Ken Osmond, 'Leave It to Beaver' Actor, Dead at 76; Cause of Death Unknown

Ken Osmond, the actor best known for playing troublemaker Eddie Haskell on the classic sitcom Leave It to Beaver, died Monday at age 76 Variety reports. The beloved actor was reportedly surrounded by family at his home in Los Angeles when he peacefully passed away Monday morning, sources told the news outlet.

As of press time, Osmond's cause of death has not been revealed. However, Henry Lane, a former Los Angeles Police Department partner of Osmond, said the television actor suffered from respiratory issues. Fans took to social media to mourn his loss. From fellow actors to Skid Row singer Sebasitan Bach, news of Osmond's death has sent shockwaves throughout Hollywood and his fanbase.

News of Osmond's death has had many commenting on social media, with rocker Sebastian Bach taking to Twitter to memorialize the late actor. "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. THANK U," he wrote. "Some terribly sad news: actor Ken Osmond, who played Eddie Haskell on Leave It to Beaver, has passed away at the age of 76. His hysterical, obsequious repartee with Mrs. Cleaver (Barbara Billingsley) was unforgettable, even iconic," added another mourning fan.

Film historian and author James Neibaur also issued a "sad farewell" statement on Osmond's death. "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," he wrote. "Much of that is because of Osmond's great portrayal. Well, another piece of my childhood has gone. RIP."

Born in Glendale, California, Osmond first acted in commercials at age 4 and had several small guest parts on various TV series by age 9. He starred in 96 Leave It to Beaver episodes and 101 episodes of The New Leave It to Beaver as played Eddie Haskell, a sneaky character who demonstrated good manners around friends' parents, but was a wise-cracking bully when not. Though role was originally planned to be a one-time guest appearance, his appearance was so memorable, he became a regular.

Osmond also performed in shows such as Lassie, The Munsters and The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet. However, audiences so identified him with the two-faced Eddie Haskell that he became typecast and left acting.

In 1970, he joined the Los Angeles Police Department. Ten years later while pursuing a suspect on foot, Osmond was shot five times. His protective vest stopped four of the bullets, but a fifth stuck him. He was placed on disability after this and later retired from the police force in 1988.

Osmond remained relatively quiet for nearly the next two decades. In 2007, he filed a class-action lawsuit against the Screen Actors Guild because he believed SAG had been collecting foreign royalties without being upfront about the details of the collections. The two parties settled the lawsuit three years later.


He co-wrote his memoir titled Eddie: The Life and Times of America's Preeminent Bad Boy, published in 2014.

According to the Associated Press, Osmond leaves behind a wife - Sandra Purdy - and two sons, Eric and Christian. Osmond's son Eric told the Associated Press his father was incredibly kind and "wonderful" and would be very missed.