Is Tony Dow OK? 'Leave It To Beaver' star, 76, tested 5 times for Covid
Actor Tony Dow, best known for starring in the sitcom 'Leave It to Beaver' as a child star, has been hospitalized with a serious case of pneumonia. The 76-year-old actor was once a household name in the television industry for being in one of America's biggest sitcoms. From 1957 to 1963, he portrayed the role of titular character Theodore Beaver's older brother Wally Cleaver in all the 234 episodes of the show.
Dow had to be taken to the Emergency Room on Thursday, August 26, as confirmed by his wife Lauren. He had to stay admitted in the E.R. for over 24 hours due to the unavailability of beds amid the surge in Delta Covid-19 variant. The news of his illness alarmed fans who were already shocked by the tragic deaths of 'Up' actor Ed Asner, socialite Elisabeth Kieselstein Cord Hamm and drummer Ron Bushy on Sunday, August 29. "On behalf of Tony and myself we thank you for your concern for him," his wife shared a message to the fans.
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Though the veteran actor posed a high risk of Covid-19 infection, he has been diagnosed negative five times since his admission to the hospital. His wife revealed that he is currently being treated for pneumonia and recovering. The doctors have confirmed that he can be discharged within a week. In the 1990s, Dow was diagnosed with clinical depression and he shot self-help videos of his struggle to raise awareness about the issue.
The Wally Cleaver actor debuted in the industry with no prior acting experience, though his mother Muriel Virginia Dow worked as a stunt woman in the early decades of Hollywood. As a child, Dow excelled in swimming and even became a diving champion in Junior Olympics. His life changed in 1957 when he landed the opportunity to star in 'Leave It to Beaver'.
After the show ended, Dow went on to star in several top TV projects, including shows like 'My Three Sons', 'Dr Kildare', 'Never Too Young', 'Mr Novak' and 'The Greatest Show on Earth'. After serving in the National Guard for three years, he resumed his TV career in 1968 with guest appearances on 'Adam-12', 'Knight Rider', 'The Hardy Boys', 'Emergency', and others.
However, in the 1970s, he pursued a career in construction, while also studying journalism and filmmaking. The versatile genius continued acting on TV simultaneously. His last notable appearance on screen was on the 2003 film 'Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star'.
Dow has also donned the cap of a director as he directed episodes on 'The New Lassie', 'Coach', 'Get A Life', 'Harry and the Hendersons', 'Babylon 5', 'Star Trek: Deep Space Nine', 'Crusade'. Alongside, he also provided visual effects for the FOX movie 'Doctor Who'. A multifaceted talent, Dow had also been a noted sculptor, creating masterpieces out of bronze or wood.