Ken Osmond, ‘Leave It to Beaver’s’ Eddie Haskell, Dies @ 76

Ken Osmond, whose lovably conniving Eddie Haskell was an indelible part of the classic sitcom Leave It to Beaver, died May 18 at 76.

THR reports that Osmond's death was confirmed by his son, but that a cause was not provided publicly.

In statement, Eric Haskell said:

"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."

Osmond began his long run on Leave It to Beaver in 1957. Playing neighborhood weasel Eddie, Wally's (Tony Dow) best buddy, he was scheduled for just one appearance — but was so effective he wound up on 96 out of 234 episodes. He charmed viewers as a two-faced suck-up, famously complimenting Mrs. Cleaver (Barbara Billingsley) on looking "lovely," then turning around and hatching schemes.

He reprised the iconic role in the made-for-TV movie Still the Beaver (1983) and on The New Leave It to Beaver (1983-1989) as an adult, after 18 years with the LAPD, which included being shot three times in a 1980 incident that ended his career on the beat. He recounted his near-death experience on Top Cops:

Born on June 7, 1943, in Glendale, California, he was performing from his earliest youth as a dancer, making his movie debut in Plymouth Adventure (1952) opposite Spencer Tracy, Van Johnson and Gene Tierney (who, undoubtedly, looked lovely).

Prior to his signature role, he made appearances on TV shows like The Loretta Young Show (1957), and while he also landed on sitcoms like Petticoat Junction (1964) and The Munsters (1966) and in an uncredited spot in the Doris Day movie With Six You Get Eggroll (1968) after Beaver ended, typecasting limited his acting career.

As an adult, he played off of his Haskell fame in the TV movie High School USA (1983) and on Happy Days (1983), reprised his role as Eddie on Parker Lewis Can't Lose (1991) and Hi Honey, I'm Home (1992), and was Eddie Haskell Sr. in the flop movie version of Leave It to Beaver (1997).

His final performance in any medium was in the mascot-themed movie CHARACTERz (2016).

Osmond recalled his TV career in his 2014 memoir Eddie: The Life and Times of America's Preeminent Bad Boy, addressing the urban legend that — owing to a glancing resemblance and to Holmes's unauthorized use of the name "Eddie Haskell" in a couple of his skin flicks — Osmond was the same person as anatomically gifted porn actor John Holmes (1944-1988). The year Holmes died of AIDS, Osmond told TV Guide that the rumor had been "a pain in my butt for 11 years."

In 2011, Osmond settled a class-action suit against SAG over foreign royalties.

Osmond is survived by his wife of over 50 years, Sandy, and his two sons.

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