Hollywood is mourning the death of Ken Osmond. The beloved actor, best known for his role as Eddie Haskell in Leave It to Beaver, died at age 76 on Monday, May 18, Closer Weekly confirms.
“He was an incredibly kind and wonderful father,” the late TV star’s son, Eric Osmond, tells Closer. “He had his family gathered around him when he passed. He was loved and will be very missed.”
The cause of death is unknown.
Prior to landing his hit role in the TV comedy, Ken grew up in Glendale, California, alongside his mother, father and brother. After pursuing an acting career at the young age of 9, Ken landed his first speaking part in the 1953 film So Big.
As he kicked off his career, the actor appeared in Good Morning Miss Dove and Everything But the Truth. Ken also made several appearances on Lassie, The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet, Wagon Train and more.
In 1957, Ken auditioned for the role of Eddie Haskell and landed the part following a series of call-backs. Although the character was originally set to be a guest, Ken’s portrayal was so convincing, he quickly became a star and extended his contract throughout the comedy’s six seasons.
Throughout the final years of Leave It to Beaver, Ken was a member of the U.S. Army Reserve. After the series ended in 1963, he continued his work as an actor. On top of making a return appearance on Lassie, Ken also had roles in Petticoat Junction, The Munsters and With Six You Get Eggroll.
In 1970, Ken yearned for a new career path and joined the Los Angeles Police Department. He was placed on disability and eventually retired from the force in 1988 after being shot with five bullets while chasing with a suspected car thief.
Over a decade after first becoming a police officer, Ken made his return to acting in 1983. He reprised his beloved role as Eddie in the CBS movie, Still the Beaver, which ultimately led to the revival comedy series The New Leave It to Beaver the following year. The reboot ran for four seasons until 1989.
Throughout the ’90s, he continued to make TV appearances with guest roles on Happy Days, Rags to Riches and High School U.S.A.
Besides his love of acting, Ken was a devoted family man. The Hollywood alum leaves behind his beloved wife, Sandra Purdy — whom he tied the knot with in 1969 — and their two sons, Eric and Christian Osmond.
Our thoughts are with Ken’s family during this heartbreaking time.