David Nelson, Last Surviving Member of ‘Ozzie and Harriet,’ Dies

Actor, 74, died from complications from colon cancer

David Nelson, who was the last surviving member of the 1950s sitcom "Ozzie and Harriet," has died, the Los Angeles Times reports. He was 74.

The cause was colon cancer, Nelson's publicist, Dale Olson, told the paper. Nelson died Tuesday at his home in Century City, California.

"The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet" originally debuted on the radio, in 1944, with Nelson's real-life parents Ozzie Nelson and Harriet Hilliard. Nelson [pictured, top] and his younger brother Ricky [bottom] replaced the child actors portraying them in 1949.

In 1952, the show moved to television and ran for 14 years on ABC — blurring the lines between reality and fiction long before reality television.

"In the process of playing fictionalized versions of themselves on television each week, David and Rick Nelson literally grew up in front of millions of Americans," the Times noted.

Ozzie Nelson died in 1975; Harriet passed away in 1994. Ricky was killed in a New Year's Eve plane crash in 1985.

Nelson is survived by his wife, Yvonne; sons John, Eric, James and Danny; daughter Teri; and seven grandchildren.

Memorial services will held at noon Thursday at Pierce Brothers Westwood Village Memorial Park and Mortuary.