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Monday, January 17, 2011

Whatever happend to Kristin Harmon Nelson?

Born June 25, 1945, Kristin Harmon Nelson is 65 years old now.  When she married actor and singing star Ricky Nelson on April 20, 1963, she was 17 and pregnant with their first child, actress Tracy Nelson (born October 25, 1963).  The couple went on to have three other children – twins Matthew and Gunnar who formed a band called Nelson (born September 20, 1967) and actor/musician Sam Hilliard Nelson (born August 29, 1974.)
After her marriage to Rick Nelson, Kris was immediately thrust into the television spotlight and became both Ozzie and Harriet’s real-life and TV daughter-in-law.  In 2008, when asked if Ozzie and Harriet had embraced her, she replied, “Completely.  When we told them about our engagement, Ozzie’s first comment was, ‘Great, great, can you act?’  I said I didn’t know but it really didn’t matter because anybody who was on the show sounded like Ozzie.  He wrote, directed and controlled everything about it.  He listened to the show with a radio ear, which meant he turned his back on the actors when they spoke so he could hear what he wanted to hear.  He wouldn’t even look at the action.”
Kristin and Rick Nelson were divorced in December of 1982.  After the death of Rick Nelson in a 1985 plane crash, Kris had some very troubled times.  In 1987, she underwent rehabilitation for drug abuse.  Her brother, actor Mark Harmon, and his wife, Pam Dawber (of Mork and Mindy fame), petitioned for custody of 12-year-old Sam on the grounds that Kristin was an unfit mother.  Kristen was eventually given custody of her son, with Mark Harmon granted visitation rights.
Kristin Harmon married television producer and director Mark Tinker in 1988.  Mark is the son of Grant Tinker who was head honcho of NBC and founder of MTM productions.  He is also the former stepson of Mary Tyler Moore who was married to the elder Tinker from 1962 until 1981.  Kristen’s marriage to Mark Tinker ended in divorce in the year 2000.  After the divorce, Kris moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico where she lives a peaceful life as an artist.  Her art is described as having the primitive feel-good warmth of Grandma Moses.
When Kristin was 17, inspired by the assassination of John F. Kennedy, she expressed her emotions in a painting entitled “When the Kennedys were in the White House”.  A photograph of Kris standing in front of her work appeared in a 1966 issue of Life magazine.  Rick Nelson took the painting to a gallery in Los Angeles where it became the impetus for Kris’s first show.  In an October 21, 2008 interview in santafe.com, Kris is quoted as saying that Jacqueline Kennedy “somehow saw the brochure for the show and Robert Kennedy called me saying she wanted to buy it.  I told him it was always done for her and that it would be a gift.”  The painting eventually ended up in the possession of the late Senator Ted Kennedy.
Kristin Harmon seems content in Santa Fe.  She first came to New Mexico with Rick in 1970 when he had a gig in Taos.  On another trip, she made a point of visiting Santa Fe and was so taken by the place that she didn’t want to go home.  She is firmly settled there now and her paintings are sold at the Coady Contemporary gallery.  Kris says the one thing she always wanted to be was an artist.
By the way, Kristin Harmon has written a book about her life.  Her autobiography, entitled Out of My Mind, was published in 1997.  It is a coffee table book and includes a collection of her artwork.  Whenever Kris did something zany as a child, her father, football star Tom Harmon, would tell her she was out of her mind.  Her senior year book had a line under her picture that read, “Kris is out of her mind” and it listed all the creative and artistic things she had done.

A BOOK RECOMMENDATION FROM TV BANTER 
Readers, I would like to recommend a book to you.  I am reading Growing Up Laughing by Marlo Thomas, Hyperion, 2010.  If you like television comedy, this book is a must.  I am enjoying it immensely.  

-  Joanne

24 comments:

  1. I special ordered Kris Nelson's book years ago and enjoyed it very much. I am glad to hear she is still an artist and happy in her new life. According to her book she spent a lot of years very unhappy. I wish her the best.

