Nelson, who was battling complications of colon cancer, died Tuesday at his Los Angeles home, said family spokesman and longtime Hollywood publicist Dale Olson.
Nelson was the last remaining member of the Nelsons TV family, which included actor/bandleader Ozzie, his singer wife, Harriet Hilliard and his teen idol brother Rick. The show originated on radio in 1952 as "Here Come the Nelsons," then ran for 320 episodes on TV from 1952 to 1966 as "The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet" with some of the story lines taken from the stars' own lives. David Nelson also directed and produced numerous episodes of the show throughout its run.
Singer Gunnar Nelson, a son of Rick Nelson, issued a statement Wednesday, saying his uncle's death was "a great loss to the Nelson family.