LOS ANGELES (CelebrityAccess) — Ken Osmond, the actor who memorably portrayed the devious young tearaway Eddie Haskell in the television sitcom “Leave It To Beaver” has died. He was 76.
According to the Associated Press, Osmond died in Los Angeles of an undisclosed illness.
“He was an incredibly kind and wonderful father,” son Eric Osmond said in a statement provided to the AP. “He had his family gathered around him when he passed. He was loved and will be very missed.”
Osmond, a native of Glendale, California, began professional auditions for film and television work when he was just 4 years old and landed his first speaking part in the 1953 drama “So Big” starring Sterling Hayden and Jane Wyman.
He had other small roles in film and television, including Lassie, The Adventures of Ozzie And Harriet, and Wagon Train.
In 1957, he was cast as Eddie Haskell, the best friend of the Wally Cleaver, the older brother of the show’s main character, Theodore “The Beaver” Cleaver.
The role was originally intended as a one-off but Osmond’s performance impressed the show’s producers, leading to his inclusion in the show’s full six-season run.
After “Leave It To Beaver” went off the air, Osmond continued to work in small roles in film and television but found himself difficult to transition to larger part after having been typecast as Haskell.
Osmond eventually left acting behind and in 1970, joined the Los Angeles Police Department, where he was employed as a motorcycle officer.
In 1980, Osmond was shot five times while engaged in a pursuit of an alleged car thief but escaped unscathed after his vest stopped four bullets and a fifth lodged in his belt buckle, according to the New York Times.
In the 1980s, Osmond staged a minor comeback, appearing on Hollywood Squares and reprising his role as Eddie Haskell in several Leave It To Beaver reunions and spin-offs, including the 1997 feature film “Leave It To Beaver.”
In 2007, Osmond filed a class action lawsuit against the Screen Actors Guild, alleging that the guild had failed to U.S. actors pay millions in international residuals.
Osmond co-wrote an “Eddie: The Life and Times of America’s Preeminent Bad Boy” about the cultural impact of the Eddie Haskell.