Getty Images facebook.com/TonyDowActorDirector
Source: Getty Images facebook.com/TonyDowActorDirector

Tony Dow's Son Lost His 'Hero' Dad — Christopher & His Wife Were with the Actor till His Last Breath

Olawale Ogunjimi
Jul 28, 2022
11:20 A.M.
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A couple of hours after the false news of his father's death broke, Tony Dow's son Christopher announced that the actor had died. The actor's son and his wife Melissa stayed with Tony until his last breath.


On Wednesday, July 28, 2022, the tragic death of "Leave It To Beaver" star Tony Dow was announced by his family. After receiving the information from his son Christopher, his team posted the news of the actor's death on his Facebook page.

Tony, an iconic actor, producer, director, and sculptor during his lifetime, rose to fame as a child actor when he starred in the series "Leave It To Beaver," which aired from 1975 till 1963. The actor portrayed the character Wally Cleaver in the show, which was his most famous acting role.


In the announcement on Facebook, the late actor was lauded as an incredible person who gave his all and was loved by many. His death was a massive loss to the entertainment world but, most importantly, his family.

The actor would be sorely missed by his wife of 42 years, Lauren. The duo met in Kansas City in 1978 before tying the knot on June 16, 1980.

They had remained inseparable since, and Lauren, who has stayed with the actor throughout his struggles, had kept fans updated about her husband's health months before his death.

Actor Tony Dow attends The Hollywood Christmas Parade benefiting the Toys For Tots Foundation on December 1, 2013 in Hollywood, California. | Source: Getty Images

Actor Tony Dow attends The Hollywood Christmas Parade benefiting the Toys For Tots Foundation on December 1, 2013 in Hollywood, California. | Source: Getty Images


According to the post, Tony's death was also a loss to his son Christopher, his daughter-in-law Melissa and granddaughter Tyla. It read:

"To his son, Christopher, who will dearly miss his father, who was also his best friend…to his daughter-in-law, Melissa, who loved him like her own father…."

"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..," his son Christopher stated:



Tony's first marriage was to a woman named Carol Marlow in 1969, and the pair were married for 11 years until they divorced in 1980. They became parents to a son named Christopher Dow during their marriage on March 26, 1973.

In 1978, just five years after his birth, the pair filed for divorce, and it was finalized on March 10, 1980. Afterward, the ex-couples refrained from publicly talking about each other.


After divorcing Tony, Marlow got married again. However, no one knows if she has any other children apart from Christopher with whomever she married.

Months after his divorce from Marlow was finalized, Tony married Lauren Shulkind. The duo had met in Kansas City two years prior, in 1978, while she was working for a McDonald's restaurant. After their marriage, Lauren gained some recognition as a mosaic artist.



Christopher Dow, Tony's son, was raised in a loving environment by his father. At 18, Christopher's name appeared in the news for doing something heroic.

He had mistakenly gotten his mother's 1971 Porsche stolen by forgetting the keys in the ignition and also letting the top down near Taft High School in Woodland Hills. Nonetheless, the next day the teenager got an opportunity to right his wrong when he spotted the stolen car.


Christopher saw the Porsche being pushed by a suspected teenage thief near Fallbrook Avenue and Saticoy Street in West Hills. He knew the car was his mother's because of the distinctive number plate displayed 'HI HUNEY.'

Christopher immediately pulled over and asked the teenager where he got the car he was pushing. After the suspected thief explained the car belonged to his friend, Christopher replied that the vehicle belonged to him.


However, instead of handling the situation cooly and trying to talk the suspected thief down, Christopher grabbed the teenage boy in a headlock. He then notified a nearby shop owner to call the police.

Christopher, a senior at Chaminade High School at the time, watched the teenage thief until the police arrived, and he was arrested on suspicion of auto theft.


His actions in arresting the thief and then waiting for the cops to arrest him drew praises from his father, who revealed he would have wanted him to act a bit cooler. Nonetheless, he was proud his son could handle such a tricky situation the way he did.

Christopher might not have shown his father's cool character, but as an adult, he followed in Tony's footsteps by becoming an actor. In 1985, he starred in three episodes of "The New Leave It To Beaver," a spin-off to the original series "Leave It To Beaver."



Tony struggled with health issues for months leading to his death. The actor was diagnosed with cancer in May 2022. Although his family did not disclose the type of cancer the actor was diagnosed with, they beseeched fan's wishes and prayers.

In August 2021, the actor was also hospitalized with pneumonia; his family noted it was not COVID-related. Nevertheless, news frantically broke on July 26, 2022, that the actor had died. The report, which many news organizations relaid, was deemed untrue when his son Christopher confirmed he was still alive minutes later.

"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." Christopher wrote.


The initial information that caused the mayhem had originated from the actor's wife, Lauren, who thought her husband had died and told his team.

She later apologized for the miscommunication, and the actor's team released a statement that she was distraught about her husband's health situation. Throughout the day, the actor was under hospice care at his home, where his wife, son, and daughter-in-law stayed with him.

Christopher also updated fans about his after's health on Facebook, and he and his wife, Melissa, stayed with the iconic actor until he took his last breath.

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