Eddie- The Life and Times of America’s preeminent bad boy -by Ken Osmond and Christopher J. Lynch

It wasn’t until very recently, last year actually, that I started watching Leave It To Beaver, and since then it has become one of my favorite TV shows.  Growing up in the 80’s it wasn’t a series that seemed very cool or interesting, but now that I’m older, something made me seek out these old black and white, feel good, TV shows.   Who knows, it may have been seeing Wally Cleaver’s dreamy eyes that made me stop channel surfing one day. 

Once I started watching, I got hooked on Eddie Haskell.  No matter how many times, I shook my head and said, “No Beaver don’t listen to him!”  I still liked Eddie Haskell anyway.  

I saw a special All-Star episode of The Family Feud with the cast of Leave It To Beaver was playing against, Your Hit Parade.  At the beginning of the show, during the introduction Ken Osmond was introduced as an LAPD police officer.   I found that to be most interesting, and certainly wondered what it would be like to be given a speeding ticket by Eddie Haskell!  

I don’t recall how I found out that he had also been shot as a police officer, but I wanted to know more about it.  I did some searching online and found out that he had written a book, so I asked for it to be my Christmas present this year (2015).  I was surprised that it was still a relatively new release with it being published in 2014.  

Right off the bat, in Chapter 1, is the story of how Ken was shot 3 times at point blank range by a car thief, and survived.  I found myself having so much respect for Ken Osmond, and I think that can be rare in Hollywood.  Actors can be admired for their roles and memorable characters, but how many can actually be hailed as a hero?  Oftentimes you hear about child stars who become wayward, unable to handle fame and the fall from the lime-light and are then drug addicted or dead.  

Unfortunately, Ken Osmond had been forever typecast as Eddie Haskell and found it difficult to ever get other decent, steady acting rolls after Beaver.  In spite of that, he moved on with his life and joined the army reserves, learned to fly a helicopter, joined the LAPD, reprised his role as Eddie Haskell in the 80’s and of course enjoyed family life as a committed husband and father.  

Even though the story  of Ken’s shooting was in the beginning, and not buried somewhere in the middle, the book still held my interest throughout.  Normally, when I reading a book it can stretch over months before I finish it, but with this one, I wanted to keep reading.  The book, with compact chapters, covers his whole life and tells of how he and his brother got into acting through his career on Beaver and life after.  What is unique is that there are trivia questions at the end of each chapter and you have to read on to the next chapter to find out the answer.  

I admire Ken Osmond as a person, and I probably would have dated him as Eddie Haskell if I attended Mayfield High.  

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