The student-run news site of Le Moyne College.

The Dolphin

The student-run news site of Le Moyne College.

The Dolphin

The student-run news site of Le Moyne College.

The Dolphin

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via The Huntington
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Career Advising & Development at Le Moyne
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Actor Tom Bower discusses the arts at Le Moyne

Actor Tom Bower discusses the arts at Le Moyne


On Tuesday, March 13, as part of FilmTalkSeries, a collaboration between the Le Moyne College Film Program and the Syracuse International Film Festival, character actor Tom Bower will host a talk in the W. Carroll Coyne Center for the Performing Arts. Bower is known for his roles in movies like “Die Hard 2” and “Clear and Present Danger.”

“Marvin the janitor in ‘Die Hard 2,’ the drunken helicopter pilot in ‘Clear and Present Danger’ and Cecil Skells in ‘True Believer’ rank among my favorites,” Bower said. “A great number of people know the character dialogue I’ve spoken better than I can remember and often come up to me, reciting the exact text of my character, often taking me by total surprise and amusement.”

Bower’s journey to become an actor was a gradual one.

“I was an only child for the first five years of my life,” Bower said. “My parents doted on me, took me everywhere. I was the center of attention. They took me everywhere they went: playing tennis, ice skating, ballroom dances where the big bands played, but especially the movies. From that early age, I started acting out the characters and the stories in those movies in my imaginary world.”

As siblings began to arrive, Bower found himself drawn to this imaginary world more than ever.

“Then, when I was five, my brother came along,” Bower said. “At seven, my sister, and subsequently, I was the center of attention no more. I found myself acting out in my imaginary world even more, always gassed by the ever-growing movie experience. I could go alone at that early age and I did.”

At one point, however, Bower considered going into sports.

“I was an extraordinary athlete,” Bower said. “Baseball, then basketball, football, track. I excelled. Until I was about 20, I fully believed that baseball and later golf would be my livelihood.”

But the lure of the theater (and a few sports injuries) ultimately convinced Bower to turn to acting.

“Torn ligaments impeding foot speed, sore-armed pitching from throwing curveballs prematurely and just that sliver of separation of the truly gifted and very good determines the difference between an amateur and a pro,” Bower noted. “I became an amateur and resumed my imaginary dreams of being a character in the plays I was starting to read and see and then perform in with local theater groups and universities in my hometown of Denver, Colorado. I started acting with more of a purpose while still in high school and I guess when I chose a senior play over my senior season of baseball, the die was cast.”

Bower then enrolled at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts.

“Many fits and starts along the way, but now, 40 years later, a couple hundred movies and television shows, and a hundred or so plays, many of each that I’ve produced, under my belt,” Bower said. “I suppose I can say that I have had a successful career  and it’s still going.”

The talk, which Bower described as a “discussion, illumination and presentation about what can be done in the arts,” will feature two short films starring Bower: “After the Denim,” based on a short story by Raymond Carver, and an original piece entitled “A Good Thing.”

“Both films perfectly illustrate what student filmmakers can accomplish with new technology and a limited budget,” Bower said.

Bower advises anyone interested in the arts to make a name for themselves.

“The idea is to instill the belief that you can do your work wherever you reside, acting, writing, making music, painting about what you really know,” Bower said. “Become your own auteur.”

The Tom Bower talk takes place Tuesday, March 13 at 7 p.m. in the Performing Arts Center. Tickets are free for students.

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