Die Hard 2 Actor Tom Bower Passes Away at 86

Die Hard 2 Actor Tom Bower Passes Away at 86

Die Hard 2 Actor Tom Bower Passes Away at 86

Tom Bower, the seasoned character actor renowned for his roles in “Die Hard 2” and “The Waltons,” has passed away at the age of 86. Bower died peacefully in his sleep at his Los Angeles home on May 30, as confirmed by his sister-in-law, Mary Miller, to The Hollywood Reporter.

Bower, born Ralph Thomas Bower in Denver on January 3, 1938, initially aspired to be a professional baseball player. However, his path took a different turn when he moved to New York in 1956 to enroll at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. His acting journey began with John Cassavetes’ directorial debut, “Shadows,” in 1957.

Before fully committing to acting, Bower spent a few years as a private investigator in Boston, working alongside attorney F. Lee Bailey. His acting career took a significant leap in 1972 when he was cast in David Rabe’s “The Basic Training of Pavlo Hummel,” performing opposite Al Pacino.

Following this success, Bower relocated to Los Angeles to pursue acting full-time. He secured roles in popular TV shows such as “Get Christie Love!,” “The Rockford Files,” and “Kojak.” In 1975, he guest-starred as pilot Rex Barker in “The Waltons” and later joined the regular cast as Dr. Curtis Willard.

Bower’s versatility as an actor was evident in his varied roles. He portrayed the father of the 37th U.S. president in Oliver Stone’s “Nixon” (1995) and Nicolas Cage’s character’s father in Werner Herzog’s “Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans” (2009). His filmography also includes notable performances in “Crazy Heart” (2009), “Out of the Furnace” (2013), and “Pollock” (2000).

One of Bower’s most memorable roles was as Marvin, the janitor in “Die Hard 2” (1990). His character played a crucial part in assisting Bruce Willis’s John McClane in thwarting terrorists at Dulles International Airport. This role cemented his place in the hearts of action movie fans.

In addition to his film work, Bower made significant contributions to television. He appeared in the first season of “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” as Heinrich “Pop-Pop” Landgraf and reprised the role in a 2012 episode. His TV credits also include guest spots on “The X-Files,” “The West Wing,” “Monk,” “Murder, She Wrote,” and “Criminal Minds.”

Bower remained active in the entertainment industry well into his later years. His recent works include “Senior Love Triangle” (2019), “El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie” (2019), “Fully Realized Humans” (2020), and “Raymond & Ray” (2022). In 2023, he appeared in the AMC series “Lucky Hank” as Bob Odenkirk’s father, Henry Sr.

Throughout his career, Bower was a staunch supporter of the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) and the Syracuse International Film Festival. He believed in fair representation for all actors and people.

Bower is survived by his children, Viv and Rob; his grandchildren, Nicole, Jonathan, Lucille, and Henry; his brother, Bobby; and his sister, Shirley. His wife of 51 years, Ursula, passed away in August at the age of 75. According to family members, the couple never spent a day apart.

Tom Bower’s legacy in the world of film and television will be remembered for his diverse roles and dedication to his craft. His contributions have left an indelible mark on the industry, and he will be greatly missed by fans and colleagues alike.

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