The Mischievous Eddie Haskell on ‘Leave It to Beaver’ Was 76

Ken Osmond, Leave it to the Beaver The actor best known for his convincing portrayal of Eddie Haskell in two iterations of the classic TV comedy has passed away, his son Eric said. He was 76 years old. No further details have been given.

“He was an incredibly kind and wonderful father,” his son said Monday in a statement. “He had his family gathered around him when he passed. He was loved and will be missed. “

Osmond was 14 years old in 1957 when he was hired for what was supposed to be a one-episode gig and went on to appear on 96 of the 234 seasons of the original series over six seasons. When Leave it to the Beaver Back with an updated version in 1983, he also returned to acting.

Between the two shows, Osmond spent 18 years with the Los Angeles Police Department. In 1980, a suspected car thief shot him three times, severely injuring him and effectively ending his workday.

As Wally Cleaver’s (Tony Dow) best friend, Eddie is well-behaved and the epitome of courtesy when dealing with the show’s adults, especially Barbara Billingsley’s character – “Me, today. you look lovely, Mrs. Cleaver” – but mean to Wally’s younger brother, Theodore “Beaver” Cleaver (Jerry Mathers).

He caused trouble the first of many times when he, Wally, and Beaver watched the pair move to the house next door to the Cleavers in the series’ fifth episode.

“Boy, you’re going to have scary neighbors,” he tells Wally in his first scene. “Just look at the things that appear: No dogs, no cats, no fishing rods, no children, just a canary.” Then, after Mrs. Donaldson (Phyllis Coates of Lois Lane fame) gives Beaver a kiss on the cheek as thanks for bringing her flowers as a welcome present, Eddie worries the poor kid: “Suppose her husband found out?”

Mathers writes about Haskell in the foreword to Osmond’s 2014 book: Eddie: The Life and Times of America’s Preeminent Bad Boy. “And everyone in America knows Eddie Haskell at some point in his or her life.”

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Psychologists have found that some people reserve one personality for their superiors and another for others, calling it the “Eddie Haskell Syndrome” or the “Eddie Haskell Effect.”

Ronald E. Riggio writes: “One reason why workplace bullies may go undetected is because they disobey authority while bullying subordinates and co-workers behind their backs. Today’s Psychology in 2011. “Like the old Eddie Haskell Leave it to the Beaver shows (who had been plagiarizing his parents while torturing Beaver), the bully pretends to be a model employee – but only when the boss is present. “

For the record, Mrs. Cleaver never trusted Eddie.

Kenneth Charles Osmond was born on June 7, 1943 in Glendale, California. “I had a typical stage mom when I was a kid,” he said in a 2009 interview with Los Angeles Daily News. “She let me dance on stage before I was old enough to even remember it.”

In his screen debut, Osmond played a child on the Mayflower in MGM’s . Plymouth Adventure (1952), starring Spencer Tracy, Gene Tierney, and Van Johnson, later appearing on episodes of television shows including Lassie, Anger and Annie Oakley.

He had three auditions before being cast as Eddie. Osmond said in a 2014 interview: “It wasn’t a recurring role when I made the first film, but it was clear that there was a good response and the producers liked the character.”

Child-centered Leave it to the Beaver, was created by Joe Connelly and Bob Mosher for Revue Studios, which premiered on CBS on October 4, 1957. After a year, it moved to ABC for a final five seasons, ending on June 6, 1963, with Wally seems to have gone to college.

After that, the lanky Osmond appeared in the guest positions on The Munsters and Petticoat intersection and in a discredited role in With Six You Get Eggroll (1968) but saw himself as a typist.

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“In the industry, it’s an absolute death sentence,” he said. “I would walk into the casting office and all they could see was Eddie. I can’t get a job to save my soul. I’ve had a few small pieces here and there, but nothing that will sustain life and paychecks. “

Osmond worked as a helicopter pilot and studio support worker before joining the LAPD, starting out making milkshakes and bananas to achieve the minimum weight to qualify for the job. (He says he wears a mustache so people don’t recognize him on TV.)

In 1980, he and his partner were on motorbike patrols looking for drunk drivers when they came across a stolen taxi driven by Albert Cunningham. After a collision and a foot chase, Cunningham shot Osmond; His bulletproof vest intercepted two bullets, and a third was deflected by his belt buckle.

“I saw a flash of light and the next thing I knew, I was lying on my back on the sidewalk, 10 to 15 feet away,” Osmond testified during the sentencing phase of Cunningham’s 1988 murder trial. I can not move. I thought I was going to die.” He said the shooting led to clinical depression.

Osmond regained his footing as Eddie on the 1983 CBS drama Still beaverand it spawns The new one leaves it for the beaver, which aired for four seasons (1984-89) on Disney Channel and TBS. “As an adult, I can appreciate the industry even more,” he said. So great.”

His character, now a shady contractor, has appeared on all 101 episodes of the new show, and his two sons are played by his two real-life sons, Eric and Christian. role play. “They were great kids who never got into trouble like Eddie did,” he said in 1989.

Osmond also played Haskell in the 1990s in the Universal adaptation of Leave it to the Beaver and on sitcoms Parker Lewis can’t lose and Hello baby, I’m home.

When Alice Cooper once said he was “Eddie Haskell as a kid” – meaning that’s how he behaved – leading some to think that it was the rock star who played the lead role. Leave it to the Beaver. That didn’t bother Osmond, but he was annoyed enough to sue when John Holmes advertised himself as “Eddie Haskell” in several X-rated movies, sparking another urban legend.

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The Holmes rumor “was a pain in my ass for 11 years,” he said TV User Manual in 1988.

In 2011, Osmond received a settlement in a class action lawsuit in which he said that SAG withheld millions of dollars in foreign royalties belonging to the actors.

In addition to his sons – Eric has worked as a film editor with credits including The Wicker Man and Captain America: The First Avenger – survivors include his wife, Sandy, whom he married in 1969.

His years in Leave it to the Beaver Osmond said. “A lot of people in the industry, you read about the former actor getting drugged, or him getting caught trying to rob a liquor store. You have never read anything about anyone affiliated with Leave it to the Beaver in a negative light. We just had a real family.”

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