Tracy Nelson (actress)

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Tracy Nelson
Nelson in 1981
Born Tracy Kristine Nelson
(1963-10-25) October 25, 1963 (age 53)
Santa Monica, California, U.S.
Occupation Actress
Years active 1968–present
Spouse(s) William R. Moses (1987–1997; divorced)
Partner(s) Chris Clark (2001–2002)
Children 2
Parent(s) Ricky Nelson (deceased)
Kristin Harmon

Tracy Kristine Nelson (born October 25, 1963) is an American actress and writer.

Early life[edit]

Nelson was born in Santa Monica, California. She is a fourth-generation performer. Her great-grandparents were vaudeville performers Hazel Dell (née McNutt) and Roy Hilliard Snyder.[1] Their daughter was her paternal grandmother Harriet Nelson,[2] the star of the long-running sitcom The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet. Her parents were Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Ricky Nelson and actress/artist Kristin Nelson (née Harmon).[3] She has three younger siblings: Matthew Nelson, Gunnar Nelson of the 1990s rock group Nelson, and Sam Nelson.[4] Her paternal grandparents are Ozzie and Harriet Hilliard Nelson, whose long running television show The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet is represented in the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, D.C. Nelson's maternal grandparents are Tom Harmon, a Heisman Trophy winner from the University of Michigan, and actress Elyse Knox. She is also the niece of actors David Nelson, and her mother's siblings Mark Harmon and Kelly Harmon.


Nelson started her career early, her first "role" was as herself at age 3 months on her grandparents' television show.[citation needed]

At age 4 she played one of Henry Fonda and Lucille Ball's daughters in Yours, Mine and Ours (1968). Her future co-star Tom Bosley also appeared in that movie.[5]

Nelson is a professional dancer, having studied ballet for 17 years with Tania Lachine and toured throughout California in a dance company while still in grammar school. Nelson studied theater with Kim Stanley and Nina Foch and briefly in the United Kingdom, performing in The Edinburgh Fringe Festival after graduation from high school. In 1982, she played "valley girl" Jennifer DeNuccio on the television series Square Pegs,[6]:1007 and in 1986 she landed the role of the anorexic daughter in Paul Mazursky's film Down and Out in Beverly Hills.

Nelson is perhaps best known as "Sister Stephanie" from the television series The Father Dowling Mysteries.[6] She was also a series regular on Aaron Spelling's Glitter, A League of Their Own,[6]:590 and the Australian television series The Man From Snowy River.[6]:986 Throughout the 1980s and 1990s Nelson made guest appearances on television series including Family Ties, St. Elsewhere, Murphy Brown, The Nanny, 7th Heaven, Melrose Place, Will and Grace, Matlock, and Seinfeld. She was in the touring company and on Broadway as "Rizzo" in Grease in 1995. Nelson has appeared in several theatrical releases and over 20 television movies, including The Perfect Nanny in 2000, The Perfect Husband, Kate's Secret, The Fight for Jesse, and The Rival in 2006.

Tracy Nelson has written a book about her personal experience and a movie script about her family "The Nelsons."

Personal life[edit]

She went to The Buckley School and graduated in 1981 from the Westlake School for Girls (now Harvard-Westlake School) in Los Angeles. She attended Bard College in upstate New York, studying Dance and European History.

Nelson has survived three kinds of cancer. She was diagnosed with stage 2 Hodgkin's Lymphoma[7] a month after her 1987 marriage to actor William R. Moses, and one year after her father was killed in an aircraft crash on New Year's Eve in DeKalb, Texas. Nelson went into remission after surgery, chemotherapy (ABVD) and radiation at Cedars-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles, California. She and Moses divorced in 1997 and share a daughter, actress Remington Elizabeth Moses, born in 1992. Nelson had a son, Elijah Nelson Clark, with Chris Clark in 2001. Having suffered trauma from radiation, Nelson was diagnosed with thyroid cancer in 2005 and breast cancer in 2010. She is currently fully recovered from a bilateral mastectomy and complete reconstruction.

Nelson is active in cancer research advocacy and was the spokesperson for The Lymphoma Research Foundation of America. She received the "Lifesaver Award" from that organization and the "Jill Ireland Award" from the Amie Karen Cancer Fund for Children.


  • Yours, Mine and Ours (1968)
  • Glitter (1984) (TV)
  • Maria's Lovers (1984)
  • Down and Out in Beverly Hills (1986)
  • The Drug Knot (1986) (TV)
  • Pleasures (1986) (TV)
  • Kate's Secret (1986) (TV)
  • Tonight's the Night (1987) (TV)
  • If It's Tuesday, It Still Must Be Belgium (1987) (TV)
  • Fatal Confession: A Father Dowling Mystery (1987) (TV)
  • Highway Heartbreaker (1992) (TV)
  • Perry Mason: The Case of the Reckless Romeo (1992) (TV)
  • No Child of Mine (1993) (TV)
  • Ray Alexander: A Taste for Justice (1994) (TV)
  • The Adventures of Mary-Kate & Ashley: The Case of the Mystery Cruise (1995) (Video)
  • The Adventures of Mary-Kate & Ashley: The Case of the Sea World Adventure (1995) (Video)
  • Ray Alexander: A Menu for Murder (1995) (TV)
  • For Hope (1996) (TV)
  • Touched By Evil (1997) (TV)
  • The Night Caller (1998)
  • The Promise (1999) (TV)
  • The Perfect Nanny (2000)
  • Home the Horror Story (2000)
  • Perfect Game (2000) (Video)
  • The Perfect Tenant (2000)
  • Dumb Luck (2001)
  • Fangs (2001)
  • Killer Bees! (2002) (TV)
  • Her Perfect Spouse (2004) (TV)
  • A Killer Upstairs (2005) (TV)
  • Miracle at Sage Creek (2005)
  • The Rival (2006) (TV)
  • A Grandpa for Christmas (2007) (TV)
  • Polar Opposites (2008)
  • A Fatal Obsession (2014)
  • The Wrong Child (2016) (TV)



  1. ^ [1] Archived November 24, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.
  2. ^ "Harriet Hilliard". NY Times. Retrieved 2011-05-02. 
  3. ^ Hewitt, Michael (3 November 2015). "Giving birth to the family comedy". Orange County Register. Retrieved 4 April 2017. 
  4. ^
  5. ^ Thomlison, Adam. "TV Q&A". TV Media. 
  6. ^ a b c d Terrace, Vincent (2011). Encyclopedia of Television Shows, 1925 through 2010 (2nd ed.). Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers. p. 335. ISBN 978-0-7864-6477-7. 
  7. ^ "Busy Tracy Nelson ready for a normal pregnancy routine". The San Bernardino County Sun. California, San Bernardino. March 19, 1992. p. 67. Retrieved May 29, 2017 – via  open access publication – free to read

External links[edit]