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    1. I loved and srill do the Nelson Family. I grew up watching the show and own everyone of their TV shows and srill watch it and I'm 65 now. I thought Kris and Rick were so perfect for each other. When I read on the Internet what she did to Ricky due to drugs etc. she made me sick. She treated Ricky terrible and she was the reason he was in the plane that killed him. You might say she was responsible for his death and then she has the nerve to come to the cemetary on the day he was buried and wrestle her daughter Tracy to the ground becasue she learned Ricky had cut her out of his will. Whoever heard of an x-wife being entitled to anything. Even David called her a murderer. No thank you I have no interest in this woman's life. I was only reading this to see if she was dead or alive.

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    2. Anonymous: If you are going to slander an individual's good name with false accusations and untruths, the least you can do is "man up" and give your name so that Ms. Nelson can sue you in a court of law for defamation of character, slander, and libel, as well as damages for emotional distress and attorney fees.
      You either suffer from "SMS" (Short Man Syndrome) or just plain inaccurate in your information. Being entitled to an opinion is one thing, slandering a person is a whole other issue.

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    3. WANTING TO BE ANONYMOUS IS HIS CHOICE. IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH "MAN UP" AS YOU SO PATHETICALLY STATED. WHAT GOOD NAME IS THAT? SHE WAS A DRUG ADDICT AND HAD AFFAIRS WITH RONALD REAGAN JR ECT... ANONYMOUS WASN'T INACCURATE, SHE WAS IN AND OUT OF TREATMENT CENTERS AND HER OWN BROTHER WAS SO CONCERNED FOR THE WELFARE OF THE FOUR CHILDREN WHICH YOU COULD CARE LESS ABOUT, SINCE YOU SPENT YOUR TIME COMING UP WITH UNCLEVER "SMS" REMARKS. THE WHOE BUNCH OF THEM SHOULD NOT BE ALLOWED TO HAVE RAISED THE CHILDREN.

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    4. Well,We can all argue the point-counter point.Facts remain That David,Ricky,Ozzie and Harriet are all gone now.Gunner and His brother,are a success.And Tom Harmon is doing good as a actor in his own right.I would think we would reflect on what it was that Ricky saw in Kristen.I still own "Travelin' Man" "Hello Mary Lou" on vinyl and I revere Ricky completely.You really Can't help but respect the nelsons for doing what they did for so long.

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    5. We can all sit forever and argue about whether or not Kristen is alive.Kristen May be a great Artist in her own right.However,David and Ricky,Ozzie and Harriet,are all gone.Gunner and his brother are a success,Gunner's sister is a successful actress,And i still have my single 45 record of "Hello Mary Lou" and "Travelin' Man".. I agree that Kristen was doing drugs (so was ricky at times) but now we have to remember what they stood for,and not be fussin about what went wrong.

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    6. Every one one earth has made bad choices along the way. The God Lord promises forgiveness just for the asking. I am sure Kris' life is tranquel by just hearing her life style I:E painter, Before I close,Who said "who are we to judge?"

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  2. Let there be enough love and light for us all ...

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    1. I TOO AM 65, ANONYMOUS. IN THE BAY AREA, THE ADVENTURES OF OZZIE & HARRIET ARE RUNNING DAILY ON A LOCAL STATION. I HAVENT SEEN THE SHOW IN DECADES AND I'M LOVING IT ALL OVER AGAIN. THEY MUST BE GETTING NEAR THE END OF THE SERIES BECAUSE THE BOYS ARE MARRIED MEN NOW. I'VE READ THAT THE SHOW HAD AROUND 455 OR SO, EPISODES. THEY WERE ON THE AIR FOR 20 YEARS, IF YOU INCLUDE RADIO. HOPEFULLY, WHEN THE LAST EPISODE AIRS, THEY'LL START FROM THE BEGINING AGAIN BECAUSE I CAME IN AROUND 1959. I WOULD LOVE TO VIEW IT FROM START TO FINISH. IT WAS A WONDERFUL SHOW. IT SHOWED HOW A FAMILY COULD REASON AND SOLVE PROBLEMS TOGETHER AND HAVE A LOT OF FUN AND ENJOY LIFE. IT DOESNT MATTER IF THE PROBLEMS ARE DIFFERNT TODAY OR MORE COMPLEX, IT'S STILL THE SAME PRINCIPLE, LEARNING TO GET ALONG WITH YOUR FAMILY, FRIENDS, NEIGHBORS AND OTHERS.AND IT DIDNT HURT TO HAVE A LEGENDARY SINGER IN THE MAKING.

