statements made on Facebook by Dow’s representatives were false; Dow is still alive and well today. Variety also printed an obituary after verifying the death with Dow’s staff and publishing the Facebook post. Variety has contacted his representatives again for further information.
His son Christopher Dow just posted the following on the family’s Facebook page: “This is a difficult moment. At this point, my father is under hospice care at home. My wife and I, as well as many of his friends, are by his side. “He’s got a tenacious spirit.”
Previously, Tony Dow, the actor and director best remembered for his role as Jerry Mathers’ elder brother Wally Cleaver in the beloved television sitcom “Leave It to Beaver,” passed away. He was 77 years old.
On Tuesday morning, his official Facebook page announced that he had died. The demise of our dear Tony this morning has left us with a sorrowful heart to share with you. The note from Tony’s management team said, “Tony was a lovely soul — kind, empathetic, hilarious, and modest.”
When Dow was diagnosed with cancer years ago, he and his wife Lauren disclosed in May that it had returned.
“He was not just my brother on-screen, but in many ways in life as well,” Mathers said on Facebook. Tony’s departure has left a void in my life that I will never be able to fill. Throughout the 65 years we shared our lives with he was the kindest, most kind, gentle loving, sincere and modest guy I had ever known.”
Dow was born in Hollywood, where his mother was an early stuntwoman and Clara Bow’s doppelganger. He was a Junior Olympic diving champion, but he didn’t have much experience in the entertainment industry when he accompanied a buddy to an audition and ended up earning the role of Wally. The television series “Leave it to Beaver” debuted in 1957 and lasted until 1963. Sitcom based on idealised family of the time featured Beaver, Wally, Eddie Haskell and their long-suffering but sympathetic parents played by Barbara Billingsley and Hugh Beaumont in the iconic black and white sitcom.
As a result, the show’s creators, Bob Mosher and Joe Connelly, modelled the characters on their own children, including Wally’s habit of constantly brushing his hair. As the series came to a close, Wally was preparing to head off to college and Beaver was gearing up for his senior year of high school.
“Still the Beaver” and “The New Leave It to Beaver,” which he also directed five episodes and authored one for, were both made in the 1980s.
Along with his work as an actor, he transitioned into directing and writing for shows including Harry and the Hendersons, Coach, Babylon 5, Honey I Shrunk the Kids, and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.
“Leave It to Beaver” was followed by appearances on General Hospital, “Mr. Novak,” “Never Too Young,” “Lassie, Love, American Style” Square Pegs and The Love Boat, in which he portrayed himself. Several former child actors made cameo appearances in his 2003 comedy “Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star.” He also participated in John Landis sketch comedy “The Kentucky Fried Movie.”
A self-help film called “Beating the Blues” was made by Dow in his early 20s to aid people who were suffering from depression. He later survived two cancer treatments. He also became a sculptor and began a building business.
His wife, Lauren, and two children are all that remain of him.