Tony Dow Dead, the actor and director best remembered for his role as Wally Cleaver in the classic television series “Leave It to Beaver,” is still alive, according to his family, despite a statement from his management company on Tuesday claiming he had died.
Dow’s official Facebook page announced the “death of our dear Tony this morning,” but the message was later removed. Follow stoptechy
How was Tony Dow dead?
Christopher Dow, the actor’s son, informed NBC News via text message Thursday afternoon that his father is still “on hospice and in his final hours.”
“He’s surrounded by family and friends,” Christopher Dow said. “We appreciate you remembering us in your prayers at this difficult time.”
In another Facebook post on Dow’s official page, the management team blamed the problem on miscommunication.
He was born in Hollywood, California, where his mother worked as a stuntwoman and Clara Bow’s double. He was a Junior Olympics diving champion with no showbiz experience. When he went along with a buddy and auditioned for and won the role of Wally.
“Leave It to Beaver” premiered in 1957 and lasted until 1963. The iconic black-and-white sitcom followed the exploits of rambunctious little Beaver, his sensible brother, Wally, their cunning buddy Eddie Haskell. Their patient but understanding parents, played by Barbara Billingsley and Hugh Beaumont.
Bob Mosher and Joe Connelly, the show’s creators, based the characters on their own children, including aspects like Wally’s continuous hair-combing that they witnessed in their own adolescents. As the episode ended, Wally was preparing to enter college, while Beaver was preparing to start high school.
Tony Dow dead
Dow returned in the 1980s to direct the TV movie “Still the Beaver” and the series “The New Leave It to Beaver,” for which he also authored five episodes and directed five.
While continuing to perform, he transitioned into writing, producing, and directing, and directed episodes of “Harry and the Hendersons,” “Coach,” “Babylon 5”, “Honey I Shrunk the Kids,” and “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.”
Dow went on to appear on shows such as “General Hospital,” “Mr. Novak,” “Never Too Young,” “Lassie,” “Love, American Style,” “Square Pegs,” and “The Love Boat,” where he portrayed himself. He also starred in the John Landis sketch comedy movie “The Kentucky Fried Movie” as himself in the 2003 comedy “Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star,” which included appearances by hundreds of former juvenile performers.
Dow struggled with depression in his twenties, creating the self-help film “Beating the Blues” to aid others and subsequently surviving two bouts with cancer. He also became a sculptor and established a building business.