When Ken Osmond returned to play Eddie Haskell
Osmond came back to resurrect Eddie Haskell in the '80s!
Like all good things, Leave It to Beaver eventually came to an end, concluding after six seasons. Throughout the show's 234 episodes, it's hard to argue that anybody stole more scenes than Eddie Haskell. As portrayed by Ken Osmond, Haskell was television's most lovable jerk, someone viewers really liked to dislike. He was so believable in turning on the charm to cover up his misdeeds. As the series lived on in re-runs, "Eddie Haskell" became a descriptor for a certain type of person we all grew up with. Every neighborhood had the troublemaker who'd shmooze the moms, Ken Osmond just gave them a name.
Eddie Haskell outgrew the man who played him on TV. After contributing such a monumental character to the culture, Ken Osmond struggled to find additional acting work. It seemed people wanted him to be Eddie Haskell or nothing at all. And so, a few years after Leave It to Beaver came to its end, Osmond stepped away from acting entirely. He was a new father and now had a family to provide for. That kind of pressure is what motivated him to pursue a career in the Los Angeles Police Department in 1970. For a while, it seemed like Osmond's time in the limelight had come to a permanent end. Maybe Eddie Haskell was gone for good.
"I knew everything has to come to an end someday," Osmond told the Knight-Ridder News Service in 1983. "I realized it was time to do something else." Unfortunately for Osmond, that something else came with a heavy dose of danger. His time with the LAPD could have ended tragically had it not been for a lucky belt buckle. In 1980, Osmond, in pursuit of a stolen vehicle, was shot and struck by three bullets. Two hit his bullet-proof vest, while the third was stopped by his belt buckle.
It was in the aftermath of this scary incident that Osmond was approached once again by TV producers to play his most famous character. Haskell was due for a return to the fictional Mayfield in Still the Beaver, a reunion movie set decades after the conclusion of the Beaver series. Whether due to the shooting or not, Osmond was happy to return to acting, bringing Haskell back in all his toady glory.
Just how pleased was Ken Osmond with returning to Eddie Haskell? Well, if it's any indication, he made the reunion a family affair. If Eddie Haskell's son in the show seems like his old man's spitting image, that's because he is! Little Freddie Haskell of Still the Beaver was played by Ken Osmond's real-life son Eric. The father-son duo was also joined by Osmond's son Christian, who played Bomber in the reunion movie.
Not only did Ken Osmond return to play Eddie Haskell, but he also packed up the whole family to bring them along for the ride!