Tony Dow, best known for playing Wally Cleaver in ‘Leave it to Beaver’, was believed to be dead at 77, after battling liver cancer, as his agent told Washington Post. 

However, the star of the sitcom in the golden era of American television has had several health troubles over the years. Here’s a look at Tony Dow’s illnesses and hospitalizations over the years. 

Cancer and its return 

Dow was diagnosed with cancer in May 2022 but this wasn’t his first time. In the official announcement, Dow and his wife Lauren, said that he had “again been diagnosed with cancer”. 

The statement added, “He is approaching this reality so bravely, but it is truly heartbreaking. We want to thank you in advance for your caring thoughts.” 

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A couple of weeks before the news of his supposed death, Dow’s management team had posted “a rollercoaster of ups and downs as Tony continues his fight with cancer. Tony has been in and out of the hospital with various complications and treatments.” 

Pneumonia and COVID scare 

Dow was hospitalized with pneumonia in 2021 and was tested for COVID when the Delta variant was doing the rounds, but they came back negative. 

His agent, Frank Bilotta, said in a statement “Tony has been diagnosed with pneumonia but is in good spirits and is doing well. He was up walking around yesterday and his doctors think he should be able to return home within the week”. 

Clinical depression 

Dow battled clinical depression for a while and even appeared in self-help videos chronicling his struggle with the condition. 

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The actor advocated mental health for several years and a testimonial from the National Depressive and Manic Depressive Convention (NDMDA) reads: 

“We were very impressed with Tony’s message of hope, regarding his battle with depression and how he manages it. He was down-to-earth and relatable and when he talked about the stigma associated with depression, it struck me, ‘If this can happen to Wally Cleaver, it can happen to anyone’.”