×

‘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.

Popular on Variety

More TV

  • 'Lizzie McGuire' Reboot Series in the

    'Lizzie McGuire' Reboot Series in the Works at Disney Plus

    Get excited “Lizzie McGuire” fans because a reboot series of the much loved Disney Channel teen show is in the works at Disney Plus, according to sources. Lizzie McGuire herself Hilary Duff is expected to announce the series at Disney Puls’ D23 Expo event. Created by Terri Minsky, the original “Lizzie McGuire” series ran for [...]

  • Disney Fans Lineup to Subscribe to

    Fans Line Up to Subscribe to Disney Plus at D23

    Disney fans lined up to be among the first to subscribe to the company’s forthcoming streaming service. The D23 Expo convention hall, filled with giant Marvel exhibits and cos-players also featured a kiosk to sign up for Disney Plus. The incentive? An offer to save $23 per year on a three-year subscription to the service. [...]

  • Cine-y-Series

    Chilean TV Grapples With Globalization

    SANTIAGO, Chile – Globalization was the key word in a TV panel held during Sanfic where Mega TV’s International Content chief Juan Ignacio Vicente, CNTV development head Ignacio Villalabeitia and DirecTV programming director Rossy Hernandez debated the myriad challenges Chile’s television industry faces today. Like its counterparts worldwide, Chilean TV is dealing with the spectre [...]

  • Mickey Mouse waves to members of

    Spider-Man, Spicer and Splashy First-Looks: Everything We're Looking For at D23

    As if Disney hasn’t owned enough weekends this year at the box office, the biennial D23 Expo will light up Anaheim, Calif. over the next three days to celebrate the content monolith. From a new Netflix-competing streaming platform to scores of movie and series reveals — along with a few hot controversies to confront — [...]

  • PHINEAS AND FERB - "The Fast

    'Phineas and Ferb' Disney Plus Movie Details, Including Title, Revealed at D23

    Five years after summer ended for “Phineas and Ferb,” the show returns with a new movie on Disney Plus in 2020, new details of which were revealed on Friday at the D23 fan convention. In “Phineas and Ferb The Movie: Candace Against the Universe,” currently in production for the new streaming service, stepbrothers Phineas and [...]

  • Brews Brothers Netflix

    Netflix Orders Comedy Series 'Brews Brothers' from Schaffer Brothers

    Netflix has put in an eight-episode order of “Brews Brothers,” a comedy series from creative sibling team Greg Schaffer and Jeff Schaffer. The show follows estranged brothers Wilhelm and Adam Rodman, who wind up running a brewery together. According to Netflix, each is a “beer genius … but they couldn’t be more different in their [...]

  • Kevin Jonas, Joe Jonas, Nick Jonas.

    Jonas Brothers Shine a Light on New Jersey Via VMAs Asbury Park Performance

    The Jonas Brothers will pay homage to their New Jersey roots at the MTV Video Music Awards this Monday (Aug. 26) with a performance on the Asbury Park Boardwalk. The brothers — Nick, Joe and Kevin — were raised in Wyckoff, NJ. With the awards ceremony being held for the first time at the Prudential [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content