‘Leave It to Beaver’ Tony Dow Dies at 77 After Premature Reports of His Death, Son Confirms

(NEXSTAR) – Tony Dow, who starred as Wally Cleaver on ‘Leave It to Beaver,’ died Wednesday morning amid a battle with cancer, according to a statement released by his son.

Dow’s death comes a day after his death was prematurely announced on Facebook by his management team.

“Although this is a very sad day, I have comfort and peace that he is in a better place,” Dow’s son, Christopher Dow, said in a statement included in a Facebook post shared on the page. official from Dow on Wednesday afternoon. “He was the best dad you could ask for. He was my coach, my mentor, my voice of reason, my best friend, my best man and my hero.

Christopher Dow had also said on Tuesday that his father was alive and in hospice care when his management team released a statement about his death on Tuesday morning. The statement, released by managers and friends Frank Bilotta and Renee James, was deleted later that day.

“It’s a difficult time,” read a statement attributed to Christopher Dow, which was shared on Facebook on Tuesday. “Dad is home, in hospice care and in his final hours. My wife and I are at his side with many friends who have visited. He has a beating heart.

Another statement posted Tuesday afternoon on Dow’s Facebook page, presumably from Bilotta and James, explained that Dow’s wife, Lauren Dow, although “very upset”, informed them of Dow’s passing and “asked that we inform all his fans”.

“As we’re sure you can understand, this has been a very trying time for her,” read the statement, which was released on Tuesday afternoon. “We received a call from Tony’s daughter-in-law saying that while Tony is not well, he is not yet deceased. Tony’s son, Christopher, and daughter-in-law, Melissa, have also been at his side to comfort him, and we’ll keep you posted on any future updates.

Nexstar had contacted one of Dow’s representatives for additional information about the confusion.

Jerry Mathers, Dow’s former “Leave It to Beaver” co-star, was one of many friends and fellow actors to react to early reports of Dow’s death on Tuesday.

“He was always the kindest, most generous, gentle, loving, sincere and humble man I have had the honor and privilege to share memories with for 65 years,” Mathers wrote on Facebook.

Mathers’ post has since been deleted.

Dow, 77, is perhaps best known for playing Wally Cleaver, brother of Theodore “Beaver” Cleaver (Mathers) on “Leave It to Beaver” between 1957 and 1963. Dow appeared in all 234 episodes, as well as in the 1983 TV reunion film. “Still the Beaver” and the series sequel “The New Leave It to Beaver”, which ran for four seasons in the mid-1980s. He also made guest appearances on popular shows such as “My Three Sons”, “Lassie” and “Adam-12”.

In addition to acting, Dow has directed television episodes of “The New Leave It to Beaver”, “Harry and the Hendersons”, “Coach” and “Babylon 5”, as well as nearly a dozen other series, according to IMDb.

He has also become a sculptor in recent years, with one of his pieces temporarily on display as part of an exhibition at the Louvre, the LA Times reported in 2008.

Misreporting of Dow’s death on Tuesday morning followed news of Dow’s health issues in recent years, including his hospitalization for pneumonia in August 2021. At the time, his agent told The Hollywood Reporter that he was “in good spirits” despite the diagnosis.

Months later, in May, Dow’s wife also revealed that Dow had been “again” diagnosed with cancer, suggesting he had already battled the disease. On May 29, Dow himself also shared a Facebook update with fans at the start of immunotherapy treatment.

“I really wanted to touch base and thank all of you who thought, prayed and hoped for my speedy recovery,” Dow wrote, in what appears to be the last Facebook post he wrote himself. “All the thoughts, cards and good wishes have had a huge effect on me and I’m grateful for all the care you’ve expressed. It’s amazing how the world could change with more love and respect. Let’s do our best to “make this world a better place” for our friends, our families and even our adversaries.”


Not all news on the site expresses the point of view of the site, but we transmit this news automatically and translate it through programmatic technology on the site and not from a human editor.
Back to top button