Tracy Nelson (actress)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Tracy Nelson
Tracy Kristine Nelson

(1963-10-25) October 25, 1963 (age 56)
OccupationActress, writer
Years active1968–present
William R. Moses
(m. 1987; div. 1997)
Partner(s)Chris Clark (2001–2002)
Parent(s)Ricky Nelson (deceased)
Kristin Harmon (deceased)

Tracy Kristine Nelson (born October 25, 1963) is an American actress, dancer and writer. From a long line of entertainers, she is the daughter of musician Ricky Nelson and actress and painter Kristin Nelson.

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 sitcom The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet. Her parents were musician Ricky Nelson and actress/artist Kristin Nelson (née Harmon).[3] She has three younger siblings: Matthew Nelson and Gunnar Nelson of the 1990s rock group Nelson, and Sam Nelson. Her paternal grandparents were Ozzie and Harriet Hilliard Nelson. Nelson's maternal grandparents were football star 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.

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 started her career early; her first role was as herself at age three months on her grandparents' television show.[citation needed]

At age four 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.[4]

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,[5]: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.[5] She was also a series regular on Aaron Spelling's Glitter, A League of Their Own,[5]:590 and the Australian television series The Man From Snowy River.[5]: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, Diagnosis Murder, 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.

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

Personal life[edit]

She married actor William R. Moses in 1987. They 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.

Nelson has survived three kinds of cancer. She was diagnosed with stage 2 Hodgkin's Lymphoma[6] a month after her 1987 marriage to 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.

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.


Year Title Role Notes
1968 Yours, Mine and Ours Germaine Beardsley Directed by Melville Shavelson
1984 Maria's Lovers Joanie Directed by Andrei Konchalovsky
1986 Down and Out in Beverly Hills Jenny Whiteman Directed by Paul Mazursky
1998 The Night Caller Beth Needham Directed by Robert Malenfant
2000 The Perfect Tenant Rachel Directed by Doug Campbell
2000 The Perfect Nanny Andrea McBride/Nikki Harcourt Directed by Robert Malenfant
2000 Home – The Horror Story Linda Parkinson Directed by Temístocles López
2001 Dumb Luck Kelly Jordan Directed by Craig Clyde
2002 Fangs Ally Parks Directed by Kelly Sandefur
2005 Miracle at Sage Creek Adrianne Directed by James Intveld
2009 The Telemarketers: 36 Hrs Taylor Directed by Lonny Stevens • direct-to-video
2013 My Stepbrother is a Vampire!?! Denise Directed by David DeCoteau
2016 Emma's Chance Principal Matheson Directed by Anna Elizabeth James
2016 Arlo: The Burping Pig Mrs. Pritchett Directed by Tom DeNucci
2016 The Last Note Sis Directed by Robert Zameroski
2018 As Long as I'm Famous Theda Bara Directed by Bruce Reisman
Year Title Role Notes
1982–83 Square Pegs Jennifer DiNuccio Main role • Season 1 (20 episodes)
1983 Hotel Isabel Darby Guest role • Season 1, episode 1: "Blackout"
1984 St. Elsewhere Jennifer Milbourne Guest role • Season 2, episode 19: "The Woman"
1984–85 Family Ties Deena Marx Recurring role • Seasons 2, episode 15 "Ladies Man" / Season 3, episode 14: "Oh Donna"
1985 The Love Boat Sandy Guest role • Season 8, episode 17: "Ace Takes the Test / The Counterfeit Couple / The Odd Triple"
1984–85 Glitter Angela Timini Main role • Season 1 (14 episodes)
1986 Comedy Factory Michelle Guest role • Season 2, episode 2: "Hearts of Steel"
1986 CBS Schoolbreak Special Lori Guest role • Season 4, episode 1: "The Drug Knot
1989–91 Father Dowling Mysteries Sister Stephanie "Steve" Oskowski Main role • Season 1–3 (42 episodes)
1993 A League of Their Own Evelyn Gardner Main role • Season 1 (6 episodes)
1994 Matlock Jessie Morgan Guest role • Season 8, episode 19: "The P.I."
1994 Burke's Law Eve Baker Guest role • Season 1, episode 11: "Who Killed the Romance"
1994–95 Melrose Place Meredith Parker Recurring role • Season 2–3 (4 episodes)
1995 The Nanny Mary Ruth Guest role • Season 2, episode 25: "The Chatterbox"
1995 Snowy River: The McGregor Saga Ruth Whitney Recurring role • Season 2 (5 episodes)
1996 Touched by an Angel Lisa Magdaleno Guest role •Season 2, episode 12: "The One That Got Away"
1996 Diagnosis: Murder Kristie Lofton Guest role • Season 3, episode 15: "Mind Over Murder"
1998 Seinfeld Janet Guest role • Season 9, episode 13 "The Cartoon"
1998 Murphy Brown Lisa Recurring role • Season 10, episode 13: "Turpis Capillus Annus" / Season 10, episode 18: "Second Time Around"
2000 7th Heaven Pauline Guest role • Season 5, episode 8: "Gossip"
2002 Will & Grace Alison Guest role • Season 4, episode 22: "Wedding Balls"
2003 Still Standing Elise Larkin Guest role • Season 2, episode 3: "Still the Bad Parents"
Television film
Year Title Role Notes
1986 Pleasures Annie Benton ABC movie
1986 Kate's Secret Patch Reed NBC movie
1987 Home Susan Costigan CBS movie
1987 Tonight's the Night Jamie Davies ABC movie
1987 If It's Tuesday, It Still Must Be Belgium Randi Wainwright NBC movie
1987 Fatal Confession Sister Stephanie "Steve" Oskowski Pre-series movie to Father Dowling Mysteries
1992 Highway Heartbreaker Annie CBS movie
1992 Perry Mason: The Case of the Reckless Romeo Charley Adams NBC movie
1993 No Child of Mine Tammy CBS movie
1994 Ray Alexander: A Taste for Justice Donna Colla NBC movie
1995 Ray Alexander: A Menu for Murder Donna Colla NBC Movie
1996 For Hope Annie Altman ABC movie
1997 Touched By Evil Clara Devlin ABC movie
1999 The Promise Lisa Miles NBC movie
2000 Perfect Game Diane Crosby Disney Channel movie
2002 Killer Bees! Audrey Harris Pax TV movie
2004 The Perfect Husband Lisa Dorian
2005 A Killer Upstairs Sandra Nowlin
2006 The Rival Alice Miller
2007 A Grandpa for Christmas Marie O'Riley Hallmark Channel movie
2008 Polar Opposites Jenna
2015 A Fatal Obsession Christie Ryan Lifetime Movie Network
2016 The Wrong Child Joyce Lifetime Movie Network
Year Title Role Notes
1995 The Adventures of Mary-Kate & Ashley: The Case of the Sea World Adventure Video short
1995 The Adventures of Mary-Kate & Ashley: The Case of the Mystery Cruise Mary-Kate and Ashley's mom Video short
2000 The Bus Stop
2016 The Eleventh Cynthia miniseries short (5 episodes)


  1. ^ "Second Generation". 2010. Archived from the original on November 24, 2010.
  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. ^ Thomlison, Adam. "TV Q&A". TV Media.
  5. ^ a b c d Terrace, Vincent (2011). Encyclopedia of Television Shows, 1925 through 2010 (2nd ed.). Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland & Company. p. 335. ISBN 978-0-7864-6477-7.
  6. ^ "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

External links[edit]