‘Leave It To Beaver’ Star Tony Dow Dies One Day After Managers Mistakenly Announced His Passing

The "Leave It To Beaver" star Tony Dow has died just one day after his managers mistakenly announced his passing.

Tony Dow, the Hollywood star who played Wally Cleaver on the iconic 1950s sitcom “Leave It To Beaver,” died on Wednesday one day after his death was mistakenly reported by his management team. He was 77 years-old. 

Backstory: Update: ‘Leave It To Beaver’ Star Tony Dow In Hospice Care Weeks After Devastating Diagnosis

Dow Passes Away At 77

“We have received confirmation from Christopher, Tony’s son, that Tony passed away earlier this morning, with his loving family at his side to see him through this journey,” his management team said in a statement, according to Daily Mail

Dow’s managers had mistakenly announced his death on Tuesday after his wife thought he had died while in hospice care as he battled cancer. Fans were overjoyed hours later when it was announced that Dow had not actually died, though his family made sure to add that the actor did not have much time left, and would likely still die very soon. 

“This is a difficult time,” Christopher said on Tuesday as he let fans know that his father had not yet died. “Dad is at home, under hospice care, and in his last hours. My wife and I are by his side along with many friends that have visited. He has a fighting heart.”

Confusion Over Dow’s Death

Dow’s manager told TMZ that the confusion on Tuesday stemmed from the star’s “very distraught” wife Lauren Sulkind, who had thought her husband had died when he was in fact still breathing.

“I just phoned Lauren Dow to offer condolences and she said someone has made a terrible mistake,” television producer Jay Kernis said on Tuesday. “Tony is with hospice and breathing. Still alive. I know, what a strange day!”

ABC7 entertainment reporter George Pennacchio cleared up the confusion by saying that Lauren was “understandably distraught and grief-stricken about what’s been going on with Tony’s health battle these past months.”

Lauren said that she felt “foolish” after the mistaken death announcement, adding that “it is of my own doing.”

Related: New Details Emerge About Death Of Hank Williams Jr.’s Wife Mary Jane Thomas

Beaver Pays Tribute To Dow 

After the incorrect death announcement, Dow’s “Leave It To Beaver” costar Jerry Mathers, who played the title character on the show, said that his death “leaves an empty place in my heart.”

“He was always the kindest, most generous, gentle, loving, sincere, and humble man, that it was my honor and privilege to be able to share memories together with for 65 years,” Mathers added of Dow. “Tony was so grateful for all of the love and support from our fans across the world.”

“My wife Teresa and I send our deepest condolences to his wife Lauren, his family and to all of those who knew and loved him,” he continued. “The world may have lost a star today, but the heavens gained another.”

Dow had announced his cancer diagnosis just two months ago, and he never specified what type of cancer he was fighting. When he wasn’t acting, Dow was a talented sculptor who was one of three sculptors from the United States whose art was exhibited at the Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts exhibition at the Louvre in Paris back in 2008. 

Watch Dow talk more about his sculpting earlier this year in the video below.

Dow is survived by his wife Lauren, who he was married to for 42 years, and by his son Christopher from a previous marriage. Please join us in saying a prayer for his family during this difficult time. 

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