Ken Osmond Wiki – Ken Osmond Biography
Ken Osmond, perhaps best known for his role as the troubled young Eddie Haskell in the classic comedy series Leave It to Beaver, sadly passed away. The actor reportedly died Monday morning at his Los Angeles home surrounded by family members, but the exact cause of death has not been revealed. Within minutes of the news of his passing, social media quickly began to see a torrent of messages from fans paying tribute to Osmond and expressing sadness at his death. The television legend was 76 years old.
7 June 1943, Glendale, California, United States
18 May 2020
Sandra Purdy (m. 1969)
Eddie: The Life and Times of America’s Preeminent Bad Boy
Eric E. Osmond, Christian S. Osmond
While Osmond enjoyed a successful career, making a guest-starring the TV show Annie Oakley, and appearing in the film Good Morning, Morning Miss Dove , in 1957, Osmond got his big break after being cast in the hit series, Leave It to Beaver. While he was originally cast as a guest star, Ken was so impressive as Eddie Haskell that producers made his character a mainstay. Osmond continued to play the role until 1963, appearing 97 episodes.
Osmond starred alongside Jerry Mathers, who played the titular role, Barbara Billingsly as June Cleaver, Hugh Beaumont as Ward Cleaver, and Tony Dow as Wally Cleaver.
After Osmond largely retired from acting, he grew a mustache and disappeared into his work with the LAPD. In his absence, a rumor started circling that underneath KISS rocker Alice Cooper’s wild stage makeup, it was the real-life Osmond hiding in plain sight. The urban legend grew so popular, that Cooper actually started to wear a t-shirt that said, ‘No, I’m Not Eddie Haskell,’ emblazoned on the front.
According to Cooper, the rumor started when a college paper asked him what kid of he was growing up and the rocker responded, ‘I was obnoxious, disgusting… a real Eddie Haskell,’ but the story said I was the real Eddie Haskell. It was the biggest rumor that ever came about me. Even after wearing the t-shirt, Cooper said, people still believed the ridiculous rumor.
However, when Osmond returned to star in the Leave It to Beaver reboot, which was at the same time Cooper was on tour with KISS, the urban legend was finally put to rest.
Early Life, Education
Kenneth Charles Osmond was born on June 7, 1943 in Glendale, California. From a young age, Osmond’s mother had encouraged him and his brother to continue acting, and Osmond was doing his first auditions at the age of four. In addition to commercial work, Osmond also began taking acting classes after school and began working on films as an extra. Her first speaking role would come at the age of nine when Osmond appeared in the 1953 movie So Big and began to have bigger roles in other television shows such as Lassie, The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet, and The Petticoat Junction.
In 1969, Osmond married Sandra Purdy. They had two sons, Eric E. Osmond and Christian S. Osmond. Since his retirement from the police force, Osmond handled rental properties in Los Angeles County and made occasional personal appearances at film festivals, collectors’ shows and nostalgia conventions. On September 18, 2007, Osmond filed a class action lawsuit against the Screen Actors Guild, alleging that SAG had collected $8 million in foreign residuals for U.S. actors but had not distributed them to the actors. In August 2011, Osmond began appearing as a celebrity spokesman for St. Joseph aspirin.
Osmond was the co-author, along with Christopher J. Lynch, of the book Eddie: The Life and Times of America’s Preeminent Bad Boy, which was published in September 2014. The foreword was written by Jerry Mathers.
Osmond died on May 18, 2020, surrounded by family members. The cause of death is unknown. His former partner
in the LAPD stated that Osmond had been suffering from a respiratory ailment.
Death and Cause of Death
Sources told the news outlet that he died at his home in Los Angeles while surrounded by family. While a cause of death was not immediately revealed, Osmond’s former partner at the Los Angeles Police Department said that the actor had suffered from respiratory issues. Osmond had joined the LAPD in 1970 while he continued working as an actor. During his nearly two decades as a police officer, he also guest-starred on TV shows such as Happy Days, Parker Lewis Can’t Lose, and reprised his role as Eddie Haskell in The New Leave It to Beaver, which ran from 1983 to 1989.
Leave It to Beaver was such an iconic and beloved series during its run, following the news of Osmond’s death, fans shared how much the show and Osmond’s boisterous performance affected their lives growing up. Skid Row singer Sebastian Bach tweeted, “If you want to talk about my all-time influences, Ken Osmond AKA Eddie Haskell is right up there. My whole life I have laughed so hard watching Ken Osmond in Leave it to Beaver. During this time my kids have started watching too. Just last night Disappointed face THANK U.”
Ken Osmond, who made Eddie Haskell on Leave it to Beaver a TV icon, has died at the age of 76. Eddie was always endearing and amusing. Much of that is because of Osmond’s great portrayal. Well, another piece of my childhood has gone. RIP. #EddieHaskell #Beaver pic.twitter.com/WHovaBrcp7
— James L Neibaur (@JimLNeibaur) May 18, 2020
R.I.P., Ken Osmond, a.k.a. Eddie Haskell of “Leave It to Beaver.” Why, I can hear him at the pearly gates already…