Former child star Tony Dow has been diagnosed with cancer, he and his wife, Lauren Shulkind, announced Thursday.

TMZ reported the news, sharing that the couple is heartbroken. Though they did not specify the cancer Dow has been diagnosed with, they thanked fans in advance for prayers.

Tony Dow, actor, director and artist, poses at his home and studio in the Topanga area of Los Angeles. When it comes time to sitting down in a studio and carving out bronze and wooden sculptures inspired by the nature all around him, Wally isn't leaving it up to the Beav these days. Dow, who famously played the Beaver's older brother Wally on the classic 1950s-60s sitcom
Tony Dow, actor, director and artist, poses at his home and studio in the Topanga area of Los Angeles. When it comes time to sitting down in a studio and carving out bronze and wooden sculptures inspired by the nature all around him, Wally isn’t leaving it up to the Beav these days. Dow, who famously played the Beaver’s older brother Wally on the classic 1950s-60s sitcom

Reed Saxon/AP/Shutterstock

A representative for Dow did not return PEOPLE’s request for comment.

Dow, 77, is best known for playing Wally Cleaver on Leave It to Beaver, which aired for six seasons from 1957 to 1963. He later reprised the role in the 1983 televised film Still the Beaver and on The New Leave It to Beaver between 1983 to 1989.

The director and sculptor also appeared in other films and television series including Never Too Young, Lassie and The Love Boat. His last acting credit was as a guest-star on Suspense in 2016.

Last summer TMZ reported that the actor had been hospitalized with Pneumonia on August 26.

The following week, Dow’s agent, Frank Bilotta, gave an update on the former television star’s health.

"Tony has been diagnosed with pneumonia but is in good spirits and is doing well," Bilotta said in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter. "He was up walking around yesterday and his doctors think he should be able to return home within the week."