Tony Dow, who became a star at 12 as Wally Cleaver, the barely teenage older brother on the popular 1950s and ’60s comedy series “Leave It to Beaver,” died on Wednesday at his home in Topanga, Calif. He was 77.
His death was confirmed by his manager, Frank Bilotta. On Tuesday, his representatives announced his death erroneously in a Facebook post; it was later deleted, but not before many news organizations, including The New York Times, and News Views, published obituaries, relying on that post as confirmation of the death. In May, Mr. Dow said he had been diagnosed with liver cancer.
He had gone on to a varied adult career, finding mixed success as an actor, a director, a producer and later a sculptor, but he could never quite shake his association with “Leave It to Beaver,” a dose of early-life fame that may have contributed to his later struggles with depression.