My father left the Ozzie and Harriet show after five years to pursue film roles in "Battle Hymn" with Rock Hudson, "Time to Love, Time to Die" and "Facts of Life" with Bob Hope and Lucille Ball. He also loved live theater the most so was able to pursue that as well...and to be able to have time for the Silver Banjo restaurant in Frontierland.
Around 1960 was when he started doing the Hazel TV series. There is an October 1961 TV Guide with my father and Shirley Booth on the front - that's when the series was rated number one. My father did that for four years and was holding out for more money before the fifth year...Columbia Pictures called my Dad's bluff and figured they could get rid of him and Whitney Blake (Merideth Baxter Burney's mother, by the way)...and my Dad proved them wrong - you can't just subsitute a family in with Hazel - my Dad was, in fact, an important ingredient to the shows success. The show only lasted one more season with the new family.
That's when he co-authored a best seller book, "With All My Love," a story about my sister, at age 18 that went to work in an orphanage in Seoul Korea.