Ken Osmond, ‘Leave It to Beaver’s Eddie Haskell, Dies at 76
Eddie Haskell became so famous on Leave It to Beaver that his name became synonymous with a certain type of two-faced person. He was polite and friendly when parents were around, and a schemer as soon as they were gone. Everyone, it seemed, knew at least one Eddie Haskell.
The actual Eddie Haskell was played by actor Ken Osmond for decades across multiple Beaver shows. Sadly, Osmond has passed away. He was only 76 years old; no cause of death was given. His passing was reported by The Hollywood Reporter, who also provided a statement from Osmond’s son:
He was an incredibly kind and wonderful father. He had his family gathered around him when he passed. He was loved and will be very missed.
Eddie Haskell was a key part of Leave It to Beaver from its earliest days on CBS in 1957. Eddie was best friends with Beaver’s brother Wally, and a perpetual thorn in Beaver’s side with his various schemes and deceptions.
Osmond played Eddie Haskell on about 100 of Leave It to Beaver’s 234 episodes. After the series ended, Osmond found it difficult to find roles beyond the one that he’d given such definitive form. Perpetually typecast as Eddie Haskell, he eventually retired from acting; in 1970, he became a Los Angeles policeman. In 1980, he was injured in a chase, when he was shot by a suspect in a car theft.
Osmond soon retired from the LAPD, but as luck would have it around that time Leave It to Beaver got a revival, one of the first in TV history. A movie, Still the Beaver, premiered in 1983 and its success prompted a new series, The New Leave It to Beaver, which aired for several seasons in the ’80s on multiple cable channels. In the show the Beaver is all grown up with kids of his own. Eddie Haskell has kids of his own, too — played by Osmond’s real-life sons.
Osmond appeared in other television shows, but he will be remembered for Eddie Haskell, who gave a name to a personality that everyone knew. Although Leave It to Beaver has been out of syndicated rotation for a while, everyone remembers that name and what it means — and everyone will remember Ken Osmond too.
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