David Nelson of Ozzie and Harriet Dies at 74

David Nelson who was the last surviving member of the Nelson family of the Ozzie and Harriet television series has died in Century City, California at the age of 7

David Nelson died at the age of 74 due to complications from colon cancer at his home in Century City, California. He was born on October 24, 1936 in New York City.

The Ozzie and Harriet television series featured Nelson in 432 episodes from 1952-1966. He appeared in various television programs or movies after leaving Ozzie and Harriet including playing a doorman in Cheech and Chong’s Up in Smoke movie in 1978 and made his last appearance as an actor in 1990 in the Johnny Depp movie Cry-Baby portraying the father of Traci Lord’s character Wanda.

While Ozzie and Harriet was running he was in the 1957 movie Peyton Place in which he played the role of Ted Carter.

Nelson owned a production company after ending his acting career 21 years ago. While his brother Ricky was in the public eye for years after Ozzie and Harriet left the air David Nelson mostly stayed out of the spotlight.

His brother Ricky had died in a plane crash 26 years ago on New Year’s Eve of 1985 near Texarkana, Texas.

Very few of the Adventures of Ozzie Harriet old time radio show remain in circulation with about only 80 shows remaining from the ten year run of the series.

The Ozzie and Harriet television series to my knowledge has not been shown on television for many years but Radio of Yesteryear website says it is currently running on the Ion Network but the Ion website doesn’t show Ozzie and Harriet on their current schedule.

Those of us that grew up in the 40’s and 50’s have lost the last member of the Nelson family but they will all remain in our hearts as long as we live after listening to and watching them for 24 years on radio and television.


Author: Andrew Godfrey

Retired from newspaper work after 38 years. Had served in the Army in Hawaii and Vietnam in the 60's. Am now retired and living in Sulphur, Louisiana.

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