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Ken Osmond
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Ken Osmond

Ken Osmond is an American actor best known for his role of the fictional character Eddie Haskell on the original Leave It to Beaver television situation comedy which ran on CBS from October 4, 1957 to 1958 and then on ABC from 1958 to June 20, 1963.

Osmond's playing of Eddie Haskell in the original series became a cultural reference, recognized as an archetype for the behind-your-back rebel. Eddie was the kind of friend parents such as Ward and June Cleaver wish their children would limit association with, but need to have to gain learning experiences. Even today, the phrase Eddie Haskell is known to refer to an insincere brownnoser.

Eddie was known for his neat grooming hiding his shallow and sneaky character. Typically, Eddie would greet his friends' parents with overdone good manners and often a compliment such as "That's a lovely dress you're wearing, Mrs. Cleaver." Eddie's two-faced style was also typified by his efforts to curry favor by trying to talk to adults at the level he thought they would respect, such as referring to their children as Theodore (Beaver's much-disliked given name) and Wallace, even though the parents called them Beaver and Wally.

Eddie the weaselly wise guy with his friends could be relied upon to connive and instigate schemes for which they would be in the position of blame, if (and usually when) caught. One of his more famous pranks with the Cleaver boys involved fastening a chain around the rear axle of their friend Clarence Lumpy Rutherford's car, causing unplanned damage as the entire third member and wheels became detached when he tried to move the car. The prank was repeated on a police car in a scene in the film American Graffiti.

Osmond, who as a child-actor became memorable as the wise-cracking Eddie Haskell, went on to a real life career as one of the good guys, whose job is to Protect and To Serve. He served an 18-year career with the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD). During his time on the force he worked in vice, narcotics and as a motorcycle officer. He retired after getting hit with three bullets while in a foot chase with a suspected car thief. He was saved by his bulletproof vest and belt buckle.

He eventually returned to acting with appearances on Happy Days and the TV movie High School USA. Osmond also starred in the role in the Still the Beaver situation comedy and the 1997 film Leave It to Beaver. Unlike so many remakes of earlier successful characters, critics noted that the directors of the 1997 film wisely did not even attempt to cast anyone else in the Eddie Haskell role. Instead, Ken Osmond played Eddie Haskell Sr., and Adam Zolotin, a younger actor, played Eddie Haskell Jr.

Note: This profile was written in or before 2006.

Ken Osmond Facts

BirthdayJune 7, 1943 (78)
BirthplaceGlendale, California, USA

Selected Filmography

Not available.