Actor Tony Dow, best known for portraying Wally Cleaver on iconic family sitcom “Leave It to Beaver”, has died at age 77.
A statement on Dow’s Facebook page confirmed his passing.
“It is with an extremely heavy heart that we share with you the passing of our beloved Tony this morning,” reads the statement.
“The world has lost an amazing human being, but we are all richer for the memories that he has left us,” the statement adds. “From the warm reminiscences of Wally Cleaver to those of us fortunate enough to know him personally — thank you Tony. And thank you for the reflections of a simpler time, the laughter, the friendship and for the feeling that you were a big brother to us all. We will miss you.”
Dow played Wally, older brother of Theodore “Beaver” Cleaver (played by Jerry Mathers), throughout the series’ 1957-1963 run.
He would go on to reprise the role in the 1983 TV movie “Still the Beaver” and the revival series “The New Leave It to Beaver”, which ran from 1983-1989.
Subsequent screen roles including such TV series as “Dr. Kildare”, “My Three Sons”, “Lassie”, “Mod Squad”, “The Love Boat” and many others.
Dow also worked behind the camera as a producer, visual effects supervisor and director, directing episodes of TV series including “Harry and the Hendersons”, “Coach”, “Babylon 5” and “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine” and more.
In recent years, Dow had worked as a sculptor.
In May 2022, Dow revealed that he’d been diagnosed with cancer, but offered no further details.
Dow’s passing was met with an outpouring of condolences on social media, including a tribute from Beach Boys founder Brian Wilson, “Resident Alien” star Alan Tudyk and others.
Thinking of Tony Dow, who passed this morning. pic.twitter.com/NXr24ulpbb
— Brian Wilson (@BrianWilsonLive) July 26, 2022
Tony Dow built the beach house I lived in when I first moved to Los Angeles to shoot Firefly. Hell of a carpenter. https://t.co/EOA3nWm9hj
— alan tudyk (@AlanTudyk) July 26, 2022
Man, so sad to hear that a life-long TV favorite of mine, Tony Dow, Wally from “Leave It To Beaver” just passed away. R.I.P. Wally pic.twitter.com/jVTztZTTMa
— Jerry Lawler (@JerryLawler) July 26, 2022
— Tai Babilonia (@taiskates) July 26, 2022