Tony Dow, 77, the “Leave It To Beaver” star, died on Wednesday, the day after his management team made a premature death announcement.
Dow’s management team made a statement on the actor’s Facebook page confirming he died by his family’s side Wednesday morning. According to the page, his death was confirmed by his son.
“We know that the world is collectively saddened by the loss of this incredible man,” the statement reads, “He gave so much to us all and was loved by so many.”
Dow’s wife, Lauren Shulkind, had initially believed her husband had died and later informed his management team, who mistakenly announced Dow’s death on his Facebook page on Tuesday. Within hours the team removed the post after Dow’s son told them his father was still alive at home receiving hospice care.
Dow’s Facebook page includes a statement from his son.
“Although this is a very sad day — I have comfort and peace that he is in a better place,” he said.
“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. My wife said something powerful and shows the kind of man he was. She said: “Tony was such a kind man. He had such a huge heart and I’ve never heard Tony say a bad or negative thing about anyone.”
The accidental announcement came just over two months after his wife, Lauren Shulkind, announced the return of his cancer on May 5.
TMZ reported Dow had been diagnosed with liver cancer in May. A spokesperson for the family told the news outlet Dow’s cancer battle was “a rollercoaster of ups and downs,” noting he was in and out of the hospital with various complications and treatments.
The Washington Post reports Dow’s manager, Frank Bilotta, said the cause was complications from liver cancer.
Dow, born in Hollywood in 1945, became one of American television’s biggest household names when he starred as Wally Cleaver on “Leave It To Beaver.” The actor appeared in all 234 episodes of the classic show, which ran from 1957 to 1963. He would later reprise his role 20 years later in “Still the Beaver” and on “The New Leave It To Beaver,” which aired from 1983 to 1989.
The actor also found success working on “Never Too Late,” “My Three Sons,” and “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.”
In addition to his acting career, Dow served as a director for television and film projects, including the well-known “Coach” sitcom and the movie “Harry and the Hendersons.”
Beyond the actor’s well-known work in the film industry, Dow served in the Nation Guard from 1965 to 1968.
Dow’s management team offered condolences to Dow’s family and has requested privacy at this time in their time of mourning.
“Our heart goes out to Tony’s wife, Lauren, who will miss her soulmate of 42 years…To his son, Christopher, who will dearly miss his father, who was also his best friend…to his daughter-in-law, Melissa, who loved him like her own father…To his Granddaughter, Tyla, who will undoubtedly carry on her Grandfather’s kind soul, To his Brother Dion and Sister-in-Law, Judy, and to all of his extended family and friends.”
“Words cannot express how much we will all feel his absence but will cherish the memories he left to each and every one of us.”
Daily Wire reporter Dillon Burroughs contributed to this report.