days ago
Nah, I can see that. Tony seemed like a nice bloke.
Runeshaper 15 days ago
It's nice that Dow's dad saw him that way (-:
GOOSEYGOOSE9 15 days ago
Tony Dow and frank bank friends.
CoreyC GOOSEYGOOSE9 14 days ago
I believe that Frank Bank and Jerry Mathers was business partners in real life.
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