Tony Dow is known for playing Wally Cleaver on Leave It To Beaver. Sadly, he died on July 27, 2022. The child star had mixed feelings about attaining fame so young. But he did have a favorite episode of the show. Here’s Tony Dow’s favorite Leave It To Beaver episode.
Tony Dow died at 77 years old and leaves behind a legacy as Wally Cleaver on ‘Leave It To Beaver’
Tony Dow’s stint on Leave It To Beaver will live on forever, as Wally Cleaver was an irreplaceable member of the Cleaver family. CNN reports that Dow died at 77 years old on July 27, 2022. He died a day after his death was falsely reported.
Dow’s son, Christopher Dow, had kind words to say about his actor and artist father, according to manager Frank Bilotta. “Although this is a very sad day, I have comfort and peace that he is in a better place,” Christopher said. “He was the best Dad anyone could ask for. He was my coach, my mentor, my voice of reason, my best friend, my best man in my wedding, and my hero.”
Dow was diagnosed with cancer in May 2022 and had been receiving hospice care before his death.
His favorite episode of ‘Leave It To Beaver’ is ‘Happy Weekend’
Tony Dow’s Leave It To Beaver experience was multifaceted. On one hand, it gave Dow a platform at a very young age. But he experienced severe depression after the show ended. “It’s sad to be famous at 12 years old or something, and then you grow up and become a real person and nothing’s happened for you,” Dow explained to CBS Sunday Morning. “Anger, if it’s untreated, anger turns into depression. The depression isn’t something you can say, ‘cheer up,’ about. It’s a very powerful thing. It’s had a lot of effect on my life.”
With that said, he still had his favorite show episode — and it was “Happy Weekend.” The episode has Ward Cleaver taking his sons out into nature, but the trip doesn’t go according to plan. Beaver Cleaver and Wally Cleaver spend the trip hoping to get a glimpse of the hit movie Zombies From Outer Space.
“The boys didn’t want to go because Zombies From Outer Space was playing in the theater,” Dow said in 2018, according to ABC. At the end of the episode, Ward sees his sons looking through binoculars. While Ward assumes his sons finally find beauty in nature, the kids are actually watching the movie play out at a drive-in. “They were watching Zombies from Outer Space at the drive-in,” Dow laughed.
Dow talked about this episode in another interview posted to YouTube. “Ward wants to take the kids back to what he did when he was a kid,” Dow noted of the episode. “Of course, you can’t go back.”
Are Tony Dow and Jerry Mathers friends?
Tony Dow and Jerry Mathers starred in that Leave It To Beaver episode. Did they sustain a friendship into their adult years?
It seems the two kept in touch. According to Grunge, Mathers and Dow made joint appearances in the ’60s and ’70s after Leave It To Beaver ended. They also returned to the stage together a few times. They made a joint appearance on Saturday Night Live in 1980. The duo also appeared in The New Leave It To Beaver. Together, they filmed over 300 episodes of television.
Upon learning of Dow’s death, Mathers posted a sweet tribute. “
“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. 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 with for 65 years.”
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