Ken Osmond
FILE - This Dec. 1, 2013 file photo shows Ken Osmond at the 82nd Annual Hollywood Christmas Parade in Los Angeles. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP, File)

Ken Osmond, Eddie Haskell of 'Leave it to Beaver,' Dies at 76

Ken Osmond, the actor behind iconic Leave It To Beaver character Eddie Haskell, died on Monday (May 18) at age 76.

"He was an incredibly kind and wonderful father," Osmond's son Eric said in a statement. "He had his family gathered around him when he passed. He was loved and will be very missed."

Osmond, a native of Glendale, California, made his acting debut at age 9 in the movie So Big. Other early career credits include Hollywood films Good Morning, Miss Dove and Everything but the Truth plus the television series Lassie, The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet, Wagon Train, Fury and The Loretta Young Show.

His big break came in 1957 when he successfully auditioned for the role of troublemaker Eddie Haskell, whose misadventures with Beaver Cleaver's (Jerry Mathers) brother Wally Cleaver (Tony Dow) and constant buttering up of June Cleaver (Barbara Billingsley) became a fixture of the series.

After Leave It to Beaver's six-season run ended, Osmond found himself in the same spot as a lot of child actors: typecast based on his best-known sitcom role. Still, a handful of roles followed, including guest appearances on Petticoat Junction and The Munsters.

In 1970, Osmond joined the Los Angeles Police Department. Ten years later, he was shot in the line of action by a suspected car thief. Osmond survived thanks to his bulletproof vest and remained with the LAPD until 1998.

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Osmond reprised the Eddie Haskins role three times: for the 1983 TV film Still the Beaver, spinoff series The New Leave It To Beaver (also featuring Osmond's real-life sons Eric and Christian) and the 1997 feature film Leave It To Beaver.

No word yet on Osmond's cause of death. Variety reports that Henry Lane, Osmond's former partner at the LAPD, said that Osmond had been suffering from respiratory issues.

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