When I was growing up, a local TV station frequently ran old episodes of the classic sitcom “The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet.” Whenever I came across one of them, I’d stop to watch the happy, wholesome Nelson family living their lives in their traditional Colonial-style house decorated with Early American furniture.
The show was kind of an early version of reality TV, with a family of four playing themselves. Over 14 years audiences watched Ricky and David grow up, go to college, and get married. The Nelson house appeared in the opening credits, and Harriet made sure the sets looked like the real rooms they lived in at home.
“Law & Order” actor Christopher Meloni and his wife Sherman Williams, a production designer, reportedly paid $5.25 million for the Nelson’s former home in 2014.
Now they’re selling the “Ozzie and Harriet” house, so I thought it would be fun to revisit it to see how it’s changed over the years. Take a look!
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Ozzie and Harriet Nelson’s House
A Vintage Postcard Showing the Nelson Family’s Home
It was built in 1916. Ozzie and Harriet lived in the traditional center-hall Colonial for nearly 30 years.
For 14 years the sitcom filmed on sets that replicated the Nelson family’s real-life house,
but they showed the actual exterior in the credits during the early seasons:
Actor Chris Meloni Bought the House in 2014
Removing the shutters made the biggest difference in how the exterior looks today.
The listing says:
The Ozzie and Harriet Estate. Gated Legendary Traditional on half flat acre of sprawling private grounds just steps from Runyon Canyon hiking.
One of Hollywood’s most beloved homes has undergone an significant high quality restoration to the best of today’s standards while retaining the original charm.
Classic entry hall and staircase. Large scale elegant living room opens to media/family room, both with fireplaces and multiple French doors creating the best of indoor/outdoor living and entertaining.
David Nelson, who provided commentary for the DVDs of the show, said they decorated the sets in the same Early-American style their house had, with similar furniture: “Mom had a lot to do with the set decorating.” (Amazon affiliate link)
The Living Room in the Listing Today:
A real estate investment and development company bought the house about 7 years ago
and updated it significantly, painting all the original woodwork white.
For example, you can see how the family room looked when it was on the market before the remodel.
Here’s the same room today (below):
The fireplace was significantly altered and windows were added. Paneling removed.
You can see the fireplace in this vintage photo of the Nelson family,
which used to have built-in bookshelves on either side instead of windows:
I love that the TV in the listing is playing “The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet:”
“The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet” started as a radio show and then moved to TV, airing on ABC from 1952 to 1966.
After 14 seasons, it was the longest-running sitcom on TV — at least until The Simpsons came along.
The original idea of the show when it premiered on the radio was about a bandleader (Ozzie) married to his lead singer (Harriet).
However, a sponsor preferred the shows that were based around the house and their family life, so they shifted the focus to that for TV.
Ozzie Nelson and the Haunted Kitchen
As the story goes, Ozzie Nelson used to eat a bowl of ice cream each night before bed.
The show has an entire episode about his love of Tutti Frutti and the lengths he would go to to get it.
After he died in the house in 1975, the new homeowners reported that they’d come down each morning to find the drawer next to the sink open where his ice cream scoop was kept.
The kitchen has Viking appliances now.
But in 1983, the then-owner told a reporter that it had the original Hotpoint dishwasher and refrigerator that they advertised on “Ozzie and Harriet,” and they still worked fine.
The kitchen set for the show was based on the Nelson family’s real-life kitchen at home, so it gives us an idea of what it would have looked like then.
The Kitchen Set on “Ozzie and Harriet:”
In an early example of product placement on TV, Hotpoint commercials aired during the show
with actors touting the features of the appliances in Harriet’s kitchen.
Those were the days before open-concept kitchens were common.
Here’s a screenshot that shows the pass-through window it had on the show:
The Eat-In Kitchen Today:
According to an article about the “haunted house” when it was on the market in 2013:
There were other signs that Ozzie’s ghost was still hanging around before the remodel.
His old model train in the pub room started mysteriously running in the middle of the night, owners related.
Doors opened themselves, even though they’d been locked. The air would inexplicably, fleetingly smell of rosy perfume. Bedclothes would fly from slumbering bodies.
The reports were so consistent that listing agent Billy Rose felt compelled to tell prospective buyers of the rumored haunting.
The “ghost sightings” reportedly stopped after the house was remodeled.
Maybe because he no longer recognized it!
The house has 5 bedrooms + 7 baths with 5,283 square feet
“The amazing master wing has 14-foot ceilings, fireplace,
double walk-in closets and a luxurious large marble bath.”
The Master Bath:
“Second-floor family room/lounge and three additional bedroom suites complete the perfect floor plan.”
“Grounds include massive lawns, brick paths, sun-drenched pool, separate guest/pool house.”
Chris Meloni may be best known for his role as Detective Elliot Stabler on “Law & Order: SVU.”
But have you seen him as the slave catcher August Pullman in the series “Underground“?
He’s scary-good in that show, which is hard to watch at times but riveting.
The two seasons are streaming on Hulu.
The beautifully landscaped yard covers a half-acre lot.
Rick Nelson reportedly wrote some of his songs here in this house.
Rick’s youngest son Sam tells a story on the DVD commentary about visiting this house and being given the tour by the then-owner, who showed him where his dad had written his name inside his bedroom closet. (Amazon affiliate link)
Property includes “a three-car garage and large motor court. Desirable quiet cul-de-sac.”
I’ve read articles calling it “the Ari Gold house” because it appeared on the HBO show “Entourage.”
But as a fan of classic TV sitcoms, it will always be Ozzie and Harriet’s house to me!
Thanks to Hilton & Hyland for providing the photos and allowing me to share them with you. Photography credit: Home Drone Films.
You can see how different some of the rooms looked before the remodel in this 2013 home tour video by Tim Perry and Verna Helbling of Prudential California Realty.
I had fun rewatching old “Ozzie and Harriet” episodes while I was researching this post.
I found the DVD set of the “Best of” with commentary on Amazon (affiliate link):
For more information about 1822 Camino Palmero Street,
check the listing held by Brett Lawyer and Jeff Hyland.
Visit my TV & Movie Houses page to see more faves I’ve featured!