‘Leave It to Beaver’ Star Dies at 77

Tony Dow.
Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP/Shutterstock

It’s all up to BeaverTony Dow, the actor who played Wally Cleaver’s role on the sitcom of 1950s, has died at the age of 77.

The late actor’s death was announced Tuesday, July 26, via his official Facebook page.

“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,” his management team wrote, per NBC News. “It was truly a joy to just be around him. His calm voice and unpretentious demeanour were immediately comforting. You couldn’t help but to love him. The world has lost an amazing human being, but we are all richer for the memories that he has left us.”

The post continued: “From the warm reminiscences of Wally Cleaver to those of us fortunate enough to know him personally — thank you Tony. Thank you for sharing your memories of simpler times, laughter, friendship and the feeling of being a big brother with us all. We will miss you.”

Dow’s death comes two months after his wife, Lauren Shulkind, announced that her husband had “once again been diagnosed with cancer.”

“Dear friends and fans of Tony Dow, I have some very sad news to share with you,” she wrote via his official Facebook at the time, Variety noted. “Unfortunately, Tony has once again been diagnosed with cancer. It is truly heartbreaking, even though he is bravely facing this reality. We are grateful for your kind words and support. Our Love, Lauren & Tony.”

Dow portrayed Beaver’s older brother, Wally, on the 1950s sitcom from 1957 to 1963. He re-enacted the beloved role six more times. The New Leave It to BeaverFrom 1983 to 1989, it aired on the Still the Beaver TV movie in the early ‘80s.

He was also the older Cleaver brother. The California native continued to get TV roles over the next several decades, including a starring part in 153 episodes. Never Too Young in the mid-‘60s. In the ‘70s and ‘80s, Dow made appearances on Lassie, My Three Sons, Mr. Novak, Murder, She WroteAnd Charles in Charge.

The Freddy’s Nightmares alum acted sporadically in the ‘90s and 2000s, with a two-episode arc on Diagnosis Murder1999 and a part of the David SpadeComedic comedy Dicky Roberts: Former Child starIn 2003. His final acting appearances were in 2015’s episode and 2016’s episode of Suspense.

Dow is survived by his son and wife.

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