Thursday, July 18, 2013

July 18: Happy Birthday, Harriet Nelson

Harriet Hilliard was born on July 18, 1909 and grew up in Des Moines, Iowa. Later on as she got involved in vaudeville, she became a part of the band that Ozzie Nelson was band leading. They became a married couple a few years later and thus began the Nelson fame of Harriet Nelson through the years. Although she had a comfortable career as a film actress under the Hilliard name; she felt it important to move on to handle her work with Ozzie in the band subsequent radio program. In 1944, Harriet began working with Ozzie on the The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet, dealing with the everyday life raising 2 sons (David and Ricky). It took some time before the boys were actually able to perform as themselves for the radio show. early on, the rambunctious sons were portrayed by radio actors. The radio antics of this program grew so popular that ABC Television brought them on board to continue their program. Harriet Nelson brought a sense of stability to Ozzie’s impetuous character on the program. Harriet Nelson was so popular as a typical American wife and mother, that she often drew comments and questions from women seeking her advice. Harriet Nelson died in 1994 of congestive heart failure. Her husband and son Ricky (who was killed in a plane crash) preceded her in death and David passed away in 2011. Harriet Nelson still shines as every mother’s ideal.

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