David Nelson of “Ozzie and Harriet” Dies Aged 74

Posted on January 12, 2011


Another of the icons for the childhood of men and women of a certain age has died: Navid Nelson, the older Nelson son of Ozzie and Harriet, stars of “Ozzie and Harriet” on TV during the 50s and 60s.

While Rick was styled as “irrepressible” and played the entertaining smart alec, David was more of Rick’s straight man.  Without him and the parents, Rick would not stand out as he did – the one who made teenage women, now cougars, swoon.  Rick went on to be a rock and roll star until his early death.  David went on to a steady career of directing and acting in lesser roles.

The Nelson family was THE ideal of WASP America at a time when people didn’t lock doors, most everyone had a  job and America was an industrial and international powerhouse.  Still, as we know, inequalities were swept under the rug by images of prosperous families such as the Nelsons.

Regardless, the easy going style of the family’s adventures was just about the pace of the era.  Many of the episodes came directly from the adventures of the Nelson family itself and added to the feeling of real life that infused the series. It was about paper routes that the boys started but that Ozzie had to finish, the boys’ girlfriend troubles among other daily traumas.

With David’s death, there are only the Nelson grandchildren left to live out their lives in a changed world.