OZZIE NELSON BIOGRAPHY & FILMOGRAPHY:
Ozzie Nelson was born on March 20th, 1906 in Jersey City, New Jersey with the birth name Oswald George Nelson. When he completed high school he had initial goals of working in law and began studying for his future career when on the side for fun he put together a dance band in the 1920's. Ozzie graduated from Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey with a Bachelors degree and then went on to earn a law degree from Rutgers Newark School of Law in Newark, New Jersey in 1930.
However, it was this experience with the dance group that opened his eyes to the world of entertainment and he decided to make a career switch.
He began working at hotels and casinos performing and making his living and soon was getting radio gigs and becoming quite popular. He was also being cast in a number of musical films such as "Sweetheart of the Campus" (1941), "Strictly in the Groove" (1942) and "Honeymoon Lodge" (1943).
The majority of his work was done with his one and only wife, Harriet Hilliard whom he married in 1935 and together they had two children, David Nelson who grew up to be an actor and Ricky Nelson who became a famous singer.
The two had a huge hit radio show called "The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet" in 1944 and soon the show transferred from radio to television and their two sons became involved in the television program with them. The show ended up having a fourteen year run becoming known to many as America's first 'reality' television sitcom. Prior to this hit show he appeared with his wife regularly on the "Red Skelton Show".
Not only was Ozzie Nelson an actor on the show he also worked as the director, producer and editor of the show. Along with a successful radio and television career he occasionally worked with his wife appearing in a number of stage productions such as in "The Marriage-Go-Round".
He then passed away on June 3rd, 1975 from liver cancer at the age of sixty nine in Hollywood, California. He is interred at forest Lawn cemetery in Hollywood Hills, California. He and his wife Harriet were both awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for Radio and he was awarded a star for his contribution to television as well.
1969-1973 Love, American Style
1973 Ozzie's Girls
1972 Rod Serling's Night Gallery
1968 The Mothers-In-Law
1967-1968 The Red Skelton Hour
1968 The Impossible Years
1952-1966 The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet
1958 The Bob Cummings Show
1956 Jane Wyman Presents The Fireside Theatre
1952 Here Come the Nelsons
1946 People Are Funny
1944 Take It Big
1944 Wave-a-Stick Blues
1944 Hi, Good Lookin'!
1943 Honeymoon Lodge
1942 Strictly in the Groove
1941 Sweetheart of the Campus