Tony Dow, best known for playing Wally Cleaver on the classic sitcom Leave It to Beaver, has died. He was 77.
Dow garnered a lot of headlines over the past 24 hours after his death was announced in a statement via his Facebook page by his management but was then recanted by a family member. However, Dow’s son, Christopher, has confirmed his death saying in a statement, “Although this is a very sad day, I have comfort and peace that he is in a better place. He was the best Dad anyone could ask for. He was my coach, my mentor, my voice of reason, my best friend, my best man in my wedding, and my hero.”
A cause of death wasn’t disclosed in the statement, but back in May, Dow and his wife of 42 years, Lauren, shared in a joint statement on Facebook that the cancer he fought years prior had returned.
Dow appeared on all 234 episodes of Leave It to Beaver where he played Wally Cleaver, the older brother of the titular Theodore “Beaver” Cleaver, who was played by Jerry Mathers. The series ran for six seasons from 1957-1963, with the first season airing on CBS and the remaining five seasons airing on ABC.