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Leave It to Beaver’s Tony Dow In Hospice, Not Dead (As Previously Reported)

Photo: Larry Marano/Getty Images

Tony Dow, who played older brother Wally on the seminal sitcom Leave It to Beaver, has not died, as previously reported by several outlets. The news of his passing was incorrectly shared in a since-deleted post from his management team on his Facebook page on July 26. “It is with an extremely heavy heart that we share with you the passing of our beloved Tony this morning,” it read, per Variety. “Tony was a beautiful soul — kind, compassionate, funny and humble.” Dow’s wife, Lauren, clarified to ABC7 that the actor is in hospice but still alive. Dow’s official Facebook page had posted an update from Dow and his wife that a previously identified cancer had returned. In May and June, the couple posted sporadic updates about his immunotherapy treatment. On July 20, Dow’s management wrote that he “has been in and out of the hospital with various complications and treatments.”

Dow’s Beaver co-star Jerry Mathers was one of several of the actor’s former colleagues to publicly mourn Dow on July 26, posting to Facebook after learning of his “lifelong friend Tony Dow’s passing. He was not only my brother on tv, but in many ways in life as well. Tony leaves an empty place in my heart that won’t be filled. He was always the kindest, most generous, gentle, loving, sincere, and humble man, that it was my honor and privilege to be able to share memories together with for 65 years.”

Born in Los Angeles in 1945, Dow began his acting career with his most memorable role — playing Wally Cleaver for more than 200 episodes between 1957 and 1963. After Leave It to Beaver, Dow served in the U.S. National Guard and continued acting in guest roles on series including Square Pegs and The Mod Squad. Dow returned to the role of Wally in the 1980s sitcom The New Leave It to Beaver, which ran for more than 100 episodes and focused on Beaver and Wally’s adult lives with families of their own. Dow was also a TV director and sculptor, working with burlwood and bronze and exhibiting at the Louvre in 2008.

Leave It to Beaver’s Tony Dow Is in Hospice, Not Dead