The statement announcing that actor Tony Dow, forever immortalized as Wally Cleaver on Leave It to Beaver, had died has been retracted after his wife mistakenly believed he had passed.
On Tuesday, a statement put out on Dow’s verified Facebook account stated that he had died after being placed on hospice care in his battle with cancer. Dow’s management team later retracted that statement after being given false information from the actor’s wife.
“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,” the update post said. “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. 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,” it continued.
Though Dow has not passed away and is still receiving hospice care at home, his son Christopher Dow told the media that Tony is “in his last hours,” according to Deadline.
“This is a difficult time. Dad is at home, under hospice care, and in his last hours. My wife and I are by his side along with many friends that have visited. He has a fighting heart,” Christopher Dow wrote in a Facebook post late Tuesday.
During the first announcement of his death, Dow’s Leave It To Beaver co-star and lifelong friend Jerry Mathers remembered him as a great brother.
“He was not only my brother on tv, but in many ways in life as well,” Mathers wrote on Facebook. “Tony leaves an empty place in my heart that won’t be filled.”
Various media outlets that first reported on Dow’s death have since changed their headlines to say is still alive.
This marks the second instance in a relatively short period of time that a famous person has been pronounced dead before they had actually passed. In January 2021, actress Tanya Roberts, who played Midge on That 70’s Show had been pronounced dead by her partner one day before she had been declared officially died by the hospital.