Gene Nelson

Dancer, Choreographer, Actor
Prolific actor/director Gene Nelson appeared in more than 60 productions and helmed another 50 in a career that spanned five decades, but his first ambition was to become a dancer after he saw Fred Astaire's musical ... Read more »
Born: 03/24/1920 in Seattle, Washington, USA

Filmography

Actor (22)

Murder, She Wrote 1986 - 1987 (Tv Show)

Actor

S.O.B. 1981 (Movie)

Business Manager (Actor)

A Brand New Life 1971 - 1972 (TV Show)

Actor

Married Alive 1969 - 1970 (TV Show)

Actor

Thunder Island 1962 (Movie)

Billy Poole (Actor)

The Purple Hills 1961 (Movie)

(Actor)

The Kaiser Aluminum Hour 1955 - 1957 (TV Show)

Actor

Oklahoma! 1955 (Movie)

Will Parker (Actor)

Crime Wave 1954 (Movie)

Steve Lacey (Actor)

So This Is Paris 1954 (Movie)

Al Howard (Actor)

She's Working Her Way Through College 1952 (Movie)

Don Weston (Actor)

Gentleman's Agreement 1947 (Movie)

Ex-GI (Actor)

Apartment for Peggy (Movie)

Jerry (Actor)

Family Flight (TV Show)

Actor

I Wonder Who's Kissing Her Now (Movie)

Tommy Yale (Actor)

She's Back on Broadway (Movie)

Gordon Evans (Actor)

Starlift (Movie)

Himself (Actor)

Tea for Two (Movie)

Tommy Trainor (Actor)

The Lullaby of Broadway (Movie)

Tom Farnham (Actor)

The Way Out (Movie)

Greg Carradine (Actor)

The West Point Story (Movie)

Hal Courtland (Actor)
Director (21)

Burke's Law 1958 - 1975, 1977 - 1980, 1986 - 1987 (Tv Show)

Director

Dan August 1964 - 1973, 1978 - 1980, 1986 - 1987 (Tv Show)

Director

Get Christie Love! 1958 - 1975, 1977 - 1980, 1986 - 1987 (Tv Show)

Director

Salvage 1 1964 - 1969, 1978 - 1980, 1986 - 1987 (Tv Show)

Director

The Bad News Bears 1964 - 1973, 1977 - 1980, 1986 - 1987 (Tv Show)

Director

The Cara Williams Show 1964 - 1969, 1979 - 1980, 1986 - 1987 (Tv Show)

Director

The Donna Reed Show 1958 - 1973, 1977 - 1980, 1986 - 1987 (Tv Show)

Director

The F.B.I. 1958 - 1975, 1977 - 1980, 1986 - 1987 (Tv Show)

Director

The Farmer's Daughter 1963 - 1973, 1977 - 1980, 1986 - 1987 (Tv Show)

Director

The Felony Squad 1964 - 1969, 1979 - 1980, 1986 - 1987 (Tv Show)

Director

The Mod Squad 1958 - 1975, 1977 - 1980, 1986 - 1987 (Tv Show)

Director

The New Operation Petticoat 1964 - 1969, 1978 - 1980, 1986 - 1987 (Tv Show)

Director

The Rifleman 1958 - 1975, 1977 - 1980, 1986 - 1987 (Tv Show)

Director

The San Pedro Beach Bums 1964 - 1973, 1977 - 1980, 1986 - 1987 (Tv Show)

Director

The Letters 1972 - 1973 (TV Show)

Director

Star Trek 1968 (Tv Show)

Director

Harum Scarum 1965 (Movie)

(Director)

Kissin' Cousins 1964 (Movie)

(Director)

Your Cheatin' Heart 1963 (Movie)

(Director)

The Letters (Movie)

(Director)

Wake Me When the War Is Over (TV Show)

Director
Writer (1)

Kissin' Cousins 1964 (Movie)

(Screenplay)
Music (1)

Biography

Prolific actor/director Gene Nelson appeared in more than 60 productions and helmed another 50 in a career that spanned five decades, but his first ambition was to become a dancer after he saw Fred Astaire's musical comedy "Flying Down to Rio. " Nelson spent three years of touring with the Sonja Henie Ice Show, did a stint in the Army during World War II, and then made his way to Broadway and into movies. He began with small parts, but his film acting career took off in the 1950s with a notable role in the Doris Day musical romantic-comedy "Tea for Two," which won him a Golden Globe award for Most Promising Newcomer. He went on to appear regularly in film and television throughout the decade, but by the early 1960s, he'd found a new interest--directing--and helmed several episodes of the action-packed Western "The Rifleman." Nelson would make the occasional guest appearance into the 1980s, and a brief foray into screenwriting earned him a Writers Guild Award nomination in 1965 for the Elvis Presley musical "Kissin' Cousins," but his main focus was directing. Although his directing career never earned him the kind of praise he'd seen as an actor or a screenwriter, Nelson worked steadily through the 1960s and '70s, helming a variety of programs, from the magic-infused sitcom "I Dream of Jeannie" to the chic spy drama "The Mod Squad." By the 1980s he had retired, and little was heard from him prior to his death from cancer in 1996.

Relationships

Marilyn Fields

Wife
second wife divorced

Miriam Franklin

Wife
divorced

Victoria Gordon

Daughter
survived him

Jean Martin

Wife
third wife divorced

Christopher Nelson

Son
survived him

Douglas Nelson

Son
survived him

Milestones

1970

Performed in the Broadway production "Follies"

1955

Acted in the film version of "Oklahoma!" in the role of Will Parker

1950

Co-starred in the musical "Tea for Two" with Gordon MacRae

1948

Appeared in Gower Champion's "Lend an Ear," which earned him a three-year contract with Warner Bros.

1937

Joined the Sonja Henie Hollywood Ice Revue for three years

Toured with Irving Berlin's all-male group "This Is the Army," entertaining the American troops in Europe during WWII

Broadway debut in "It Happens On Ice" at the Center Theater

Moved to Los Angeles, CA

Won a two-year contract with 20th Century Fox to appear in "I Wonder Who's Kissing Her Now" and "Gentleman's Agreement"

Bonus Trivia

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Nominated for Tony Award in 1972 for Best Supporting or Featured Actor in a Musical

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