CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 11, 2013 |
Don Nelson, a screenwriter, film producer and musician who co-wrote scripts for "The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet" - the classic American television series centered on his brother Ozzie's family - as well as for more than two dozen other films and TV series, has died. He was 86. Nelson, who had Parkinson's disease, died of an aortic aneurysm Tuesday at his home in Studio City, said his wife, Marilyn. As a staff writer for "Ozzie and Harriet," one of the longest-running family comedies in TV history, Nelson came up with Ricky Nelson's trademark catchphrase "I don't mess around, boy," and contributed to more than 200 episodes of the series with storylines anchored famously on the harmless.
June 3, 1989 |
With a cool breeze blowing in off the steel-gray ocean below, Harriet Nelson stood on the deck of her cliff-top Laguna Beach house and remembered warmer days. "Ozzie would swim way out past the rocks, and then he'd swim all the way down there," she said, pointing to the rocks off Victoria Beach to the north and then down to Blue Lagoon a half mile to the south. "When we first came down here he'd swim twice a day and play volleyball with all the kids," she said, adding with a throaty laugh: "He'd knock his brains out. Ozzie had to win, you know.
May 5, 2007
I never thought that I would see "Ozzie and Harriet" given such a fair and insightful treatment in the L.A. Times ["Ozzie, Bland? Look Deeper," May 2]. Isn't Robert Lloyd ultra-hip and super-sophisticated? No cultural Marxist agenda? No deconstructionist analysis? Ozzie Nelson had a certain kind of genius and Lloyd captured it wonderfully. Thanks! ROGER MCGRATH Thousand Oaks
December 16, 1990
Re Howard Rosenberg's "Remembering the Lenny Bruce of TV Sitcoms": There are several reasons why "All in the Family" was a success. First of all, though Archie Bunker was a distasteful person he was nonetheless a real person, not some cardboard, near-perfect character like Cliff Huxtable. As a result, you could relate to him. Though Archie had several disagreeable qualities, underneath his hard-headed exterior there was genuine affection and sensitivity. Secondly, though "All in the Family" was a comedy, it was not afraid to tackle controversial and serious social and human issues, like rape, prejudice, death, abortion, feminism and homosexuality, dispelling myths and enlightening us in its own special way. Unlike most situation comedies before and after it, "All in the Family" didn't idealize the American family.
December 5, 2011
If Ed Wood had made a holiday movie, it would have been "Santa Claus Conquers the Martians," one of the worst movies ever made. Just like Wood's "Plan 9 from Outer Space" and "Glen or Glenda," this 1964 release starring a young Pia Zadora as a green-faced Martian has developed into a cult favorite. Directed by Nicholas Webster, this well-stuffed turkey finds Martians kidnapping Santa Claus (John Call) and bringing him to their planet because no one is giving Martian kids presents. The film has been digitally restored and is screening Friday and Saturday at midnight at the Regent Theatre in Westwood as part of the "Santa's Cool Holiday Film Festival.
August 28, 1999
"Ricky Nelson: Original Teen Idol," based on an "unauthorized biography," is a distorted exploitation of a family I love very much: Ricky Nelson, his brother and his mother and father ("Unbalanced Portrait of 'Teen Idol' Rick Nelson in VH1's Biopic," by Steve Hochman, Aug. 21). The Nelsons remain the most decent human beings I have ever known. Those of us who had the good fortune to have worked with them, as I did for five years on "The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet," and to have known them personally know the truth.