Thursday, January 13, 2011

David Nelson of Ozzie and Harriet Fame Dies

David Nelson, who played the elder son on the 1950s sitcom The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet, has died at 74.

Nelson, the last surviving member of the idealized TV family portrayed on the show, died Tuesday in Los Angeles of complications from colon cancer, his representative Dale Olson said, according to reports.

Nelson played a fictionalized version of himself on the popular series, which started on radio, became a movie and then ran on ABC from 1952 to 1966. The family, which used their real names, was portrayed as a wholesome suburban clan, with episodes focusing on the domestic adventures of David and his younger brother, Ricky, who would later gain tremendous fame as a singer.

David Nelson's other credits included movies as diverse as the '50s soap opera Peyton Place and John Waters's satiric Cry-Baby, and he also made a name for himself as a TV director. He is survived by his wife, Yvonne, four sons, a daughter and several grandchildren.

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