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"Leave It to Beaver" brother Wally, Tony Dow dies | Entertainment

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Los Angeles (AP) — Tony Dow, the Wally Cleaver of Sitcom’s Leave It to Beaver, died Wednesday, helping to create a popular and lasting image of American teenagers in the 1950s and 1960s. rice field. He was 77 years old.

Frank Vilotta, who represented Dow in his work as a sculptor, confirmed his death by email to the Associated Press.

Although no cause was identified, Dow announced that he was receiving hospice care and was diagnosed with prostate and gallbladder cancer in May.

A post on Dow’s Facebook page on Tuesday reported prematurely that he had died, but his wife and management later deleted the post and explained that it was erroneously announced.

Dow’s Wally was an often frustrating but essentially loving brother who was constantly kicking out the title character, Theodore “Beaver” Cleaver, played by Jerry Mathers.

Dow was born and raised in the Hollywood section of Los Angeles — his mother was a stunt woman who doubled as silent movie star Clara Bow — but his parents didn’t push him into show business.

He was doing a little stage acting and appeared in a pair of pilots. After participating in a public casting call, he played a role in defining his career as Wally.

Dow played its role in six seasons from 1957 to 1963 and over 200 episodes on CBS and ABC’s Golden Time, and then in over 100 episodes in the 1980s in a syndicated sequel series.

“Tony was not only my brother on TV, but in many ways in his life. He leaves an unfilled empty space in my heart,” Mothers said on Wednesday. Said in a Facebook post. “Tony has always been the kindest, most generous, kind, affectionate, honest and humble person. It was my honor and privilege to share my memories with him for 65 years.”

At the show, Wally, sometimes the center of conspiracy, navigated the world of middle school and high school with a little more wisdom than his younger brother. The show’s plot line suggested that Wally was tied to great things — he said he wanted to be an aerospace engineer — and he was in a moral dilemma due to his intrinsic goodness. I tended to find myself.

Dow’s favorite episode is Hugh Beaumont’s ready-to-teach father, Ward Cleaver, who wants his boys to know what his childhood is like. did. He took them to the wilderness, even though they had something they felt was pressing for business at home.

“The boys didn’t want to go because’Zombies from Space’was playing in the theater,” Dow said in a 2018 interview with Sidewalk Entertainment at Silicon Valley Comic Con.

After the trip, at the end of the episode, Ward discovers a boy on a hill with binoculars and thinks they are incorporating some nature.

“They were driving in and watching zombies from space,” Dow said with a laugh.

The show was still popular when it wasn’t aired, but it naturally took the course of Wally going to college and Beaver going to high school.

The death of Dow left Mothers and Rusty Stevens, who played Beaver’s friends Larry Mondello, as the only surviving members of the show’s core cast. Beaumont died in 1982. Barbara Billingsley, who played her mother June Cleaver, died in 2010. Ken Osmond, who played Haskel, died in 2020.

Dow is “My Three Sons”, “Dr. Kildare”, “Adam-12”, “Emergency”, “Square Peg”, “Knight Rider” throughout the 1960s, 70s and 80s.

He stopped acting in the late 1960s to serve as a US National Guard for three years.

From 1983 to 1989, during the cultural boom of nostalgia television, Dow replayed Wally’s role in “The New Leave it to Beaver.”

He began writing and directing episodes of the series and directed television throughout the 1990s on shows such as “New Lassi,” “Babylon 5,” “Harry and Henderson’s,” and “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.” Served. “

In a time when such disclosures were rare, Dow published in his clinical depression in the 1980s and produced a self-help video on illness acceptance and coping.

Later, along with appearing at pop culture conventions, Dow worked as an artist, often with his mother, and gained the highest reputation as a sculptor.

One of his bronze works was accepted by the 2008 National Art Association, an annual 150-year-old art show at the Louvre Museum.

Dow told The Associated Press in 2012 that his opening brought many people who were anxious to rub their shoulders with Beaver’s brother to see his art.

“I find it difficult to take anything else seriously, especially in the image of Wally,” he shook his head with a laugh.

Dow is survived by his 42-year-old wife, Lauren, son Christopher, daughter-in-law Melissa, and brother Dion.

Follow AP Entertainment Writer Andrew Dalton on Twitter.