‘Leave It to Beaver’: Eddie Haskell Actor Ken Osmond Revealed the ‘Death Sentence’ of Showbiz

by Will Shepard

Leave It to Beaver is one of those shows that probably will never truly go out of style. Sure, the slang and the apparel are different, but the jokes all still make hit deep. One of the show’s favorite secondary characters was Eddie Haskell, who was played by Ken Osmond.

In the show, his character was always polite, yet somehow equally as mischievous. Nonetheless, he was always getting Wally and Beaver in trouble for any variety of pranks. Ken Osmond played his role in Leave It to Beaver exceptionally well for someone so young.

One of his more iconic episodes comes in Season Two of Leave It to Beaver. Eddie Haskell decides that he wants to meddle with Beaver and his new Spanish-speaking friend. Because the two kids can’t communicate with each other, he plays a prank on Beaver. He teaches Beaver how to say a phrase in Spanish.

Thinking that the phrase means “you’re a swell guy,” Beaver tells his friend that he thinks his face looks like a pig. Chaos ensues for the rest of the Leave It to Beaver episode.

He might have played it almost too well, though. After the show came to an end, Osmond was never able to find another sustained role as an actor in Hollywood. In fact, in 1970, only seven years after Leave It to Beaver finished, he joined the Los Angeles Police Department.

Typecasting Was a Death Knell For “Leave It to Beaver” Actor Ken Osmond

Because he was so excellent as Eddie Haskell in Leave It to Beaver, he was unable to find work after the show. This is not an uncommon occurrence for actors in Hollywood. Many cast members of The Brady Bunch commented on the same thing.

Nonetheless, in an interview from 2015, Osmond explains why his Leave It to Beaver character was the end of his acting career. He blames typecasting for having to leave acting behind.

“It’s a death sentence in the entertainment industry. I thought Eddie died of acute syndication, but he’s alive and well.”

Even though Osmond’s career was eventually brought to an end due to finding issues, he still had his moments. Unfortunately, Osmond passed away on May 18, 2020.