Family & Companions
Ricky Nelson grew up in the public spotlight and is widely considered to be the first teen idol. He began his career at the age of nine performing along with his older brother and his parents on the radio sitcom "The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet," which was spun-off to television in 1952 where it ran for 14 seasons. 1952 also marked the year of his film debut with "Here Come the Nelsons." He had a second movie role, without his family this time, in the 1953 musical romantic-drama "The Story of Three Loves," which starred Kirk Douglas. By 1957, he was already a major star when he embarked on a hugely successful singing career. He had the first number-one song on the newly created Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1958, and from then until 1973, had 53 songs place on the chart. His starring role, alongside John Wayne and Dean Martin, in the 1959 western "Rio Bravo" earned him a Golden Globe nomination for Most Promising Male Newcomer. He went on from there to star in the comedies "Love and Kisses" in 1965, and "The Wackiest Ship in the Army" in 1960, but mainly focused on television and his music career. He later could be seen on TV series like "McCloud" in 1972 and "The Love Boat" in 1978, as well as in TV movies like 1974's "Three on a Date" and "High School U.S.A.," where he made his final acting performance as the school principal in 1984.