- On the original The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet radio show, sons David and Ricky were played by actors until Ozzie Nelson relented to his sons' requests to play themselves.
- Directed a number of episodes of the TV show The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet, in which he starred with his parents and brother Ricky.
- Both his marriage to June Blair (a former Playboy Playmate) and Rick's to Kris Harmon were written into the series and the two women portrayed themselves.
- Contributed liner notes and sang back-up vocals on a number of brother Ricky's albums.
- Produced and directed the 1973 spin-off Ozzie's Girls, which starred his parents.
- Daughter Teri was once married to game-show host Chuck Woolery.
- In 1987, produced and directed the documentary Rick Nelson: A Brother Remembers.
- In 2003, was mistakenly flagged as a potential terrorist by Federal agents while boarding a plane in Los Angeles because there was a different David Nelson on the list of people to watch out for.
- Passed away in January 2011 due to complications from colon cancer.
- Teri Nelson — Stepdaughter
- Ricky Nelson — Brother
- Ozzie Nelson — Father
- June Blair — Ex-wife
- Sam Nelson — Nephew
- Harriet Nelson — Mother
- Daniel Blair Nelson — Son
- Matthew Nelson — Nephew
- Gunnar Nelson — Nephew
- James Eric Nelson — Son
- Yvonne O'Connor Huston — Wife
- Tracy Nelson — Niece
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