Longtime actor Ken Osmond, best known for his role as Eddie Haskell in Leave It to Beaver, passes away at the age of 76 in Los Angeles.
Actor Ken Osmond, best known for his iconic role on Leave It to Beaver, passed away at the age of 76. Born on June 7, 1943, in Glendale, California, Osmond tapped into his raw talent at the early age of four with acting classes and first appeared alongside Spencer Tracy in the 1952 film Plymouth Adventure. Following his onscreen debut as a child on the Mayflower in Plymouth Adventure, Osmond appeared in Fury, Annie Oakley, and Lassie. Shortly after his entrance into the television world, Osmond landed the role that would change his life forever.
In 1957, Osmond was cast as Wally Cleaver’s friend, Eddie Haskell, on the sitcom Leave It to Beaver. Intended as a one-episode appearance, Eddie Haskell became a television icon after Osmond’s portrayal of the trouble-maker made waves in America. Unfortunately, Osmond once stated he felt he was becoming typecast in the industry after his appearances in Petticoat Junction and The Munsters. Embarking on a new calling in life, Osmond joined the Los Angeles Police Department, growing a mustache and gaining muscle to avoid being recognized on the job. In 1983, Osmond returned to acting and reprised his role as Eddie in the made-for-television film Still the Beaver and The New Leave It to Beaver revival series.
Per Variety, Osmond passed away on Monday morning, May 18 in Los Angeles. As of this writing, the cause of death is unknown. Osmond is survived by his wife of fifty-one years, Sandra, and sons, Eric and Christian. Osmond was surrounded by his family as he passed and son Eric expressed, “He was an incredibly kind and wonderful father. He was loved and will be very missed.”
In 1987, Osmond was honored by the Young Artist Foundation with the Lifetime Achievement Award. Most recognized for appearing on Leave It to Beaver’s six-season run, Osmond is revered for not becoming shackled to the Hollywood stereotypes of child-actors and leading a life as a dutiful public servant and family man. In 1997, Osmond treated fans to his final appearance as Eddie Haskell in the feature film Leave It to Beaver.
Toting an impressive list of more than 30 appearances in film and television, Osmond appeared in Happy Days, High School USA, Rags to Riches, and Jon Binkowski’s Characterz. Osmond left a permanent mark on the sitcom world, not only with his performance as Eddie Haskell but with his reputation for being a hard-working, kind, and generous actor. Undoubtedly, Ken Osmond will be greatly missed.