Ken Osmond, the actor known to TV fans as Eddie Haskell dies at 76
Ken Osmond, the actor known to TV fans as Eddie Haskell from the iconic sitcom “Leave It To Beaver,” has died at the age of 76.
According to Variety reports Osmond died Monday at his home in Los Angeles. A cause of death has not been confirmed.
“He was an incredibly kind and wonderful father,” son Eric Osmond said in a statement. “He had his family gathered around him when he passed. He was loved and will be very missed.”
Osmond portrayed the character of Eddie Haskell for all of the hit shows six seasons on the air. He would go on to reprise the role in the 1980’s on the sequel series “The New Leave It to Beaver,” which ran for four years.
Eddie was the best friend of Tony Dow’s Wally Cleaver, big brother to Jerry Mathers’ Beaver Cleaver. He constantly kissed up to adults and kicked down at his peers, usually in the same scene, and was the closest thing the wholesome show had to a villain. Viewers of all ages loved to hate him.
“He was a terrific guy, he was a terrific actor and his character is probably one that will last forever,” Dow told The Associated Press on Monday.
The role of Eddie in season one of “Leave It to Beaver” was also supposed to be a one-off guest appearance, but the show’s producers and its audience found him so memorable he became a regular, appearing in nearly 100 of the show’s 234 episodes.
Osmond returned to making guest appearances on TV shows including “The Munsters” in the late 1960s, but found he was so identified with Eddie Haskell that it was hard to land roles. A victim of typecasting, Osmond worked as a Los Angeles police officer from 1970 until 1988 when he retired from the force.
“I was very much typecast. It’s a death sentence,” Osmond told radio host Stu Stoshak in a 2008 interview on “Stu’s Show.” “I’m not complaining because Eddie’s been too good to me, but I found work hard to come by. In 1968, I bought my first house, in ’69 I got married, and we were going to start a family and I needed a job, so I went out and signed up for the LAPD.”
Osmond is survived by Sandra, his wife, and Eric and Christian, his two sons.