Tony Dow dead at 77: Leave It To Beaver actor passes away from cancer weeks after revealing diagnosis, family confirms


LEAVE It To Beaver actor Tony Dow has died at 77 – just 24 hours after his wife prematurely announced his death.

Dow‘s son officially confirmed his father’s death on Wednesday after saying he was under hospice care and in his “final hours”.

Leave It To Beaver star Tony Dow has died at 77AP

GettyTony Dow played Wally leaver in the CBS comedy Leave It To Beaver[/caption]

Instagram / Tony DowTony Dow’s wife, Lauren Shulkind, prematurely announced his death on Tuesday[/caption]

“Although this is a very sad day, I have comfort and peace that he is in a better place,” the actor’s son, Christopher, said.

“He was the best Dad anyone could ask for. He was my coach, my mentor, my voice of reason, my best friend, my best man in my wedding, and my hero.

“My wife said something powerful and shows the kind of man he was. She said: ‘Tony was such a kind man. He had such a huge heart and I’ve never heard Tony say a bad or negative thing about anyone.’”

The actor’s team said they received “confirmed” information from Christopher concerning Dow’s death.

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‘We have received confirmation from Christopher, Tony’s son, that Tony passed away earlier this morning, with his loving family at his side to see him through this journey,” Dow’s team posted on Facebook.

“We know that the world is collectively saddened by the loss of this incredible man. He gave so much to us all and was loved by so many.

“One fan said it best—’It is rare when there is a person who is so universally loved like Tony.’

“Our heart goes out to Tony’s wife, Lauren, who will miss her soulmate of 42 years. To his son, Christopher, who will dearly miss his father, who was also his best friend.

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“To his daughter-in-law, Melissa, who loved him like her own father. To his Granddaughter, Tyla, who will undoubtedly carry on her Grandfather’s kind soul.”

The statement continued: “To his Brother Dion and Sister-in-Law, Judy, and to all of his extended family and friends.

“Words cannot express how much we will all feel his absence, but will cherish the memories he left to each and every one of us.”

Dow’s team mistakenly announced his death on Tuesday, telling TMZ that his wife “believed her husband was dead – and told his management”.

Lauren Shulkind said that based on some health issues that occurred the night before Tuesday, she told several people close to her that her husband had died.

The actor’s wife said she’s been distraught and grief-stricken about his health battle for the past couple of months.

Despite the commotion, Dow died on Wednesday after being in hospice care at his home.

In the since-deleted Facebook post, Dow’s team posted: “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. It was truly a joy to just be around him. His gentle voice and unpretentious manner was immediately comforting and you could not help but love him.

“The world has lost an amazing human being, but we are all richer for the memories that he has left us. From the warm reminiscences of Wally Cleaver to those of us fortunate enough to know him personally – thank you Tony.

“And thank you for the reflections of a simpler time, the laughter, the friendship and for the feeling that you were a big brother to us all. We will miss you.”

Dow’s and his wife announced his liver cancer resurgence on May 5.

“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.”


Later that month, the actor updated his fans on his health status, saying his immunotherapy “seemed to be working”.

“Hi Guys … how are y”ou all doing? As you probably know, I’ve had some health issues recently and I wanted to keep you up-to-date. I’m beginning Immunotherapy and it seems to be working,” the Leave It To Beaver actor shared on Facebook.

“I can now get up and walk without assistance and feel improvement every day. I have a big day coming up on the 31st with the doctor and am hoping for a good report.

“Enough of that stuff … I really wanted to touch base and thank all of you who have been thinking, praying and hoping for my good recovery.”

He continued: “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.”

Dow, who celebrated his 77th birthday in April, was best known for playing Beaver’s older brother Wally Cleaver during the entire TV run of Leave it To Beaver.

The actor appeared in all 234 episodes of the series.

Dow also starred in shows including The Greatest Show on Earth, Never Too Young, My Three Sons, Dr. Kildare and Lassie.

From 1983 to 1989, Dow revived his iconic role as Wally opposite Jerry Mathers in The New Leave It to Beaver.

In 2017, Dow reflected on his acting career and celebrated Leave It To Beaver’s 60th anniversary in an interview with the Arizona Republic.

“It’s nice to be remembered any way you can, so I have accomplished that,” Dow said at the time.

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“I’m much more appreciative of the show. I was not unappreciative, but I was always a little rebellious.”

Dow is survived by his wife, Lauren, his son Christopher, daughter-in-law, Melissa, his brother Dion and sister-in-law, Judy.

Source: The Sun – Read More

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