The eldest son of bandleader Ozzie Nelson and his singer/wife Harriet Hilliard, David Nelson began working with his younger brother Ricky and his parents on the radio in “The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet” in the late 1940s. The sitcom about a fictional family called the Nelsons lasted on the radio until 1954.
In 1952, they all starred in the feature film “Here Come the Nelsons,” and that same year, the family began their TV show on ABC, which continued until 1966. As Ricky Nelson became a pop sensation, David Nelson began to direct episodes of the series and appeared in several feature films including 1957’s classic “Peyton Place” and 1959’s “The Remarkable Mr. Pennypacker.” He also appeared with his mother in the 1976 TV movie “Smash-Up on Interstate 5.”
He continued to act, direct and produce. His last feature film appearance was in 1990’s “Cry-Baby.”