Here is the latest in a series of examinations into urban legends about TV and whether they are true or false. Click here to view an archive of the TV urban legends featured so far.
TV URBAN LEGEND: Ken Osmond grew up to be the rock singer Alice Cooper.
In an earlier edition of TV Urban Legends Revealed, reader boxcuttah suggested that I feature this one, so, well, here ya go!
The TV sitcom Leave it to Beaver ran for six seasons in the late 1950s and early 1960s.
It starred two boys, Wally and Theodore (know as “Beaver”) and their parents, Ward and June.
A stand-out character on the show was teen actor Ken Osmond’s portrayal of Eddie Haskell, a good friend of Wally’s.
Eddie was the prototypical wisecracking kid who always acted like a saint when parents were looking.
A persistent rumor over the years was that Osmond, who was not seen much after the shoe ended, grew up to become rock star Alice Cooper.
Unlike most legends, the genesis of this one can be traced pretty easily (and really, kind of depressingly) to an interview Cooper (whose real name was Vincent Furnier) gave to Rolling Stone at the height of his popularity. In the interview, when Cooper was asked about his childhood, he stated that he was “Eddie Haskell” when he was a kid.
Clearly from the context of the interview, Cooper was suggesting that he was LIKE Eddie Haskell as a kid, but, of course, that wasn’t how the story was told over the years.
But, naturally, it is not true. As mentioned in the aforementioned previous TV Urban Legends Revealed, Osmond grew up to be a cop for the Los Angeles police department for many years.
The legend is…
Thanks to boxcuttah for the suggestion!
Feel free (heck, I implore you!) to write in with your suggestions for future installments! My e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.