Die Hard 2 star Tom Bower dies aged 86 - as tributes pour in

Tom Bower smiling
-Credit: (Image: Getty Images)

Die Hard 2 star Tom Bower has sadly died at the age of 86.

The Hollywood star was best known for playing Dr. Curtis Willard on The Waltons and the janitor, Marvin, in Die Hard 2, alongside Bruce Willis’ John McClane.

Tom died in his sleep on 30 May at his home in Los Angeles, his brother Robert Bower, told The Hollywood Reporter.

His cause of death is currently unknown.

The actor had an incredible career, spanning over six decades, working on John Cassavetes’ directorial debut, Shadows in 1957.

More recently, he featured in titles including Crazy Heart (2009) and Out of the Furnace (2013).

In 2023, he starred in the AMC series Lucky Hank as Bob Odenkirk’s dad.

Tom Bower and Bruce Willis in Die Hard 2
Tom Bower starred alongside Bruce Willis in Die Hard 2 -Credit:Moviestore/REX/Shutterstock

Tom featured on The Waltons from 1975–1978, before his character was killed off in the Pearl Harbor attack.

In 1981, Curt reappeared in Florida, played by Scott Hylands.

Two years prior to his death, in 2022, Tom revealed what had caused his exit. “I asked for a very small raise, so they sent me to Pearl Harbor,” he told co-star Judy Norton.

“Then, when they decided to bring the character back, washed up on a shore somewhere — which I didn’t think was a great idea anyway — I asked for the same small raise. … They just cast a different actor,” the star laughed.

As the tragic news breaks, fans have taken to social media to share their condolences for his family and friends, as well as to remember the life and career of the actor.

“A tiny but great role in Vince Gilligan’s #ElCamino as Lou. RIP Tom Bower!” one fan wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter.

“Farewell Tom Bower. A face you were always glad to see pop up,” another penned.

Tom Bower on red carpet
The star was known for his role in The Waltons -Credit:WireImage

A third fan commented: “#RIP Tom Bower. Terrific character actor lost his job (twice) as Dr. Curtis Willard on ‘The Waltons’ when “he asked for a very small raise.” Was great in ‘The Ballad of Gregorio Cortez,’ ‘Crazy Heart’ and ‘Lucky Hank’ — really, he was great in everything.”

“Sad news, a great character actor,” another tweeted.

“Dude was unique as f**k one of a kind can't be duplicated,” wrote another.

The actor is survived by his children Viveca and Rob, his brother and sister Shirley. He was married to wife Ursula, for 51 years until her death in August, aged 75.