Tom Bower, Actor from “Die Hard 2” and “The Waltons”, Dead at 86

The longtime character actor, born Ralph Thomas Bower, died May 30

<p>Rachel Murray/Getty </p> Tom Bower in 2019

Rachel Murray/Getty

Tom Bower in 2019

Tom Bower, known for his roles in The Waltons and Die Hard 2, has died. He was 86.

The actor died in his sleep at his home in Los Angeles on May 30, his brother Robert Bower confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter. His manager Marsha McManus confirmed the news to PEOPLE, saying, "He was extraordinary in every way."

Born Ralph Thomas Bower in Denver, Colorado, Bower got his start in Hollywood by studying at John Cassavetes’ Shadows Workshop. His first work on camera was the director’s first movie, Shadows, which was filmed in 1957.

The 1976 thriller Two-Minute Warning followed, kicking off almost 200 screen credits as an actor. Among Bower’s list of notable costars are Edward James Olmos in 1982’s The Ballad of Gregorio Cortez, Anthony Hopkins in 1995’s Nixon, Sung Kang in 2006’s Undoing, Jeff Bridges in 2009's Crazy Heart, and Nicolas Cage and Eva Mendes in 2009’s Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans.

<p>J. Vespa/WireImage</p> Tom Bower in 2004

J. Vespa/WireImage

Tom Bower in 2004

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In Die Hard 2 opposite Bruce Willis, Bower played airport janitor Marvin, who helps John McClane combat terrorists.

Related: Bruce Willis Brought 'Warm,' 'Funny' Energy to Die Hard Set: Peter Billingsley Shares New Details (Exclusive)

<p>CBS Photo Archive/Getty</p> The cast of 'The Waltons'

CBS Photo Archive/Getty

The cast of 'The Waltons'

On the small screen, Bower made regular guest-star appearances, from The Rockford Files in the 1970s to as recently as It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia and Lucky Hank. His biggest TV role was as Dr. Curtis Willard on The Waltons, on which he appeared in 26 episodes from 1975 to 1978.

According to IMDb, the upcoming Hurricanna, a drama about Anna Nicole Smith, is Bower’s final screen credit. He plays a dentist alongside stars Sylvia Hoeks and Holly Hunter.

Bower is survived by children Viveca and Rob, four grandchildren, brother Robert and sister Shirley. A biography written by Bower himself on IMDB calls wife Ursula, who died in 2023, his “true love.”

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