‘Leave It to Beaver’ Star Tony Dow’s Wife Posted Heartbreaking Message Just Days Before His Death

by Caitlin Berard

UPDATE 4:40 PM ET: Tony Dow is reportedly still alive, per TMZ. The post from Dow’s Facebook page breaking the news this morning has now been removed. Dow’s manager reported that the actor’s wife, Lauren, “believed her husband was dead.” TMZ adds that Dow remains in hospice care.

On Tuesday (July 26), classic TV fans were devastated to learn that beloved Leave It to Beaver star Tony Dow had died at the age of 77 after a difficult battle with liver cancer, as confirmed via a heartbreaking statement from his team.

“It is with an extremely heavy heart that we share with you the passing of our beloved Tony this morning,” they wrote. “Tony was a beautiful soul – kind, compassionate, funny, and humble. It was truly a joy to just be around him.”

“His gentle voice and unpretentious manner was immediately comforting and you could not help but love him. The world has lost an amazing human being, but we are all richer for the memories that he has left us.”

“From the warm reminiscences of Wally Cleaver to those of us fortunate enough to know him personally – thank you, Tony,” the statement continued. “And thank you for the reflections of a simpler time, the laughter, the friendship, and for the feeling that you were a big brother to us all. We will miss you.”

Tony Dow revealed that he had been diagnosed with cancer in May of this year, and the last two months of his life were a “rollercoaster of ups and downs,” according to those closest to him.

‘Leave It to Beaver’ Star Tony Dow’s Wife’s Heartbreaking Post

The weeks before he ultimately lost the fight against cancer were incredibly difficult. Tony Dow and his wife, Lauren Shulkind, however, were always uplifted by the never-ending encouragement from fans.

“He and Lauren have been trying to maintain a positive spirit,” Tony Dow’s team wrote on Facebook. “Though at times this proves difficult. The outpouring of love and concern from all of you certainly helps to ease this. And for that we thank you.”

Tony Dow’s wife Lauren remained by his side until the very end. Just a few days ago, she posted a touching message to her husband that is now nothing short of heart-wrenching.

Along with a decades-old image of herself and Tony, she reminisced about their wedding day. “On June 16th, 1980 we were married in Laguna Beach among the hermit crabs and tide pools. 42 years ago!” Lauren Shulkind wrote.

“Now we’re having health challenges. Do keep Tony in your thoughts. He has another Immunotherapy infusion this coming week. Hugs and kisses. Lauren and Tony.”

Though nothing can touch the grief experienced by Lauren Shulkind following the death of her husband, friends and fans around the world are shattered by the loss as well. “RIP Tony Dow. Leave It To Beaver is one of my favorite shows. I watched it with my grandparents all the time,” one fan wrote.

“Man, so sad to hear that a life-long TV favorite of mine, Tony Dow, Wally from Leave It to Beaver just passed away. R.I.P. Wally,” said WWE legend Jerry Lawler.