HomeEntertainment‘Leave it to Beaver’: One Actor Explained Why They Were Able to ‘Enjoy’ 1980s Reboot More than Original

‘Leave it to Beaver’: One Actor Explained Why They Were Able to ‘Enjoy’ 1980s Reboot More than Original

by Suzanne Halliburton
Photo by Walt Disney Television via Getty Images Photo Archives/Walt Disney Television via Getty Image

Leave it to Beaver got a remake in the 1980s. It seems nostalgia is always in style.

And Ken Osmond, who played snarky Eddie Haskell, said he enjoyed the reboot more than the original. In the first Leave it to Beaver, Osmond was 14. But when the series relaunched, he was a seasoned 40 who was returning back to acting after serving 18 years as a motorcycle cop for the Los Angeles Police Department.

“When we did the new show I had fun with it,” Osmond said in 2015. “I was more aware of my surroundings and was able to enjoy it a lot more.”

The New Leave it to Beaver started out as a reunion movie on CBS in March, 1983. It morphed into a series for the Disney Channel the next two years, then moved to WTBS. It appeared there until 1989.

In Leave it to Beaver Reboot, All But One of the Major Characters Returned For the Show

All the major characters except one joined the reboot. Hugh Beaumont, who played Ward Cleaver, died in 1982. The reunion movie was dedicated in his memory. The movie script had June Cleaver as a widow. Her husband died in 1977.

Osmond came back as Eddie Haskell after retiring for medical reasons from the LAPD. In 1980, a suspected car thief shot him mulitple times. His wounds were too severe to continue as a policeman. So he went back to acting.

And one reason Osmond enjoyed the New Leave it to Beaver is because his two sons, Eric and Christian, were in the cast. They played Eddie’s two kids, Freddie and Bomber (Eddie Jr).

In the reboot, the Cleavers still are a really tight family. Beaver is divorced. He and his two sons are living with his mother, June Cleaver. Brother Wally, with his wife, son and daughter, live next door.

Lumpy and Larry Mondello, friends of Wally and the Beave, also are characters in the revival series.

Osmond Started Acting When He Was 9

Ken Osmond was happy to come back to acting. He first started working at age 9. Osmond was a guest star in some of the early TV classics like Lassie, Adventures of Ozzie and Harriett, Petticoat Junction and the Munsters. He joined the cast of Leave it to Beaver in 1957.

In the final seasons of Leave it to Beaver, Osmond also was in the U.S. Army Reserves.

He admitted that he was type cast as Eddie Haskell, who ended up becoming a pop culture reference. When adults were around, Eddie was sickeningly deferential. He was the exact opposite around friends. In real life, Osmond was nothing like Eddie Haskell, but he still was stuck with the persona.

“In the industry, that’s an absolute death sentence,” Osmond once told the Hollywood Reporter. “I would walk into a casting office, and all they could see was Eddie. I couldn’t get work to save my soul. … had a few minor parts here and there, but nothing that’s going to sustain a life and a salary.”

But in another interview, he said: “I’ve had a fabulous life…interesting… I’ve done so many things, gone so many places, met so many people.”