Ken Osmond, who played Eddie Haskell in “Leave It to Beaver,” died Monday at the age of 76.
While Osmond’s cause of death has not been shared, son Eric told TMZ and other outlets that the family was with him at the time.
“He was an incredibly kind and wonderful father,” Eric Osmond told the outlet. “He had his family gathered around him when he passed. He was loved and will be very missed.”
Ken Osmond was born in Glendale, California, on June 7, 1943. His mother got him his early gigs as a child actor, and he appeared in a number of movies and shows before his big break in 1957, according to IMDb.
While his role as Eddie Haskell, the smarmy, troublemaking friend of Wally Cleaver, was supposed to be temporary, he became a permanent fixture and lasted for 234 episodes and six seasons of the beloved show.
Like many actors who rise to fame in their younger years, it was hard for Osmond to shake the role he’d been given, and he left the film scene for some time to pursue a more “normal” career.
“So inextricably typed was he that he gave up on any semblance of a career within a short time after the series’ cancellation,” his IMDb bio states.
“Unlike so many other tragic child stars who did not survive the transition into adulthood, Osmond’s life remained quite balanced. It did not careen out of control or disintegrate into alcohol and drugs.”
In 1970, Osmond joined the Los Angeles Police Department, a surprise reversal of the role he’d played for so many years.
In order to avoid recognition, he grew a mustache, and in 1980, he survived two close-call shooting incidents on the job. In 1988, Osmond retired from the force.
After leaving the LAPD, he made a return to television as a grown-up version of Eddie in “The New Leave It to Beaver” and “Still the Beaver,” which aired on the Disney Channel and then TBS. His sons Christian and Eric appeared alongside him.
The show went on for several years, but Osmond supported himself and his family by operating several rental properties in Los Angeles.
“It surprises me every day that this character is still so popular,” he once said of his best-known role. “I don’t completely understand it, but it’s nice.”
While he is no longer with us, he will long be remembered as Eddie Haskell — and missed by those who knew him and those who grew up watching him on-screen.
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