‘Leave It To Beaver’ Star Stephen Talbot Believes Eddie Haskell Would Have Done the Best in Today’s World

by Joe Rutland
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Classic TV show Leave It To Beaver has many iconic characters on there and one of them happens to be Eddie Haskell, played by Ken Osmond. While Osmond is no longer alive, the fact that people still remember that character is a credit to his acting abilities. Would Eddie have made it in today’s world? One fellow Beaver actor believes he would have been great. That’s the thought of Stephen Talbot, who played Gilbert Bates on the sitcom.

Talbot, in an interview with Best Classic Bands, says, “between Ken Osmond and the writers working together, he created, I think, the one truly indelible character. Not many people can say that they created a character where just the name becomes something that, in American culture, for years and years and years, people knew. That’s just amazing.”

Stephen Talbot Of ‘Leave It To Beaver’ Heard About Osmond’s Better Side

If you recall, Haskell would be the best friend of Wally Cleaver, played by Tony Dow. Yet he always found a way to be the needler against Beaver, played by Jerry Mathers. Heck, he even would find a spot to be a pain around Gilbert, too. The character has become synonymous with a type of behavior within people. Getting someone to say that “you are like Eddie Haskell” is a compliment to some folks. What does Talbot remember about Osmond himself?

“He was something like six or seven years older than me, and his character, of course, was always teasing or bullying or harassing Gilbert,” Talbot said. “And the truth is I was a little intimidated by him. I always kind of kept my distance and didn’t particularly like him.”

The actor would say that his opinion of Osmond was unfair “because, as Jerry and Tony have told me many times, off-screen he wasn’t like that.” Osmond reportedly was very friendly with his two costars and they all got along. “They always said he was a really nice guy, but I always had my doubts,” Talbot said. “I thought, hmm, Eddie? Ken? The same guy? I’m not going to let him get to me.”

Actor Would Appear In Other Shows Like ‘Perry Mason,’ ‘Twilight Zone’

Talbot did have a recognizable face as a child actor. He had roles on shows like Perry Mason, The Twilight Zone, Lassie, and others from the classic TV world. One of his last acting gigs before turning his attention to other endeavors was with Lucille Ball on her 1960s show The Lucy Show.

Once he left acting in his teen years, Talbot would focus on academics. He would become a well-known face in the world of documentaries for PBS. In fact, you might have seen him in some from San Fransisco station KQED.

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