Ozzie & Harriet Nelson's last son dies

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In summary: RIP David Nelson, who was part of the popular TV family of the 1950s and 1960s. He starred in the show "The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet" with his brother Rick and singer wife Harriet Hilliard. His death at 74 years old is a loss to the entertainment world.
  • #1


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Most members are probably asking "who?".

Us older folks know the Nelson family. RIP David. He was 74?

David Nelson, who starred on his parents' popular television show "The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet," has died, a family spokesman said. He was 74.

Nelson, who was battling complications of colon cancer, died Tuesday at his Los Angeles home, said family spokesman and longtime Hollywood publicist Dale Olson.

Nelson 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. 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.

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  • #2
RIP David Nelson. You helped us love the family life.
  • #3
Wow, 74! That is hard to imagine.

At one time he had a very cool house on the cliffs in S. Laguna Beach. We used to jump a fence at night and sleep on his [and other's] private beach. We saw him walking on the beach once but never had the opportunity to talk with him.
  • #4
I've gotten rather fond of the old time radio shows that come on late in the evenings on one of the AM channels in town (hey, I just listen for the sports!) I prefer the science fiction, western, and action shows but I'll usually listen through. Theatre of the mind, absolutely.

I'm surprised that they were a real family, though. Also really surprised that this first "Reality TV" show (the modern stuff is at least as scripted, and probably nowhere as entertaining) ran for 14 years.

Speaking of AM radio, according to the Wikipedia (and one or two interviews / mini-bios from various sources) the receipt of a box set of recordings of Those Old Radio Shows was what sparked a young Glenn Beck's interest in radio. I still don't know if it's an act, if he's gone over the edge, if it's some sort of performance art, or maybe all three of those things simultaneously.
  • #5
The Nelson family gave us an idealized reality show (aren't they all, though, even today?) and they tried to teach lessons of honesty, self-reliance, deference to the wisdom of elders, and many other "family" values in each show. Today's kids could benefit from such programming, IMO. Not just young kids, but pre-teens and teens who are conflicted and under peer pressure. The Cosby show was a more recent incarnation of such values, IMO. I'd like to see a lot more of that in after-school programming.
  • #6
The Ozzie and Harriet show was filmed at Ozzie and Harriet's home in the Hollywood Hills. What a talented family they were, and a good influence on the kids. Life seemed simpler in those days.

1. What was the cause of Ozzie and Harriet Nelson's last son's death?

Ozzie and Harriet Nelson's last son, Ricky Nelson, died in a plane crash on December 31, 1985. The cause of the crash was determined to be a malfunction in the aircraft's heating system.

2. How old was Ricky Nelson when he passed away?

Ricky Nelson was 45 years old when he died in the plane crash.

3. Did Ricky Nelson have any siblings?

Yes, Ricky Nelson had three older siblings: David, who was also a singer and actor, and two older sisters, Tracy and Lorrie. All three siblings are still alive as of 2021.

4. Where did the plane crash that killed Ricky Nelson occur?

The plane crash that killed Ricky Nelson occurred in De Kalb, Texas. The plane was en route from Guntersville, Alabama to Dallas, Texas when it crashed.

5. Did Ricky Nelson have a successful music career?

Yes, Ricky Nelson was a successful musician and had several hits on the Billboard charts, including "Poor Little Fool" and "Travelin' Man". He also had a successful TV career, starring alongside his family in "The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet".

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