The U.S. military kept Tony Dow off TV

His career never really reached those same heights again.

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Tony Dow, Wally from Leave It to Beaver should've been a hot commodity in 1967. When Beaver wrapped in '63, Dow was a household name; he was the face of good-spirited, rule-following adolescence. Everything was lined up in his favor to capitalize on his earlier series. Would he have his own show? Would a more serious gig be ahead? The future was bright for Tony Dow, but instead, he ended up on Game O Names.

"It's a great game to play, but I don't do very well. I'm just not a good game player," said Dow. If you can't remember Game O Names, you're not alone. Despite being referred to by both Dow and the journalist in a 1967 interview with The Wichita Beacon, it seems like the local game show has very little internet presence, with no IMDb entry or Wikipedia page. Even a thorough Google search reveals very few clues about what the show was. So why didn't Dow land a more memorable, more prestigious series post-Beaver?

The answer was, surprisingly, the military-industrial complex.

Like many young men throughout history, Tony Dow's life was interrupted by a war. 

"I can't sign for a series or a movie or anything until the Army decides what it's going to do with me. More than a year and a half ago, the draft board told me I would be called soon for six months' duty. I'm still waiting."

It seems like, at least according to them, Uncle Sam needed Dow more than television viewers. It seems his "Gee shucks" demeanor was just the thing America needed during the War in Vietnam. From 1965 to 1968, Dow served in the California Army National Guard. At the time of the interview, he didn't know what they had in store for him, but eventually, Dow was assigned to the Special Services division and served in the 40th Armored Division as a photographer.

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1950sand60sallmylife 8 months ago
June told Ward he was to ruff on the beaver!
ColorTVisapassingfad 8 months ago
Elvis was drafted and came back bigger than ever. Tony probably should have had a better Agent.
Deleted 8 months ago
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CelticTwilight 6 months ago
Better than being a scumbag Qanon Right wingnut like you.
6 months ago
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CelticTwilight 6 months ago
LOL aaaand you just proved what a true scumbag you are with that response. But that's the typical response for a right wing trumpite.
6 months ago
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CelticTwilight 6 months ago
Yep, the oh so classy response of a trumpite. I bet your mom is soooo proud of you. But I wouldn't expect anything else from a right winger. You probably claim to be a Christian too dontcha?
Tommyboy11746 8 months ago
With all the apps out there...
Why isn't leave it to beaver available.
Love the show.
Family oriented and real family values.
You don't see that today..
Thanks for keeping the show going..
waz922 Tommyboy11746 7 months ago
It is available on Start tv, every morning from 8am to 9am, and several other times during the week. If you stream, there a channel devoted to only Leave It To Beaver episodes, on demand, 24/7/365
FloridaTopCat 8 months ago
Tony Dow AND Jerry Mathers BOTH appeared in an April 1999 2 part episode of Dick Van Dyke's Diagnosis Murder, Titled "Trash-TV"
Runeshaper 8 months ago
That's kind of a bummer. I mean, it's great that Dow served his country, but not the best timing for him.
Cougar90 8 months ago
He was on Emergency in 1972, and an episode of Knight Rider in 1983. I can't remember any others.
Bapa1 Cougar90 8 months ago
He did a My Three Sons, an Adam 12, Love Boat, an appearance in the movie Back to The Beach, and of course, The New Leave It To Beaver series. This is just off the top of my head, probably did more.
Bricat2001 Cougar90 8 months ago
he was also on an episode of hardy boys, forgot the episode name but it had to do with aliens
Peter_Falk_Fan Cougar90 8 months ago
I saw that episode of "Knight Rider" with Tony Dow not too long ago. I hardly watched "Knight Rider", but I watched that one because he was in it.
frenchman71 Cougar90 8 months ago
He was in an episode of "Mod Squad", too. And I have a DVD of old commercials of the 70s and he's doing a Budweiser ad.
cperrynaples 8 months ago
I have NEVER heard of this game show! However, I can confirm an appearance on My 3 Sons [just shown on MeTV] and a daytime soap called Never Too Young! After that, nothing until the '80's reboot of Beaver!
cperrynaples cperrynaples 8 months ago
PS Of course we all know that Beaver died in Vietnam...LOL!
And Eddie Haskell made porno flicks!
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