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  3. The show was a sham just like Leave it to Beaver....it made things look so rosey and really it wasnt. I don't care what people did in their past it only counts how you live now. I love Kris and Rick's daughter Tracy...such a sweet soul. Hope she doesn't read the nasty comments people put on her about her mother AND her father. Believe me she knows, she lived it. Get a life and Get over it already!!!

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    1. You say that you hope Tracy doesn't read the nasty comments about her parents right after you make your own nasty comment about her father's show. Talk about a hypocrite!

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  4. Bindi WuertenbergJuly 13, 2012 at 12:23 AM

    Why do people THINK they have a right to judge anyone else anyway? EVERYONE has their own family secrets and scars to contend with. NO ONE is perfect, and everyone deals with their lives in different ways. I'm sure anonymous has as much imperfection as any other human being. So why point fingers at Kris. She is a human being too. And lord knows that when any human is hurting, they don't make wise choices!

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    1. Yes you are.....perfectly annoying!

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  6. Im 5 ft 4in why drag me into this. You people make my life hard enough. Get a grip.

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  7. MARK LEASE --- I GREW UP WATCHING THE ADVENTURES AND TO THIS DAY I WILL ALWAYS CHERISH THE MOMENTS OF YESTERDAY AND THE HOLSUM LIFE THEY PERTAYED ......RICK WAS AGREAT SINGER-REMEMBER "POR LITTLE FOOL"

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  8. I adored the whole Nelson family and their show. It is sad they are all gone. I am glad Kristin is happy now. It is tough to be married to a famous man that was gone a lot. Let's cut her some slack!

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  9. Kris and Rick had a few wonderful short years together,almost living in a dream world, until the rot set in? Kris should write a book on thier time together, only she can put the record straight! Iain Young. England

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  10. Awww! For Shame.

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  11. It was a great show and Rick was great. Yes, it is fairy tale, but at 64 I can still enjoy it. Geez, who knows what happens in relationships, we only guess. Sorry it ended badly. Like Mark Harmon also!

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  12. i, too, always watched ozzie & harriet on tv; now, thankfully, the show is on tv again, & i still enjoy it ! - as far as their sordid, very public lives? - hey, we all face the difficult challenges of everyday life - it's a tough gig for us all; especially in the lime light, i'm sure! - who's to judge ? - not me, that's for sure!

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    1. I grew up in the 1950's...it was great and Ricky Nelson made it beautiful. Very talented gentleman.. Probably teaching angels how to sing.

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  13. I think the show was a "fairy tale" only in applying to their life. Growing up, almost all the kids had "Leave It To Beaver" families. I knew my family was the weird one, and who the other weird ones were. An old classmate contacted me recently and he never knew I had crush on him back then. I told him he was luckly because my family was all messed up, and it affected us all. He came from the normal Leave It To Beaver family. So did my friends and most kids There weren't many messed up families. The parents were still married even after I was grown. I think people like to say it wasn't that good back then because they grew up in a place that wasn't that good, or they just want to make it sound like the bad people today aren't really that bad. I was born in '51, in OH. people then had more morals, decency, class, sense of responsibility, work ethics, love (not lust), caring, empathy/sympathy, compassion...........

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  14. Tracy Nelson didn't want her mother , at Rick's funeral for a reason , only she knows. Maybe it was because Kris wanted alimony to take care of Sam Nelson. Rick had to do concerts to come up with the money, who knows. My heart goes out to the kids, more than the fighting parents. It's very hard for kids to see discord in the family, it effects their whole life. It would be good to know the truth, but some of these posts, seem to jump the gun. Facts are facts, I don't see any facts , all I see is speculation about a very sad death. What really seems to support some posts, is the fact that Mark Harmon wanted custody of Sam Nelson, that tells me a lot about his distrust of Kris and her ability to take care of Sam. But then again, the facts remain vague at best.

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