Barry Nelson

Actor
This handsome, light-haired actor of Scandinavian heritage entered films in 1941 as a supporting player and second string lead. Nelson evolved into a dashing TV lead in the 50s and 60s and found his greatest success on ... Read more »
Born: 04/15/1920 in San Francisco, California, USA

Filmography

Actor (34)

Murder, She Wrote 1987 - 1988 (Tv Show)

Actor

The Shining 1980 (Movie)

Ullman (Actor)

Mason 1976 - 1977 (TV Show)

Actor

There's Always Room 1976 - 1977 (TV Show)

Actor

Ghost Story 1972 - 1973 (TV Show)

Actor

Pete 'n' Tillie 1972 (Movie)

Burt (Actor)

My Wives Jane 1970 - 1971 (TV Show)

Actor

Airport 1970 (Movie)

Lieutenant Anson Harris (Actor)

Mary, Mary 1962 (Movie)

Bob McKellaway (Actor)

The First Traveling Saleslady 1956 (Movie)

Charles Masters (Actor)

Casino Royale 1953 (Movie)

Jimmy Bond (Actor)

The Chevrolet Tele-Theater 1948 - 1950 (TV Show)

Actor

A Guy Named Joe (Movie)

Dick Rumney (Actor)

A Yank on the Burma Road (Movie)

Joe Tracey (Actor)

Bataan (Movie)

F.X. Matowski (Actor)

Climax! (TV Show)

Actor

Climb an Angry Mountain (TV Show)

Actor

Death in Small Doses (TV Show)

Actor

Eyes in the Night (Movie)

Busch (Actor)

Johnny Eager (Movie)

Lew Rankin (Actor)

Rio Rita (Movie)

Harry Gantley (Actor)

Seven in Darkness (TV Show)

Actor

Shadow of the Thin Man (Movie)

Paul Clarke (Actor)

Tenth Avenue Angel (Movie)

Al Parker (Actor)

The Affairs of Martha (Movie)

Danny OBrien (Actor)

The Beginning or the End (Movie)

Col. Paul Tibbets, Jr. (Actor)

The Borgia Stick (TV Show)

Actor

The DuPont Show of the Week (TV Show)

Actor

The Human Comedy (Movie)

Fat (Actor)

The Man with My Face (Movie)

Chick Graham (Actor)

Undercover Maisie (Movie)

Lt. Paul Scott (Actor)

Winged Victory (Movie)

Bobby Grills (Actor)
Visual Effects & Animation (2)

Mrs. Doubtfire 1993 (Movie)

(Animator)

A Boy Named Charlie Brown 1969 (Movie)

(Animator)

Biography

This handsome, light-haired actor of Scandinavian heritage entered films in 1941 as a supporting player and second string lead. Nelson evolved into a dashing TV lead in the 50s and 60s and found his greatest success on the Broadway stage in a series of hit comedies and musicals. He proved adequate and good-humored in his often limited film roles, usually cast as the requisite male lead who provided support to his established leading ladies including Ginger Rogers in "The First Traveling Saleslady" (1956), Ann Sothern in "Undercover Maisie" (1947), Margaret O'Brien in "Tenth Avenue Angel" (1948) and Debbie Reynolds in "Mary, Mary" (1963).

TV afforded Nelson better star treatment in the 50s beginning with roles in several live dramatic anthologies of the period including "The Chevrolet Tele-Theater", "Pulitzer Prize Playhouse" and Starlight Theater. He is reputed to be the first actor to portray super secret agent James Bond--albeit as an American--in a TV adaptation of Ian Fleming's novel "Casino Royale" on the late 50s anthology series "Climax!". Nelson headlined his own series, playing US government agent Bart Adams, a suave master of disguises, on the Cold War-themed "The Hunter" (CBS, 1952; syndication, 1952-54). He proved even more adept as a sitcom lead on "My Favorite Husband" (1953-55). Nelson continued popping up on the small screen in dramatic anthologies, specials, TV-movies and guest shots, though with decreasing frequency since the mid-70s. He has been in only a few features since 1970, receiving his last significant exposure in Stanley Kubrick's "The Shining" (1980) as the hotel executive who hires Jack Nicholson as a caretaker.

In contrast, Nelson had been a theater staple since the late 40s, with Broadway credits including "Light Up the Sky", "The Rat Race", "The Moon is Blue" and "Cactus Flower". He was nominated for a 1978 Tony for his lead role in "The Act", a Broadway musical directed by Martin Scorsese and co-starring Liza Minnelli. The mid-80s found Nelson in the national and Broadway companies of "42nd Street".

Relationships

Trygve Neilsen

Father
Scandinavian

Betsy Neilsen

Mother
Scandinavian

EDUCATION

University of California at Berkeley

Berkeley , California

Milestones

1990

Starred in the national company of the comedy "Lend Me a Tenor"

1987

Acted in a L.A. revival of "Light Up the Sky"

1981

Last film appearance, "Island Claws/Night of the Claw"

1980

Acted opposite Jack Nicholson in a small role in "The Shining"

1977

Directed by Martin Scorsese in "The Act", a Broadway musical starring Liza Minelli; garnered a Tony nod for "Outstanding Performance By An Actor In A Broadway Musical"

1970

Co-starred wth Janet Leigh in the unsold CBS comedy pilot "My Wives Jane"

1967

Starred in the busted sitcom pilot "Heaven Help Us" on CBS's "Vacation Playhouse"

1967

TV-movie debut, "The Borgia Stick", a crime drama

1963

Reprised his Broadway role in the film of "Mary-Mary" opposite Debbie Reynolds"

1956

Supported Ginger Rogers playing an eccentric inventor in the Western comedy, "The First Traveling Saleslady"

1951

Appeared in the hit Broadway comedy "The Moon is Blue"

1950

Acted on Broadway in "The Rat Race"

1949

Broadway debut, "Light Up the Sky"

1947

First feature lead, "Undercover Maisie" with Ann Sothern

1940

First significant supporting role "Shadow of the Thin Man"

1940

Entered features directly after college; soon appeared in three films

Played an American James Bond in a TV adaptation of Ian Fleming's "Casino Royale" on the dramatic anthology series "Climax!"

Starred in the CBS sitcom "My Favorite Husband"

Performed in the national company of "42nd Street"

TV debut, a guest spot on the NBC live drama anthology series "The Chevrolet Tele-Theater"

Starred on Broadway in Jean Kerr's sex comedy "Mary-Mary"

Appeared on Broadway in the hit comedy "Cactus Flower" (date approximate)

TV series debut, starred as undercover G-man Bart Adams on "The Hunter", a Cold Way spy series on CBS and in syndication

Appeared on the ABC anthology series "Pulitzer Prize Playhouse"

Performed in the Broadway company of "42nd Street"

SIMILAR ARTICLES