Actor Tony Dow was hospitalized with pneumonia last week, and Leave it to Beaver fans are growing concerned. Dow is 76 years old and is best known for playing Wally Cleaver from 1957 to 1963. According to a report by The Daily Mail, he was hospitalized on Thursday.
Dow reportedly faced some serious trouble getting the medical attention he needed this week due to hospital crowding amid a COVID-19 surge near his home in California. His wife Lauren Shulkind told TMZ reporters that he waited for 24 hours to get into the emergency room, and that throughout his hospital stay he has been tested for the coronavirus five times. She said that his tests are still coming up negative. Shulkind also told reporters that Dow is through the roughest part of his illness and is now on the mend. His doctors reportedly said that they expect him to be released within a week.
“On behalf of Tony and myself we thank you for your concern for him,” Shulkind concluded. This was likely meant for fans as well, who have been rallying behind Dow on social media.
“I hope Tony recovers quickly and all the best wishes to him and his entire family. Such a sweet man,” one person commented. Another added: “Wow, I was just saying yesterday that he was my first childhood celebrity crush. Here’s hoping he has a speedy recovery!” A third tweeted: “Ridiculousness. Huge prayers for Wally Cleaver. Your brother still needs your support.”
Dow was born and raised in Hollywood, California where his father was a designer and contractor and his mother was a stunt woman. He went to a casting call with almost no acting experience and landed the role of Wall Cleaver when he was still a child, and played the character until the series ended. After that, He went on to several other acclaimed TV shows of the 1960s throughout his adolescence before enlisting in the National Guard at the age of 19.
Dow returned to TV after his time in the service was over, but he studied other subjects as well. According to his bio on TV Land, Dow worked in construction between acting jobs and studies journalism and filmmaking.
Dow went on to work as a TV director and a visual effects producer in the decades that followed. He even found success in his hobby of sculpting, producing abstract bronze statues that were displayed at the Louvre. Dow and Shulkind married in 1980 and do not have any children. Fans continue to post well-wishes for him on social media.