Former child star Ken Osmond, perhaps best known for his role as troublemaking youngster Eddie Haskell on the classic comedy series Leave It to Beaver, has sadly passed away. Reportedly, the actor died on Monday morning at his home in Los Angeles while surrounded by family members, but the exact cause of death hasn't been revealed. Mere minutes after the news of his passing was announced, social media quickly began to see an outpouring of messages of fans paying tribute to Osmond and expressing sadness over his death. The television legend was 76 years old.
Kenneth Charles Osmond was born on June 7, 1943, in Glendale, California. From a very young age, Osmond's mother had encouraged him and his brother to pursue acting, and Osmond was having his first auditions at the age of four. In addition to commercial work, Osmond had also began to take acting classes after school and moved into working in movies as an extra. His first speaking role would come at the age of nine when Osmond appeared in the 1953 movie So Big, and started to get bigger roles in other television shows like Lassie, The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet, and The Petticoat Junction.
Osmond might be most recognizable for his role in Leave It to Beaver, which he began playing when he was 14 years old. On the classic sitcom, Osmond played Eddie Haskell, a mischievous teenager and the best friend of Wally Cleaver. Originally, the character was meant to appear for a single episode, but Osmond's portrayal of Eddie impressed producers enough to keep the troublesome teenager around for the duration. Although he wasn't a part of the titular boy's family, Haskell's portrayal of Eddie throughout all six seasons is among the most memorable aspects of the show's run on television. Even as the decades pass by, Eddie Haskell remains one of television's greatest characters of all time.
Finding himself to be typecast after Leave It to Beaver, Osmond sought a new line of employment in the early '70s. He joined the Los Angeles Police Department and worked as a motorcycle cop, leading to a scary brush with death in 1980 when Osmond was shot five times while chasing a suspected car thief. Fortunately, a bullet-resistant vest and his belt buckle had saved his life, though he would be placed on disability before retiring from the police force in 1988.
After the shooting, Osmond had returned to the small screen with some television appearances. This includes reprising the role of /popular-tv-shows-1989/page-2/Eddie Haskell for the TV movie Still the Beaver, which aired in 1983 and spawned the television spin-off The New Leave It to Beaver.His real-life sons, Eric and Christian, played Eddie's fictional sons on the television show. He'd return to the franchise one last time by playing Eddie Haskell, Sr. in the 1997 movie version of Leave It to Beaver. Based on his experience with Leave It to Beaver and the rest of his life and acting career, Osmond would also co-write the memoir Eddie: The Life and Times of America's Preeminent Bad Boy in 2014.
Osmond's survivors include his wife, Sandra Purdy, with whom he's been married since 1969, along with their two children, Eric and Christian Osmond. Our thoughts are with them at this time. As a pop culture legend, Osmond will forever be remembered. May he rest in peace. This news comes to us from Variety.