Tony Dow, the actor known for playing Wally Cleaver on Leave It to Beaver, died on Wednesday (July 27). His death was mistakenly reported the previous day (July 26), when his wife, Lauren, believed he died and told his management team to release a statement.
That statement was retracted after Lauren realized Tony was still alive. His team posted an update on his official Facebook page, which said:
“This morning Tony’s wife Lauren, who was very distraught, had notified us that Tony had passed and asked that we notify all his fans. As we are sure you can understand, this has been a very trying time for her. We have since received a call from Tony’s daughter-in-law saying that while Tony is not doing well, he has not yet passed. “
A later update from Tony’s son, Christopher, stated that although Tony was still alive, he was in his final moments:
“This is a difficult time. Dad is at home, under hospice care, and in his last hours,” Christopher said.
Tony passed away on the morning of July 27. His team waited until the afternoon to release a statement about his death. The statement included some remarks from Christopher, who said:
“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.”
Two days after Tony passed away, Lauren took to his Facebook page to thank his fans for their support. She shared a short statement, in which she wrote:
“I’ve just lost the love of my life, a man who I cherished and adored. Some would say our life together has been like a fairy tale. We were devoted to each other for 45 years, and together we created a beautiful life. Your messages of love and goodwill inspire me and give me strength. Thank you for being the best fans and friends Tony and I could ever ask for.“
You can see Lauren’s post below.
As Lauren said, she and Tony were together for 45 years. They were married for 42 of those years. They just celebrated their anniversary on June 16.
Our hearts and prayers go out to Lauren, Christopher, and all of Tony’s loved ones during this difficult time. May he rest in peace.