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Gossip & Rumors: 'the Waltons,' 'die Hard 2' Actor Dies

GOSSIP & RUMORS: ‘The Waltons,’ ‘Die Hard 2’ actor dies at 86

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Tom Bower, an actor who had a five-decade career in Hollywood in films such as “Die Hard 2” and “Nixon” and the TV show “The Waltons,” died last month, his family said on Thursday.

He was 86.

His sister Mary Miller told the Hollywood Reporter that Bower died in his sleep at home in Los Angeles, Calif., on May 30.

Bower was still appearing in movies and television series right up until 2023, when he did a three-episode guest spot on AMC’s “Lucky Hank” as Bob Odenkirk’s father Henry Sr.

Actor Tom Bower died last month at age 86. Getty Images
Bower played an airport janitor named Marvin in “Die Hard 2,” starring Bruce Willis. Moviestore/Shutterstock

One memorable role was as the janitor Marvin in 1990’s “Die Hard 2,” in which he helps Bruce Willis’ John McClane fight terrorists at Dulles International Airport.

He also played the president’s father Frank in Oliver Stone’s “Nixon,” starring Anthony Hopkins as Tricky Dick.

And Bower took on a variety of character roles through the years in other films, like “Beverly Hills Cop 2,” “The Hills Have Eyes,” “Pollock” and “Hearts in Atlantis.” 

On television, the actor appeared in 26 episodes of the wholesome series “The Waltons” as Dr. Curtis Willard. 

The actor later said he was written off the show — his character was dramatically killed during the attack on Pearl Harbor — when he asked for more money.

Tom Bower, left, played Dr. Curtis Willard on “The Waltons.” Courtesy Everett Collection

“I asked for a very small raise, so they sent me to Pearl Harbor,” he said in 2022. “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.”

Bower had guest spots on other popular TV shows such as “The X-Files,” “The West Wing,” “Monk,” “Murder, She Wrote” and “Criminal Minds.” 

Bower was born in Denver in 1938, and later moved to New York to study at the American Academy of Dramatic Art in the 1950s.

Early on he worked as a private investigator in Boston, and gave acting lessons to a young Al Pacino.



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