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'Leave It to Beaver' star Ken Osmond dies at 76

Ken Osmond, who portrayed Wally Cleaver's best friend Eddie Haskell on Leave It to Beaver, died Monday. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
Ken Osmond, who portrayed Wally Cleaver's best friend Eddie Haskell on "Leave It to Beaver," died Monday. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

May 18 (UPI) -- Leave It to Beaver star Ken Osmond died Monday, The Hollywood Reporter and Variety reported. Osmond played Eddie Haskell on the TV comedy.

Cause of death was not specified, but Variety reports Osmond had dealt with respiratory issues. The Hollywood Reporter had a statement from Osmond's son, Eric.

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"He was an incredibly kind and wonderful father," Eric's statement read. "He had his family gathered around him when he passed. He was loved and will be very missed."

Leave It to Beaver was a wholesome family sitcom about the Cleaver family, who nicknamed their son Theodore (Jerry Mathers) The Beaver. Haskell was intended to be on one episode, as older brother Wally Cleaver (Tony Dow)'s best friend.

Osmond recurred in 96 episodes over the course of six seasons from 1957 to 1963, beginning when he was 14. He reprised his role in The New Leave It to Beaver from 1983 to 1989. Eric and his brother Christian played Haskell's sons on the revival series.

He also guest starred on series The Walter Winchell File, The Jack Benny Program, Wagon Train, Petticoat Junction, Lassie and more. He also appeared in films With Six You Get Eggroll and the 1997 Leave It To Beaver movie.

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Outside of acting he was a Los Angeles police officer from 1970 to 1988. He survived a shooting in 1980, thanks to a bulletproof vest.

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Richard "Dick" Thornburgh, former attorney general of the United States and former governor of Pennsylvania, takes a seat at the witness hearing after U.S. Chief Justice nominee Judge John Roberts testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., on September 15, 2005. Thornburgh died on December 31 at age 88. Photo by Yuri Gripas/UPI | License Photo

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