Friday, July 2, 2010

What 100 Stars Want Most in 1956 - Gene Nelson

Gene Nelson (March 24, 1920 - September 16, 1996). Gene was a dancer, actor, and director. Gene is probably best known for his role as Will Parker in 1955's Oklahoma! In the 1960's, Gene turned to directing T.V. shows such as The Donna Reed Show, I Dream of Jeannie, Andy Griffith, and Star Trek and the Elvis films Harum Scarum (1965) and Kissin' Cousins (1963).

Some Gene Nelson Trivia:
  • His birth name was Leander Eugene Berg. He legally changed his name to Gene Nelson in 1964
  • He was married three times and has three children
  • Gene dated Maureen Reagan
  • Gene Nelson made his dancing debut in 1935 with the Fanchon and Marco Juvenile Revue at the Paramount Theater in Los Angeles
  • In high school, Gene was a cheerleader

Gene's 1956 Wishes:
"I made my first trip to Europe this year and next year I hope I can go again and take my son, Chris"
Amanda's comments - Gene is featured with his son Chris in these 1949 Life Magazine photos, as well as his wife, dancer and actress Miriam Franklin. Miriam appeared in films as a dancer and is uncredited in most of her roles.

"After Oklahoma! is released, I hope I get a good New York show"

Gene Nelson and Virginia Mayo in 1987

"I'd like to organize a youth group to keep youngsters sports-minded. When you are interested in healthy activity, you don't have so much time to hang around the streets."
Amanda's Comments - I think that is so cool! This is high priority in America these days because of obesity rates and the First Lady's initiatives.
Up next in this series - Sheree North

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