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NELSON
NICK UT  /  AP
In this May 9, 1996, photo on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Los Angeles, actor and director David Nelson poses with his grandson Michael Woolery and family friend Ashley Holt as he is honored with the 2,065th star. Nelson died in Los Angeles Tuesday.
updated 1/12/2011 12:55:02 AM ET 2011-01-12T05:55:02

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 died Tuesday at his home in the Century City area of Los Angeles after battling complications of colon cancer, said family spokesman and longtime Hollywood publicist Dale Olson.

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Born in New York City, Nelson attended the University of Southern California before joining his family on the small screen. He and his teen idol brother, Rick, convinced their parents to be on the show.

"The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet" aired on ABC from 1952 to 1966 and some of the story lines were taken from the stars' own lives. Nelson was the last surviving member of the well-known TV family and he directed numerous episodes of the series.

His film credits include "Peyton Place," "The Big Circus" and "Love and Kisses." In 1976, he costarred with his mother in "Smash-Up on Interstate 5."

He also appeared in various TV roles and has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and started his own commercial production company.

Nelson is survived by his wife, Yvonne; four sons and a daughter; and seven grandchildren. A service will be held Thursday at Pierce Brothers Westwood Mortuary.

The Nelson family included actor-bandleader Ozzie; his singing wife, Harriet Hilliard; and his teen-idol younger brother, Rick, who died in 1985. The show, which originated on radio in 1952 as "Here Come the Nelsons," ran for 320 episodes from 1952 to 1966 as "The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet" on ABC. On the radio show, the boys were portrayed by pros, but they persuaded their parents to allow them to play themselves for the smallscreen.

Rick Nelson's popular songs included "Garden Party" and "Hello Mary Lou."

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Rick Nelson's twin sons, Matthew and Gunnar Nelson, formed the band Nelson and now tour as a live tribute show, "Ricky Nelson Remembered."

Tracy Nelson appeared in the TV shows "Square Pegs" and "Father Dowling Mysteries" and the movie "Down and Out in Beverly Hills."

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Video: David Nelson of 'Ozzie and Harriet' TV family dies

  1. Closed captioning of: David Nelson of 'Ozzie and Harriet' TV family dies

    >>> david nelson has died of colon cancer . he was the last surviving member of the nelson family on tv. david and his brother ricky, the singer and teen idol, starred in "the adventures of ozzie and harriet " which one writer called the first celebrity reality show, albeit in black and white . david nelson gone at the age of 74.

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