Fresh Update: The Actor is Alive and the news about his death was a mistake by Tony Dow’s Team. We will be updating more about this story later.
Actor Tony Dow, known for his portrayal of Wally Cleaver in the iconic series Leave It to Beaver, has passed away. He was 77 years old. The cause of death is said to be complications from liver cancer.
The actor died on July 26 at his home in Topanga, California. In May this year, Tony and his wife Lauren had revealed that his cancer had returned, that he had also battled years ago. Read on to learn more about the actor’s life and his sad demise.
The News was Shared on Tony’s Official Facebook Page
The news of the actor’s passing was shared by his management on his official Facebook page. The post read, “It is with an extremely heavy heart that we share with you the passing of our beloved Tony this morning. Tony was a beautiful soul – kind, compassionate, funny and humble.”
Tony had earlier survived cancer twice. In May 2022, his wife Lauren Shulkind broke the news of his cancer having returned, by a post on his Facebook page. She had written at the time, “Dear friends and fans of Tony Dow, I have some very sad news to share with you.”
“Unfortunately, Tony has once again been diagnosed with cancer. He is approaching this reality so bravely, but it is truly heartbreaking. We want to thank you in advance for your caring thoughts. Our Love, Lauren & Tony,” she wrote further.
Dow also battled depression in his 20s and later made the self-help video ‘Beating the Blues’ to help others cope with the illness.
Tony was Known for his Role in Leave It to Beaver
Tony was born in Hollywood on April 13, 1945. His mother was a stunt woman and a double for actress Clara Bow. He tagged along with a friend to audition for the role of Wally Cleaver in Leave It to Beaver and ended up getting cast in the show.
The black and white sitcom aired from 1957 to 1963 and became a cult classic with the baby boom generation. The show followed the adventures of a mischievous boy named Beaver, his practical brother Wally, their friend Eddie Haskell, and their parents, played by Barbara Billingsley and Hugh Beaumont.
After the show ended, Dow reprised the role in the 1980s for the TV movie Still the Beaver and the series The New Leave It to Beaver, for which he also wrote and directed some episodes.
TV and Film Career
After Leave It to Beaver, Dow also starred in My Three Sons, Dr. Kildare, The Greatest Show on Earth, Never Too Young, and five episodes of Mr. Novak in three different roles. Then, from 1965 to 1968, he took a break from his acting career and served in the United States National Guard.
He made his directorial debut in 1989 with an episode of The New Lassie and then went on to direct episodes of Get a Life, Harry and the Hendersons, Coach, Babylon 5, Crusade and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. His most recent performance as an actor was in the 2003 film Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star.
Apart from being an actor and director, Dow was also a sculptor and owned a construction company. He is survived by his wife and two children.
Our deepest condolences to the family of the deceased actor. Stay tuned for more news and updates.