David Nelson, Last Surviving Member of 'Ozzie and Harriet' Family, Dies at 74

The actor also directed numerous episodes of the series, which featured many story lines based on the stars' own lives.

David Nelson, who starred on his parents' popular TV show The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet, died Tuesday at his home in Century City after battling complications of colon cancer, a family spokesman said. He was 74.

Born in New York, Nelson attended the University of Southern California before joining his family on the small screen. He and his teen idol brother, Rick, convinced their parents to be on the show.

Some of the story lines in Ozzie and Harriet, which aired on ABC from 1952-66, were taken from the stars' own lives. Nelson was the last surviving member of the well-known TV family, and he directed numerous episodes of the series.

His film credits include Peyton Place, The Big Circus and Love and Kisses. In l976, he co-starred with his mother in Smash-Up on Interstate 5.

Nelson is survived by his wife, Yvonne; four sons and a daughter; and seven grandchildren. A service will be held Thursday at Pierce Brothers Westwood Mortuary.

Said his nephew Gunnar Nelson in a statement: "On behalf of the Rick Nelson family -- Matthew, Tracy, Sam, and myself, I would like to extend our collective and heartfelt sympathies to our Uncle David’s wife Yvonne, Sons John, Danny, Eric, James, daughter Teri, and all the grandchildren.  We will all miss Uncle Dave’s laughter and evolved sense of humor.  I'm sure that Grandpa Ozzie, Grandma Harriet, and our Pop Rick were all waiting for him to welcome him Home when his time came. His passing is a great loss to the Nelson family as well as to the whole world- but I’m certain that his legacy will endure for generations to come. Our thanks go out to all of our fans, our father's fans, and fans of the Ozzie and Harriet show through the years for the letters of care and sympathy that have been arriving. We'll miss you, Uncle Dave.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.