Tony Dow (“Wally Cleaver”) has been diagnosed with cancer

“Wally Cleaver”                        Tony Dow Today

Tony Dow, the actor who portrayed Wally Cleaver on the iconic sitcom “Leave It to Beaver,” has been diagnosed with cancer.

Dow and his wife of nearly 42 years, Lauren Shulkind, announced the news Thursday, according to TMZ. The couple did not divulge what form of cancer Dow, 77, has, but said they’re thankful in advance for prayers from fans.

News of the ailing actor’s health struggles first emerged in August last year when he was hospitalized with pneumonia.  Shulkind revealed that Dow spent 24 hours waiting in the emergency room due to a shortage of beds caused by a surge in COVID-19 cases.   Shulkind further explained that her husband had tested negative for COVID-19 five times while in the hospital.

Dow starred in all 234 episodes of “Leave It to Beaver” until the show ended in 1963. From there he went on to appear in dozens of other shows, including “The Greatest Show on Earth,” “Never Too Young” and “Lassie,” as well as guest roles in “Knight Rider,” “Quincy M.E.,” “Murder, She Wrote,” “The Love Boat” and “Mod Squad.”  Dow also directed episodes of “Babylon 5” and “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine,” according to IMDb.