The 77-year-old who played Wally Cleaver on the long-running sitcom was recently diagnosed with cancer.
Former child star Tony Dow best known for his role as Wally Cleaver on Leave It to Beaver, which aired for six seasons from 1957 to 1963 is currently in hospice care. It was erroneously reported that the actor had died but family members reached out to media outlets to confirm that the actor was “still alive but in his last hours.” The actor's son confirmed to Fox News Digital. "This is a difficult time," Christopher Dow said. "Yes, he is still alive, but in his last hours; under hospice care."
On Tuesday, Dow's management team said that the actor had died in a Facebook post that has since been deleted. Wife Lauren Dow confirmed to Eyewitness News that she had inferred that the actor had passed away to people close to her based on some health issues that occurred overnight, but it was a miscommunication.
Back in May, the 77-year-old was recently diagnosed with cancer and his wife of 42 years, Lauren, announced the news of his diagnosis on Facebook. In a brief letter to fans, the couple wrote: 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. Later, the actor shared an update, saying that he is "beginning Immunotherapy and it seems to be working. I can now get up and walk without assistance and feel improvement every day." He also thanked his fans for their support during this difficult time, writing: All the thoughts, cards and good wishes have had a tremendous effect on me and I’m appreciative for all the caring you’ve expressed. It’s amazing how the world could change with more love and respect. Let’s try our best to “make this world a better place” for our friends, families, and even our adversaries. But it seems the actor's health has been declining since. It has not been revealed what type of cancer the actor is suffering from.
Dow found fame at the young age of 12 when he appeared on Leave It to Beaver. The actor openly admitted to experiencing undiagnosed depression from age 20 to age 40 at a time when celebrities often did not speak candidly about mental health challenges. As an honorary speaker at a convention for the National Depressive and Manic-Depressive Association, he said back in 1993, "I realize there's a perceived irony about this," he told the Baltimore Sun of his depression. "You know, the fact that I was in a TV program that epitomized the supposed ideal world of the '50s, and here I'm suffering from depression. But I'm just one of millions."
Film producer, director, sculptor, & actor Tony Dow was #BornOnThisDay, April 13, 1945. Known for his role as "Wally" in the TV series Leave It to Beaver (1957 -'63).In the 1990s, suffering from #depression Dow "came out", to promote helping others to seek treatment. 77 yrs young pic.twitter.com/YFH548ZspS— Dr. Buzz aka J. Buzz Von Ornsteiner (@DrBuzz_Forensic) April 13, 2022
Cover Image Source: (L) IMDb (R) Photo by Frederick M. Brown | Getty Images