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Gene Nelson

Gene Nelson

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Great Sci Fi Classics 4 ... Starring Victor Kilian, Gene Nelson, Bruce Kellogg. more info $5.95was $3.99 Buy Now

Also Known As: Eugene Leander Berg, Sgt. Gene Berg, Gene Berg Died: September 16, 1996
Born: March 24, 1920 Cause of Death: cancer
Birth Place: Seattle, Washington, USA Profession: dancer, choreographer, director, actor, ice skater, gymnast

Biography CLOSE THE FULL 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...

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.

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

DIRECTOR:

1.
  Letters, The (1973) Director ("The Andersons")
2.
3.
  The Cool Ones (1967) Director
4.
  Harum Scarum (1965) Director
5.
  Your Cheatin' Heart (1964) Director
6.
  Kissin' Cousins (1964) Director
7.
  Hootenanny Hoot (1963) Director
8.
  Hand of Death (1962) Director
9.
  Where's Everett? (1966) Director

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 S.O.B. (1981) Business Manager
2.
 Brand New Life, A (1973) Harry
3.
 Family Flight (1972) Aircraft Carrier Captain
4.
 Thunder Island (1963) Billy Poole
5.
 20,000 Eyes (1961) Dan Warren
6.
 The Purple Hills (1961) Gil Shepard
7.
 The Way Out (1956) Greg Carradine
8.
 The Atomic Man (1956) Mike Delaney
9.
 Oklahoma! (1955) Will Parker
10.
 So This Is Paris (1955) Al Howard
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

1937:
Joined the Sonja Henie Hollywood Ice Revue for three years
:
Broadway debut in "It Happens On Ice" at the Center Theater
:
Toured with Irving Berlin's all-male group "This Is the Army," entertaining the American troops in Europe during WWII
:
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"
1948:
Appeared in Gower Champion's "Lend an Ear," which earned him a three-year contract with Warner Bros.
1950:
Co-starred in the musical "Tea for Two" with Gordon MacRae
1955:
Acted in the film version of "Oklahoma!" in the role of Will Parker
1971:
Performed in the Broadway production "Follies"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Notes

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

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Miriam Franklin. Divorced.
wife:
Marilyn Morgan Fields. Second wife; divorced.
wife:
Jean Martin. Third wife; divorced.

Family close complete family listing

daughter:
Victoria Gordon. Survived him.
son:
Christopher Nelson. Survived him.
son:
Douglas Nelson. Survived him.

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