David Nelson's family was actually way ahead of its time.
As stars of The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet, Ozzie and Harriet Nelson and their sons David and Ricky were doing a sitcom-as-a-play-on-real-life a few years before Lucy and Desi and decades before Larry David took the idea to HBO. And they lasted 14 seasons!
Sadly, David Nelson, the surviving member of the quintessential 1950s-era family of four, died Monday at his Los Angeles home after battling colon cancer. He was 74.
Even before Ozzie and Harriet ended its run on ABC in 1966 (it was in color by then!), David had started a solo acting career, appearing in the classic 1957 film Peyton Place, as well as B-movies like -30-, Day of the Outlaw and The Big Circus.
In addition to the occasional TV and movie role, he also worked as a director and producer in the 1970s and 1980s.
His final film role, meanwhile, might be the one he's most known for among non-Baby Boomers. In a nod to the 1950s prissiness that John Waters was spoofing, David and fellow cult figure Patty Hearst played Traci Lords' blissfully clueless parents in Cry-Baby.
David is survived by his second wife, Yvonne, four sons, a daughter and seven grandchildren. Brother Ricky Nelson died in a plane crash in 1985. A funeral service is planned for Thursday in L.A.