'Leave It to Beaver' actor Tony Dow dies at 77

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July 27 (UPI) — Actor Tony Dow, who portrayed Wally Cleaver on the show Leave It to Beaver, has died, his family confirmed on Facebook on Wednesday.

“We have received confirmation from Christopher, Tony’s son, that Tony passed away earlier this morning, with his loving family at his side to see him through this journey,” reads the posting on Dow’s official Facebook page.

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“We know that the world is collectively saddened by the loss of this incredible man. He gave so much to us all and was loved by so many. One fan said it best — ‘It is rare when there is a person who is so universally loved like Tony.'”

The 77-year-old had been in hospice care.

His management team confirmed Tuesday the actor was still alive after posting a statement earlier in the day announcing his death following a battle with cancer.

Dow’s wife, Lauren, then confirmed to CBS News that her husband was still alive and breathing at the time.

Dow was best known for his role in the iconic 1950s television sitcom Leave It to Beaver, which ran from 1957 to 1963.

He announced his cancer diagnosis in May. A Facebook post last week said the illness “has been a roller coaster of ups and downs.”

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“Although this is a very sad day, I have comfort and peace that he is in a better place. 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’s son Christopher said in the Facebook post.

Paul Sorvino arrives outside at the premiere of Burnt at MoMA in New York City on October 20, 2015. The “Goodfellas” actor died at age 83 on July 25. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo