Ricky Nelson (1940-1985)
Slightly less-straight-arrow Ricky Nelson, The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet.
Died December 31, 1985, in a plane crash with members of his band. He was 45.
Brother of David Nelson; son of Ozzie and Harriet Nelson; father of actress Tracy Nelson, and fleeting 1990s pop stars Gunnar and Matthew Nelson (of Nelson).
First teen idol of the TV era.
Made singing debut on April 10, 1957, episode of Ozzie & Harriet. His version of "I'm Walkin'" was later released as a single, hitting No. 4 on the Billboard charts.
Scored 33 Top 40 hits, including "Poor Little Fool," "Travelin' Man," and "Hello Mary Lou."
Won the 1959 Golden Globe, at age 19, as most promising male newcomer.
Dropped the "y" from "Ricky" in 1961, at age 21.
Inducted into Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (1987).
Role of Ricky originally played by a child actor on the early radio version of Ozzie & Harriet. The real Ricky and his real brother joined the show in 1949, remaining with it until 1954.
With 435 episodes, the TV version of Ozzie & Harriet (1952-1966) is the longest-running sitcom of all time.
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: Ricky Nelson
TV Tome: The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet
American Heritage Center: Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet Virtual Exhibit
Copyright 1997-2007 Former Child Star Central