Gee, Wally: Premature word of Tony Dow’s death was miscommunication, managers say

Tony Dow, ‘leave It To Beaver’ Star, Dead At 77
Members of the original cast of the "Leave It To Beaver" television series paused during filming of a TV special, "Still The Beaver," in Los Angeles on Dec. 10, 1982. From left to right are Ken Osmond, Tony Dow, Babara Billingsley and Jerry Mathers. (Associated Press photo)

UNDATED (WKBT) — “Leave It to Beaver” star Tony Dow is still alive, contrary to a death announcement posted on his official Facebook page Tuesday morning.

The 77-year-old actor and director’s management team announced his death on Facebook, saying, “It is with an extremely heavy heart that we share with you the passing of our beloved Tony this morning.”

Dow, who played Wally Cleaver on the iconic ’50s sitcom “Leave It to Beaver, was diagnosed with cancer May 5 and now is in hospice care, family members said.

His wife, Lauren Shulkind, believed he had died and passed word to his management team, according to an updated Facebook post Tuesday afternoon.

“This morning Tony’s wife Lauren, who was very distraught, had notified us that Tony had passed and asked that we notify all his fans,” says the updated announcement from his managers, Frank Bilotta and Renee James.

“As we are sure you can understand, this has been a very trying time for her. We have since received a call from Tony’s daughter-in-law saying that while Tony is not doing well, he has not yet passed,” according to the update.

“Tony’s son Christopher and his daughter-in-law Melissa have also been by his side comforting him, and we will keep you posted on any future updates,” the new posting says.

The original Facebook post has been deleted.

Christopher Down told reporters that his father in his “last hours.”

Among those shocked by the original announcement was co-star Jerry Mathers, who played the titular character, Theodore “Beaver” Cleaver.

“It is with the utmost sadness I learned this morning of my co-star and lifelong friend Tony Dow’s passing,” Mathers wrote on Facebook.

“He was not only my brother on tv, but in many ways in life as well. Tony leaves an empty place in my heart that won’t be filled. 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,” wrote the 74-year-old Mathers.

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