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Leave it to Beaver star Tony Dow diagnosed with cancer: Actor played Wally Cleaver


The latest: Leave It to Beaver actor Tony Dow, 77, said on Thursday he had been diagnosed with cancer. The actor was photographed in 2018 in Connecticut

Leave It to Beaver actor Tony Dow announced on Thursday that he had been diagnosed with cancer.

The Los Angeles native, 77, and his wife Lauren said they were heartbroken by the diagnosis, TMZ reported, and were grateful for the prayers of fans ahead of time.

Dow did not name the type of cancer he was diagnosed with, the outlet reported.

Dow faced health issues in August 2021 when he landed in a hospital while battling a case of pneumonia, TMZ reported, noting he had to spend 24 hours in the emergency room due to an increase in the Delta strain of coronavirus at the time.

Lauren told TMZ that Dow does not have COVID-19, as he has tested negative for the virus five times.

“On behalf of Tony and myself, we thank you for your concern for him,” she told the outlet.

Dow starred as Wally Cleaver in Leave It to Beaver in the show’s 234 episodes from 1957 to 1963 alongside Jerry Mathers and late stars Hugh Beaumont, Barbara Billingsley and Ken Osmond.

Dow starred as Wally Cleaver in Leave It to Beaver in all 234 episodes of the series from 1957 to 1963

Dow starred as Wally Cleaver in Leave It to Beaver in all 234 episodes of the series from 1957 to 1963

The actor who played Wally Cleaver appeared on the famous show with Jerry Mathers (front) and late stars Hugh Beaumont and Barbara Billingsley who played June and Ward (back)

The actor who played Wally Cleaver appeared on the famous show with Jerry Mathers (front) and late stars Hugh Beaumont and Barbara Billingsley who played June and Ward (back)

Dow and his wife Lauren posed together in a photo in 2018

Dow and his wife Lauren posed together in a photo in 2018

Dow reprized the role of Wally Cleaver for the 1983 TV movie Still the Beaver, a 1987 episode of The Love Boat, and the new TV series Leave It to Beaver from 1983 to 1989.

He has also appeared on TV shows such as Lassie, Adam-12, Mod Squad, Knight Rider, Charles in Charge and Murder, She Wrote.

The TV veteran has also worked extensively as a director, having helmed several episodes of shows including Harry and the Hendersons, Babylon 5, Swamp Thing and Honey, I Shrunk the Kids: The TV Show.

In addition to his performing endeavors, Dow has focused on sculpture for decades, with his work featured in art exhibitions around the world, according to his website.

Earlier this year, Dow spoke with TSWT Sunday Morning, saying he battled depression after being typecast after finding fame early in life as Wally on Leave It to Beaver.

“I was going to have to live with this for the rest of my life,” he said. “I thought: this is not fair. You know? I mean, I would like to do other stuff. I like to do interesting things. You know, it’s sad to be famous at 12 or something, and then you grow up and become a real person, and nothing happens to you.

He explained how he got angry, adding that “anger, if left untreated, anger turns into depression.”

‘Depression is not something you can say ‘Well done!’ around, he said. “You know, it’s a very powerful thing. And that had a big effect on my life.

Dow said that in addition to going to therapy and taking medication, her sculpting work had a therapeutic impact in her battle with depression.

“I have it pretty much under control.” he said. “You know, I think people should take the leap of faith that they can feel better.”

Dow and Mathers were reunited in 2010 in Los Angeles at a PaleyFest event honoring the series

Dow and Mathers were reunited in 2010 in Los Angeles at a PaleyFest event honoring the series

Dow was pictured reading in a photo posted to his Instagram by his wife Lauren

Dow was pictured reading in a photo posted to his Instagram by his wife Lauren

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