After an original false report, actor Tony Dow died July 27, 2022 at the age of 77. While no official cause was given, Dow was under hospice care and was being treated for cancer.
While he appeared in a number productions, Dow was best known as big brother Wally on the television sitcom “Leave it to Beaver”.
TV brother Jerry Mathers – Beaver – spoke on Dow saying, “Tony was not only my brother on TV, but in many ways in life as well. He leaves an empty place in my heart that won’t be filled.
Tony was always the kindest, most generous, gentle, loving, sincere, and humble man, and it was my honor and privilege to be able to share memories together with him for 65 years.”
With the death of Dow, Mathers and Rusty Stevens – Larry Mondello – are the only original cast members still alive.
He made his acting debut on “Leave it to Beaver” in 1957 at the age of 12. He went on to appear in over three dozen productions including an episode of the daytime drama “General Hospital”, “My Three Sons”, “Mr. Novak”,”Never too Young”, “Lassie”, “Adam-12”, “Mod Squad”, “Emergency”, “Knight Rider”, “The New Leave it to Beaver”, and his final appearance in “Suspense”.
Dow made his directorial debut in 1988 on the rebooted “Leave it to Beaver” series where he directed five episodes. From there he went on to direct in over a dozen productions including “Harry and the Henderson”, “Coach”, “Babylon 5”, and and episode of “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine”.
He was born Tony Lee Dow on April 13, 1945 in Hollywood. A native of Hollywood, Dow followed in the family business. His mother was a stuntwoman who served at the double for silent film star Clara Bow. During the 1960’s Dow spent three years as a member of the U.S. National Guard.
Long before it was deemed an acceptable practice, Dow spoke openly of his clinical depression and even made a number “self help” videos.
In recent years Dow had turned his hand to another artistic form – sculpting. In 2008 one of his bronze sculptures was on display at The Louie in Paris as a part of the Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts.
Dow is survived by his wife of over 40 years Lauren, brother Dion, son Christopher and daughter-in-law Melissa.
feature photo credit: Tony Dow 1958.jpg