If you ask Stephen Talbot, who played Gilbert Bates on the classic TV show “Leave It To Beaver,” his co-star Tony Dow is a real stand-up guy, then and now.
Stephen Talbot’s “Leave It To Beaver” character, Gilbert Bates, was closer friends with Beaver than Wally, played by Tony Dow. But that doesn’t mean the two didn’t interact over the course of the show. Especially when Wally would join Beaver and his friends on their various adventures.
Talbot recently sat down with Best Classic Bands to open up about his time on the show. At one point, Talbot revealed that he didn’t really grow close with Dow because of their age difference.
“Tony was older,” Talbot revealed. “On the set, there were basically two groups of kids. There were the teenagers, Tony and Eddie [Haskell, played by Ken Osmond] and Lumpy [Frank Bank] and that group. And then there was Beaver and his friends.”
The “Leave It To Beaver” star added, “Beaver and Wally [Jerry Mathers and Tony Dow], obviously, overlapped tremendously. But [Tony and I] were sort of in our separate worlds. We had scenes together, but it wasn’t like working with Jerry, Richard, or Whitey.”
Despite their few scenes together, Talbot still seemed to admire Tony Dow greatly on and off the “Leave It To Beaver” set.
“Tony couldn’t have been nicer. He was sort of the icon of the ideal elder brother,” Talbot shared. “He was low-key, very straightforward. Sometimes, so we could blow off steam and just have fun during lunch breaks, they had a little basketball court. I remember playing pickup basketball games with him. He could always out-shoot us. We’re not close, but I’ve been in contact with Tony Dow over the years. He remains a really interesting guy. He became a sculptor.”
‘Leave It To Beaver’ Star Tony Dow Now Battles Unknown Cancer
Earlier this month, “Leave It To Beaver” fans learned that star Tony Dow recently received a cancer diagnosis. His wife, Lauren Dow, did not reveal what kind of cancer it was, per TMZ. But she did ask for fans’ thoughts and prayers during this difficult time for the Dow family.
This isn’t the first severe illness Dow has faced in the last year either. Back in August, he spent over a week in the hospital battling a severe case of pneumonia. The family clarified that it was not COVID-19 related.
Dow has also struggled with many mental illnesses over the years. The actor told CBS Sunday Morning how he became depressed after “Leave It To Beaver” ended. As a child actor, he felt slightly lost and purposeless now that the show had come to an end. But he’s learned to work through his depression since then, with the help of therapy and meditation.