Ken Osmond sadly passed away on Monday, May 18th from complications of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and peripheral arterial disease.
Remembering Ken Osmond, "Leave It To Beaver" Actor
Although he began a prolific career as a child actor at the age of four, he is perhaps best known for his role as Eddie Haskell on the popular television comedy Leave It to Beaver (1957-1963).
Osmond was born in Glendale, California and attended acting classes as a child before booking work in commercials.
He began his movie career as an extra and then moved into small speaking roles in a few films. He also made guest appearances on television shows like Lassie and The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet.
In 1957, at age fourteen, he landed his most famous role of Wally Cleaver’s best friend in Leave It to Beaver. Although he was originally intended to only be in one episode, his character was so popular that he was offered a recurring part throughout all six seasons.
His character became a pop culture reference as the archetype of a rebel who acted polite in front of adults but defied rules behind their back, constantly getting his friends into trouble.
After Leave it to Beaver ended in 1963, Osmond made occasional appearances in other movies and shows but found it difficult to find work due to him being typecast as his Eddie Haskell character. He joined the Los Angeles Police Department as a motorcycle officer.
In 1983, Osmond returned to acting and reprised his role as Eddie Haskell in the made-for-television movie Still the Beaver and the revival comedy series The New Leave it to Beaver in 1984.
After retiring from the Police Force, he continued to make occasional appearances at film festivals and nostalgia conventions. He also co-authored an autobiography.
Osmond is survived by his wife and two sons. He was 76.