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Posted at 10:59 AM ET, 01/12/2011

David Nelson of 'Ozzie and Harriet' dies

By Emma Brown

The Associated Press has published this obituary for David Nelson:

David Nelson, who starred on his parents' popular television show "The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet," died Jan. 11 of complications from colon cancer at his home in Los Angeles. He was 74.

Mr. Nelson (top right in the photo below) was the last remaining member of the Nelsons TV family, which included actor/bandleader Ozzie, his singer wife, Harriet Hilliard and his teen idol brother Rick (top left).


The show originated on radio in 1952 as "Here Come the Nelsons," then ran for 320 episodes on TV from 1952 to 1966 as "The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet" with some of the story lines taken from the stars' own lives. David Nelson also directed and produced numerous episodes of the show throughout its run.

"The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet" was shot in the Nelson family home in the Hollywood foothills, which remains a popular attraction for visitors on Hollywood celebrity bus tours.

Born in New York City, David attended Hollywood High School and the University of Southern California.

His film credits included "Peyton Place," ''The Remarkable Mr. Pennypacker," ''The Big Circus," ''Day of the Outlaw," ''30,''''The Big Show," 'Love and Kisses and "Swing Out, Sweet Land." In 1976, he costarred with his mother in "Smash-Up on Interstate 5."

His television credits included "Up In Smoke," ''The Love Boat," ''High School USA," and "A Family For Joe." Directing credits included "O.K. Crackerby," ''Childish Things," ''Easy To Be Free," ''Ozzie's Girls," ''Death Screams," ''Last Plane Out," ''Goodnight Beantown" and "A Rare Breed."

Mr. Nelson also was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Survivors include his wife, Yvonne; four sons and a daughter; and seven grandchildren.

(Photo: Associated Press)

Here's the intro to an "Ozzie and Harriet" episode about the Nelson boys taking up a newspaper route (complete with a vintage commercial for 007 aftershave, hair dressing and cologne):

By Emma Brown  | January 12, 2011; 10:59 AM ET
Categories:  Actors, actresses  
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Oh, how I enjoyed watching this "perfect" family on tv. Harriet was always the wise and understanding mother and David and Rick were the cutest teenage boys, the "dreamiest". They may be gone, though there is always the memories on Rest in peace, Dave Nelson, rest in peace.

Posted by: fishpond | January 12, 2011 3:37 PM | Report abuse

Well too bad, there goes another icon and the end of an era of sorts. Throughout the years I always referred to the "perfect family" (if there ever was such a thing) as Ozzie and Harriet. They portrayed what many of the youth of that time thought the perfect family was. It was something to strive for in a way, but pretty much unobtainable and most of our families are dysfunctional in one way or another. Still it was a simpler time and place in Ozzie and Harriet's life. It was rumored that David was at Lackland Air Force Base taking basic training when I was there in 1960 and we always hoped we'd cross paths with him, but then how would we ever know - we all looked so much alike!RIP David and the rest of the clan.

Posted by: jwkoest | January 12, 2011 5:03 PM | Report abuse

Another piece of our childhood passes on. Ozzie and Harriet was a very settling program on TV as a fictional happy family whose biggest problem was often no bigger than deciding whether to get the half gallon of milk or the quart size. Also Rick Nelson singing at the end of several shows added to the enjoyment. Always wondered what Ozzie did for a living, but we knew that Harriet was the real rock of the family. Fiction of course, but quite enjoyable, and a great escape for me growing up watching that small TV screen with the pliers and a kid brother as our remote control. In some ways it was the first reality show on TV. A sad milestone as we all get older but they are always available on DVD. A great show in its day.

Posted by: bfjam | January 12, 2011 10:06 PM | Report abuse

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