'Leave it to Beaver' star Tony Dow is still alive, despite a death announcement made earlier by his grieving wife on Facebook on Tuesday morning. Although alive, Dow is on his deathbed and under hospice care and is in his "last hours", his son Christopher Dow said. Dow's wife Lauren Shulkind, also later confirmed that he is still alive but it's just a matter of time.
According to an updated Facebook post on Tuesday afternoon, Dow's management said that Shulkind told his staff that she thought her husband had passed away. She is reportedly "distraught" by the mistake and the post has since been taken down.
Fighting with Death
According to his son Christopher, Shulkind provided his management staff with the "false information." Dow's wife is "extremely distraught," according to TMZ, and "believed her husband was dead." She later informed Dow's management group.
"This morning Tony's wife Lauren, who was very distraught, had notified us that Tony had passed and asked that we notify all his fans. As we are sure you can understand, this has been a very trying time for her," the updated announcement read.
"We have since received a call from Tony's daughter-in-law saying that while Tony is not doing well, he has not yet passed. Tony's son Christopher and his daughter-in-law Melissa have also been by his side comforting him, and we will keep you posted on any future updates."
Christopher updated his Facebook status once again at 5:45 pm on Tuesday, confirming that Dow is in his final hours.
"This is a difficult time. Dad is at home, under hospice care, and in his last hours. My wife and I are by his side along with many friends that have visited. He has a fighting heart," he wrote.
Earlier on Tuesday, Frank Bilotta and Renee James, members of Dow's management group, mistakenly posted on Facebook that he had passed away.
"It is with an extremely heavy heart that we share with you the passing of our beloved Tony this morning," the now-deleted post read.
"Tony was a beautiful soul - kind, compassionate, funny and humble. It was truly a joy to just be around him," they continued. "His gentle voice and unpretentious manner was immediately comforting and you could not help but love him. The world has lost an amazing human being, but we are all richer for the memories that he has left us."
Just a Matter of Time
Although still alive, it is just a matter of time when Dow breathes his last. In May, just one month after Dow turned 77, Shulkind revealed that his illness had come back.
"Dear friends and fans of Tony Dow, I have some very sad news to share with you," Shulkind wrote at the time. "Unfortunately, Tony has once again been diagnosed with cancer. He is approaching this reality so bravely, but it is truly heartbreaking.
"We want to thank you in advance for your caring thoughts. Our Love, Lauren & Tony."
In March, Dow was diagnosed with an unidentified cancer. Shulkind, reportedly told TMZ that they were devastated by the diagnosis.
During his early years, Dow appeared in "Leave it to Beaver" alongside Jerry Mathers, Barbara Billingsley, Hugh Beaumont, and Ken Osmond. Before moving to ABC, the sitcom initially aired on CBS for six seasons.
The actor appeared in both the "Still the Beaver" reunion program and "The New Leave It to Beaver" television series.