Tony Dow, best known for playing Wally Cleaver

In a statement posted on his official Facebook page, his family confirmed the death of Tony Dow, known for the role of Wally Cleaver in the popular 1950s TV series “Leave It to Beaver.” He was 77 years old.

“Tony passed away earlier this morning and his loving family is by his side to see him on this journey,” the statement said. “We know the world is collectively saddened by the loss of this amazing man. He gave so much to all of us and was loved by so many.”

Cast from a program
Actors of the TV show “Leave it to the Beaver”, circa 1959. Clockwise (from top): Tony Dow, Hugh Beaumont, Jerry Mathers and Barbara Billingsley.

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Dow was in hospice care after recurring cancer. His death was widely reported on Tuesday after a previous Facebook post on his page said he had passed away. But the post was quickly deleted, and later replaced with a notice explaining that Dow’s wife “too stunned” asked to share the news with his fans too soon, and that “while Tony was not doing well, he hasn’t yet. It passed.”

“We received confirmation from Tony’s son Christopher of Tony’s death earlier this morning,” the new statement read on Wednesday.

Dear family, friends and fans, we have received confirmation from Christopher, son of Tony, that Tony passed away before that…

Written by Tony Dow on Wednesday, July 27, 2022

Previous posts said the actor was “in and out of hospital” after being diagnosed with cancer several months ago.

“He is bravely approaching this reality, but it is truly heartbreaking,” a statement about his diagnosis, published May 5, said.

Dow was only 12 years old when he began starring as older brother Wally Cleaver in the television series that depicts an idealized version of mid-century American life. “Leave It to the Beaver” debuted in 1957, and proved so popular that its reruns have been aired for decades. Dow reprized the role of Wally as an adult in the film and television series Reunion in the 1980s.

in Interview with Jim Axelrod of CBS News In January, Dow said, “The genius of ‘leave it to the beaver’ was that the show was written from a child’s point of view.”

Tony Dow on Post-Art Life – “Leave It to the Beaver”


He was married to his wife Lauren Dow for 42 years.

During his conversation with Axelrod, the actor shared that he and his wife turned to art, even praising his art — along with medication and therapy — for helping him deal with his depression.

“You’ve got it under control, pretty much,” he told Axelrod. “You know, I think people should take the leap of faith so they can feel better.”

Dow said he felt “sad to be famous at 12 years old or something, and then you grow up and become a real person, and nothing happens to you.”

Sadness turned into anger, causing the Dao to face a struggle that would mark the rest of his life.

“Anger, if not treated, turns anger into depression,” he said. But depression isn’t something you can say ‘Cheer up! “About. You know, it’s a very powerful thing. It has had a huge impact on my life.”

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