'Ozzie and Harriet' Writer Don Nelson Dies at 86

2:34 PM PST 09/12/2013 by Mike Barnes

He wrote more than 200 episodes of his brother's family sitcom as well as the Disney comedy "Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo."

Don Nelson, a screenwriter who wrote for The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet, the long-running sitcom that revolved around his brother Ozzie's family, has died. He was 86.

Nelson, who had Parkinson's disease, died of an aortic aneurysm Tuesday at his home in Studio City, his wife Marilyn told the Los Angeles Times.

Nelson contributed to more than 200 episodes as a staff writer on Ozzie and Harriet, which aired on ABC from October 1952 to March 1966. Earlier, he co-wrote the 1952 feature Here Come the Nelsons, which in effect served as the TV pilot for the series. (The Nelsons -- Ozzie, wife Harriet, and sons Ricky and David -- had starred on a radio show.)

Don Nelson also wrote for such TV shows as The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, The Doris Day Show, The Donna Reed Show, Julia, Bridget Loves Bernie and The Mothers-in-Law. For the latter, he wrote an episode that featured the rock band The Seeds of "Pushin' Too Hard" fame.

And Nelson co-wrote the Disney comedies No Deposit, No Return (1976), Gus (1976), Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo (1977) and Hot Lead and Cold Feet (1978).

A native of Hackensack, N.J., who was 21 years younger than Ozzie, Nelson also was a jazz singer and soprano saxophonist. He performed on the albums The Wind, released in 1957, and 1986's Sittin' In, with Johnny Varro.

In addition to his wife, survivors include daughters Kathy and Laurie.

 
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