republican debate

‘Leave It to Beaver’ star Tony Dow diagnosed with cancer: ‘Truly heartbreaking’

Tony Dow, seen here in 2009, announced news on social media. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)

(NEXSTAR) – Tony Dow, who starred as Wally Cleaver on “Leave It to Beaver,” has been diagnosed with cancer, he and his wife, Lauren Shulkind, announced Thursday.

Tony Dow and his “Leave It to Beaver” co-star Jerry Mathers pose for a promotional photo circa 1957. (Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

In a statement shared to social media, Dow and Shulkind suggested that Dow had battled cancer before, though they did not specify which type.

“I have some very sad news to share with you,” they wrote in a message addressed to friends and fans via Facebook. “Unfortunately, Tony has once again been diagnosed with cancer. He is approaching this reality so bravely, but it is truly heartbreaking. We want to thank you in advance for your caring thoughts.”

Dow, 77, is perhaps best known for playing Wally Cleaver, brother to Theodore “Beaver” Cleaver, on “Leave It to Beaver” between 1957 and 1963. Dow appeared in all 234 episodes, as well as the 1983 TV reunion film “Still the Beaver” and the sequel series “The New Leave It to Beaver,” which ran for four seasons in the mid-‘80s. He also made appearances in popular shows including “My Three Sons,” “Lassie” and “Adam-12.”

In addition to acting, Dow has directed television episodes of “The New Leave It to Beaver,” “Harry and the Hendersons,” “Coach” and “Babylon 5,” as well as nearly a dozen other series, according to IMDb.

News of Dow’s diagnosis follows his hospitalization for pneumonia in Aug. 2021. At the time, his agent told The Hollywood Reporter that he was “in good spirits” despite the diagnosis.

Entertainment Headlines

Copyright 2023 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Trending on NewsNation