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Tom Bower Dead at 86: 'The Waltons' and 'Die Hard 2' Actor Passes Away in His Sleep at LA Home

actor tom bower dead at  the waltons die hard
Source: MEGA

Actor Tom Bower has passed away at the age of 86.

Jun. 6 2024, Published 3:27 p.m. ET

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Actor Tom Bower, who was perhaps best known for his roles in The Waltons and Die Hard 2, died at the age of 86, RadarOnline.com can confirm.

In a heartbreaking development to come just months after the beloved actor's birthday in January, it was revealed that Bower passed away peacefully in his sleep at his home in Los Angeles on May 30.

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actor tom bower dead at  the waltons die hard
Source: MEGA

Bower was perhaps best known for his role in "The Waltons."

Bower’s brother, Robert Bower, confirmed the star's death to The Hollywood Reporter on Thursday morning.

While Bower was best known for his role as Dr. Curtis Willard in the 1970s hit television show The Waltons, as well as his small role as the janitor, Marvin, in the Bruce Willis-led Die Hard 2, he also appeared in dozens of other popular and critically acclaimed television and film projects.

According to THR, Bower made his big screen debut back in 1957 when he starred in a small role in director John CassavetesShadows.

Bower also appeared in 1982’s The Ballad of Gregorio Cortez; Oliver Stone’s Nixon in 1995; the 2008 hit Appaloosa; and the Nicolas Cage-led Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans in 2009.

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actor tom bower dead at  the waltons die hard
Source: MEGA

Bower’s brother, Robert Bower, confirmed the actor’s death on Thursday morning.

Bower’s final television role before his passing on May 30 was as Bob Odenkirk’s father in the 2023 AMC series Lucky Hank.

Still, Bower was perhaps best known for his role in The Waltons despite his appearances in dozens of other hit films and television shows over the years.

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Bower first joined The Waltons during the show’s fourth season in 1975 as Dr. Curtis Willard. He remained on the show until 1978 when he was written off.

According to an interview with Bower from 2022, he was written off The Waltons after he asked CBS for a raise.

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actor tom bower dead at  the waltons die hard
Source: MEGA

Bower also starred in "Die Hard 2" alongside Bruce Willis.

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“I asked for a very small raise, so they sent me to Pearl Harbor,” he said regarding how his character was written off the show that was predominantly set in Depression-era Virginia.

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Although CBS attempted to bring Bower back as the character Dr. Curtis Willard for the show’s final season in 1981, Bower reportedly declined to return. He was ultimately recast.

“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,” Bower explained in 2022. “They just cast a different actor.”

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actor tom bower dead at  the waltons die hard
Source: MEGA

R.I.P. Tom Bower.

Bower also discussed his decision to study acting and become an actor during an interview in 2012. He reportedly made the decision to become an actor during his senior year of high school and enrolled at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York City in 1956.

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

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Bower’s final project on the big screen was in 2022 in the Apple TV+ film Raymond and Ray alongside Ethan Hawke and Ewan McGregor.

R.I.P. Tom Bower.

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