You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

‘Ozzie & Harriet’ Writer Don Nelson Dies at 86

Don Nelson, brother of the late Ozzie Nelson and the co-writer of 216 episodes of classic sitcom “The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet” (pictured above), which centered on the Nelson family, died of an aortic aneurysm on Tuesday in Studio City, Calif. Nelson, who had Parkinson’s disease, was 86.

Nelson also penned the 1952 feature “Here Come the Nelsons”; episodes of shows including “The Ghost & Mrs. Muir,” “Julia” and “Nanny and the Professor”; and Disney features including “Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo” and “Hot Lead and Cold Feet.”

The beloved but anything but adventurous “Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet” ran from 1952-1966; according to the Los Angeles Times, it was Don Nelson who came up with Ricky Nelson’s trademark line “I don’t mess around, boy.”

His last writing credit was on the 1993 series “Droopy: Master Detective.”

Nelson was also a jazz musician, singing and playing sax; he released two albums in the 1950s and appeared at San Fernando Valley venues for years.

Ozzie and Harriet Nelson and their sons Rick and David all predeceased Don, David most recently in 2011. (Don Nelson was 21 years younger than his brother Ozzie.)

He is survived by his third wife, Marilyn; two daughters; and four stepchildren.

More TV

  • RuPaul

    RuPaul Reveals the Queens Competing in 'RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars' Season 3

    Don Nelson, brother of the late Ozzie Nelson and the co-writer of 216 episodes of classic sitcom “The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet” (pictured above), which centered on the Nelson family, died of an aortic aneurysm on Tuesday in Studio City, Calif. Nelson, who had Parkinson’s disease, was 86. Nelson also penned the 1952 feature […]

  • Donald Trump

    SAG-AFTRA Supports 'Unencumbered Press' After Trump's License Revocation Threat

    Don Nelson, brother of the late Ozzie Nelson and the co-writer of 216 episodes of classic sitcom “The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet” (pictured above), which centered on the Nelson family, died of an aortic aneurysm on Tuesday in Studio City, Calif. Nelson, who had Parkinson’s disease, was 86. Nelson also penned the 1952 feature […]

  • Brent Briscoe Dead: 'Twin Peaks' and

    Brent Briscoe, 'Twin Peaks' and 'Parks and Recreation' Actor, Dies at 56

    Don Nelson, brother of the late Ozzie Nelson and the co-writer of 216 episodes of classic sitcom “The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet” (pictured above), which centered on the Nelson family, died of an aortic aneurysm on Tuesday in Studio City, Calif. Nelson, who had Parkinson’s disease, was 86. Nelson also penned the 1952 feature […]

  • 'Magnum P.I.' Reboot in Development at

    'Magnum P.I.' Reboot in Development at CBS From Peter Lenkov With Production Commitment

    Don Nelson, brother of the late Ozzie Nelson and the co-writer of 216 episodes of classic sitcom “The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet” (pictured above), which centered on the Nelson family, died of an aortic aneurysm on Tuesday in Studio City, Calif. Nelson, who had Parkinson’s disease, was 86. Nelson also penned the 1952 feature […]

  • YouTube logo

    TV News Roundup: YouTube Greenlights Tinder-Themed Comedy 'Swipe Right'

    Don Nelson, brother of the late Ozzie Nelson and the co-writer of 216 episodes of classic sitcom “The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet” (pictured above), which centered on the Nelson family, died of an aortic aneurysm on Tuesday in Studio City, Calif. Nelson, who had Parkinson’s disease, was 86. Nelson also penned the 1952 feature […]

  • THE GIFTED: L-R: Natalie Alyn Lind,

    Delayed Viewing Ratings: 'Gifted' Scores for Fox, 'Good Doctor' Stands Strong on ABC

    Don Nelson, brother of the late Ozzie Nelson and the co-writer of 216 episodes of classic sitcom “The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet” (pictured above), which centered on the Nelson family, died of an aortic aneurysm on Tuesday in Studio City, Calif. Nelson, who had Parkinson’s disease, was 86. Nelson also penned the 1952 feature […]

  • The Walking Dead Season 7 Mid

    Microsoft Picks Up Six-Second Ads in AMC's 'Walking Dead'

    Don Nelson, brother of the late Ozzie Nelson and the co-writer of 216 episodes of classic sitcom “The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet” (pictured above), which centered on the Nelson family, died of an aortic aneurysm on Tuesday in Studio City, Calif. Nelson, who had Parkinson’s disease, was 86. Nelson also penned the 1952 feature […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content