Tony Dow’s family says the ‘Leave It to Beaver’ actor is in hospice, according to reports


Corrections & Clarifications: An obituary for “Leave It to Beaver” actor Tony Dow was published in error. Dow’s representatives initially confirmed his death to USA TODAY by email after sharing the news in a Facebook post that has since been deleted. USA TODAY has reached out to his representatives for more information.

“Leave It to Beaver” actor Tony Dow, who played Wally Cleaver in the popular sitcom, is in hospice, according to reports, less than three months after he announced that he had been diagnosed with cancer again. 

The 77-year-old actor and and his wife, Lauren Shulkind, put out a joint statement in May sharing the “very sad news” of his cancer diagnosis, though they didn’t disclose details. 

“Dear Friends & Fans of Tony Dow, I have some very sad news to share with you. Unfortunately, Tony has once again been diagnosed with cancer. He is approaching this reality so bravely, but it is truly heartbreaking,” the joint statement read. 

On “Leave It to Beaver,” which aired on CBS and then ABC from 1957 to 1963, Wally was the older son of Ward and June, a straighter contrast to the quirkier main character of Theodore “Beaver” Cleaver (Jerry Mathers). A popular jock, Wally was also ensnared in the schemes of his friend, the mischievous and smooth-talking Eddie Haskell (Ken Osmond).

Dow later reprised his role as Wally in a “Beaver” spinoff from 1983 to 1989. He also directed several episodes of 1993’s “Babylon 5” along with 1999 episodes of “Crusade” and “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.”

USA TODAY has reached out to the actor’s representatives for more information. Fox News, CBS News and TMZ report that Dow’s family says he is in hospice.

‘It is truly heartbreaking’: ‘Leave It to Beaver’ actor Tony Dow announces cancer diagnosis

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