David Nelson, Last Surviving Member of Ozzie and Harriet Family, Dies at 74
David Nelson, who starred on his parents' long-running TV series The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet, has died. He was 74.
The actor died Tuesday after battling complications of colon cancer in his Los Angeles home, family spokesman Dale Olson told The Associated Press.
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Nelson was the last surviving member of the famous TV family, which starred his father, actor/bandleader Ozzie; his mother, singer Harriet Hilliard; and his teen idol brother Rick.
Originally a radio show, Ozzie and Harriet launched in 1944 and later featured actors playing David and Rick as the brothers were too young to perform. David and Rick Nelson then made their acting debuts alongside their parents in the 1952 film Here Come the Nelsons, which served as a pilot for the series. The sitcom premiered in the fall and ran for 14 seasons, becoming the longest running live-action sitcom in U.S. history.
Epitomizing 1950s family ideals and values, Ozzie and Harriet featured many storylines based on the stars' real lives. Nelson also directed and produced episodes of the show.
In 1973, he produced the short-lived spin-off Ozzie's Girls, in which Ozzie and Harriet rented the boys' rooms to two college girls.
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His film credits include Peyton Place, The Big Circus, Day of the Outlaw and Love and Kisses. In l976, he co-starred with his mother in Smash-Up on Interstate 5.
Nelson, who continued to act and produce in his later years, received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1996.
He is survived by his wife, Yvonne; four sons and a daughter; and seven grandchildren.