• Actor Tom Bower has died
  • He was 86 years old
  • Tributes are pouring in now

Known for his memorable roles in 'Die Hard 2' and 'The Waltons,' Bower's death marks the end of an era for Hollywood.

Hollywood has lost one of its finest. Tom Bower, the versatile actor whose career spanned over six decades, has passed away in his sleep at his Los Angeles home on May 30. His brother, Robert Bower, and manager, Marsha McManus, confirmed the sad news, with McManus noting, "He was extraordinary in every way."

A Storied Career

"I started acting with more of a purpose while still in high school, and I guess when I chose a senior play over my senior season of baseball, the die was cast," he said in 2012.

Born Ralph Thomas Bower in Denver, Colorado, Tom embarked on his Hollywood journey at John Cassavetes’ Shadows Workshop, making his screen debut in the 1957 movie 'Shadows.'

His career took off from there, leading to almost 200 screen credits. Bower shared the screen with Hollywood legends such as Edward James Olmos, Anthony Hopkins, and Nicolas Cage, showcasing his ability to hold his own alongside the industry's best.

Perhaps best remembered for his role as Marvin, the helpful airport janitor in 'Die Hard 2,' Bower's portrayal opposite Bruce Willis became a fan favorite. On television, his role as Dr. Curtis Willard on 'The Waltons' won him acclaim and a special place in the hearts of viewers across America.

Bower's final screen credit will be in the upcoming drama 'Hurricanna,' where he plays a dentist. This last role adds to a legacy of diverse and powerful performances that have left an indelible mark on Hollywood.

Bower was written off the Earl Hamner Jr.-created CBS series in 1978 when Curt is apparently killed in the attack on Pearl Harbor. On a 1981 episode, however, Curt shows up alive in Florida, only now he’s played by Scott Hylands.

In a 2022 interview with Norton, Bower explained what happened behind the scenes.

"I asked for a very small raise, so they sent me to Pearl Harbor," he said with a laugh. "Then, when they decided to bring the character back, washed up on a shore somewhere — which I didn’t think was a great idea anyway — I asked for the same small raise. … They just cast a different actor."

He was a huge supporter of SAG — "He believed that all actors and all people should be represented in a way that was decent," his agent said — and the Syracuse International Film Festival.

Survivors also include his children, Viv and Rob; his grandchildren, Nicole, Jonathan, Lucille and Henry; his brother, Bobby, and his sister, Shirley.

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Off-screen, Bower was a devoted family man, survived by his children, Viveca and Rob, four grandchildren, and siblings Robert and Shirley. He was predeceased by his wife, Ursula, whom he called his "true love."

Tom Bower's passing is not just the loss of a great actor but the end of a chapter in Hollywood's history. His contributions to film and television will not be forgotten, and his legacy will live on through his memorable performances.