Tony Dow quit his home remodeling business and reunited with Jerry Mathers
"I woke up one morning and decided I wasn't happy."
Success as a child actor does not always guarantee success as an adult. Someone like Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who was a well-known child actor in programs like Family Ties and Third Rock From The Sun, was able to take that success and carry it over to adulthood, where he's continued his career in Hollywood. Someone like Ron Howard, who enjoyed success in series like The Andy Griffith Show and Happy Days, might prefer a bit of a career pivot, preferring to leave their acting career behind, but still remain in the entertainment industry.
Meanwhile, some actors simply decide that they don't have any genuine desire to make acting the career of their entire lifetime and elect to leave the industry altogether.
But in some cases, child actors may choose to leave the acting world behind, only to reignite that passion later in life. Such was the case for Tony Dow, who, according to the Edmonton Journal, elected to join the National Guard after he had spent a few years acting after Leave It to Beaver finished its run. Later, Dow actually decided to stop acting and instead began a home remodeling business. However, the career wasn't as satisfying as Dow had hoped.
He said, "I woke up one morning and decided I wasn't happy driving the freeways every day. I was tired of all the problems in getting supplies and so on." Once Dow realized that it was time for a change, he didn't waste any time. He continued, "I called up my clients and canceled $250,000 worth of business."
So if not the freeways, where was Dow headed? It turned out that he needed to revisit his past in order to fully understand his future. The actor decided to reunite with his on-screen brother, Jerry Mathers, and return to performing. It seemed like a simple decision; Mathers and Dow had a wildly successful series at their backs to prove their talent and chemistry, and the two men had remained friends since Leave It to Beaver's final episode. The two teamed up for a dinner theatre production and then began touring in a comedy entitled So Long Stanley.