The post annoucing his death has since been deleted by his management.
Tony Dow, an actor, and director best known for his role as elder brother Wally Cleaver on Leave It to Beaver, died, according to a statement posted on his verified Facebook account Tuesday morning. Dow's management team has since withdrawn the message, per TMZ. While under hospice care, he is nonetheless alive and breathing. Tony's manager claims that Tony's distressed wife, Lauren, assumed her husband was dead and informed his management that led to the confusion. His son, Christopher, told the outlet, "Dad is at home, under hospice care, and in his last hours. My wife and I are by his side along with many friends that have visited. He has a fighting heart."
In May 2022, Tony was diagnosed with cancer. According to a recent report on his cancer struggle, "A rollercoaster of ups and downs as Tony continues his fight with cancer. Tony has been in and out of the hospital with various complications and treatments."
Tony Dow, Who Played Wally Cleaver on ‘Leave It to Beaver,’ Still Alive Despite Representatives Confirming Death https://t.co/nsOUNgAajc— Variety (@Variety) July 26, 2022
The post that has been deleted read, "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 were 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." The statement further said, "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 shot to fame at the age of 12 when he was cast in the soon-to-be-hit comedy Leave It to Beaver. Dow became a household figure to millions of viewers while playing the part that helped develop the paradigm of a suburban nuclear family. From 1957 through 1963, the show aired.
Actor @TonyDowOfficial played Wally Cleaver, the polite, trustworthy "All-American" big brother on the classic sitcom. But for years Tony Dow was dogged by feelings of depression. https://t.co/qyrMh45UVl Tony Dow on life beyond "Leave It to Beaver" pic.twitter.com/qrzcOIedhE— CBS Sunday Morning 🌞 (@CBSSunday) January 17, 2022
Dow said in a January interview with CBS Sunday Morning that he was given the role after auditioning on the spur of the moment. He said, "It's sad to be famous at 12 years old or something, and then you grow up and become a real person, and nothing's happened for you." Dow, who claimed to have suffered from misdiagnosed depression from the age of 20 to the age of 40, spoke out about his mental health issues for decades, long before it was normal for celebrities to do so publicly. Dow's family has not revealed the type of cancer the actor is battling, per TMZ. He was hospitalized in last August with pneumonia, which the family said was unrelated to COVID.
Cover Image Source: Getty Images/Frederick M. Brown