David Nelson, the last surviving member of the family which captured national attention through the 1950s/1960s sitcom "The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet," has died. The series ended in 1966 after 435 episodes, making it the longest-running family sitcom in television history at the time. (The show's theme song can be heard here.)
As was (and is) often the case in Hollywood, all was not as it might have seemed:
"The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet" has been criticized for presenting an idealized version of American family life that few could live up to.
That included the Nelsons, as David pointed out in a 1971 Esquire article headlined "The Happy, Happy, Happy Nelsons."
"We would keep up the front of this totally problemless, happy-go-lucky group," he said. "There might have been a tremendous battle in our home, but if someone from outside came in, it would be as if the director yelled, 'Roll 'em,' We'd fall right into our stage roles.
"It's an awfully big load to carry, to be everyone's fantasy family."
Indeed it is. Although Nelson's career seems to have reached its apex during the show, one hopes that he found personal happiness in the years after the cameras stopped rolling.