Lori Nelson Profile

Lori Nelson
Lori Nelson
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(Dixie Kay Nelson)
15 August 33 is born in Santa Fe, New Mexico, to Robert and Lorre Nelson, nee Gutierrez
c. 36 is on the stage of the Santa Fe Lensic Theater at age 2
c. 39 is named "Little Miss America" at age 5
moves with her family to Encino, California
Early 40s becomes a fashion model
c. 40 / 41 tests successfully for King’s Row but is stricken with rheumatic fever before filming begins and has to spend the next four years in bed
c. 46 recovers from rheumatic fever at age 12
? attends dramatic school near her Encino home
Late 40s producer Arthur Landau proclaims that she will star in a big movie bio of Jean Harlow
c. 50 is named "Miss Encino" at age 17 while still attending Canoga Park High School
15 August 50 signs a seven-year contract with Universal-International
January 51 the press reports that she has a question for the Bureau of Internal Revenue. "She wants to know if she can deduct a duplicate set of Christmas cards as a professional expense."
12 January 51 is picked as "Hollywood's most beautiful blonde of 1951" by movie make-up men. Studio make-up director Bud Westmore explains: "Miss Nelson is an ethereal beauty. She's the most beautiful blonde in films since Madeleine Carroll."
May 52 does advertisements for Max Factor
July 52 is pictured posing in front of Universal-International newest backlot lake, which will make its screen debut in Mississippi Gambler
September 52 interrupts a tour in Indianapolis to pinch-hit for Suzan Ball at appearances at the Post-Standard Fashion Show held at the Onondaga County War Memorial auditorium in Syracuse, New York, and at the world premiere of Yankee Buccaneer at the Paramount Theater
17 October 52 Universal-International approves her seven-year contract calling for a salary of $300 to $1,500 a week. She has been under yearly contracts since being named "Miss Encino" at age 17.
c. November 52 wins Photoplay's poll as the most promising new face
December 52 Universal-International is expected to lose her to oilman David Frame
March 53 is named the most promising newcomer by her boss, William Goetz, "who put her in two movies the last week: Three Were Renegades opposite Audie Murphy and All-American, starring Tony Curtis"
is pictured looking over Bob Monay's shoulder as he selects a shoe. "The girl wearing the matching slipper will be his partner for the next dance at the budget party."
May 53 she and her mother are named filmdom's "Mother and Daughter of the Year" by the Mothers Day Council
columnist Harrison Carroll tells that "a severe case of ptomaine poisoning cancelled Lori Nelson's trip to Renfro Valley, Kentucky, for the premiere of the picture It Happens Every Thursday..."
June 53 columnist Louella Parsons notes "Dick Long with his current girlfriend, Lori Nelson," among the guests at the first anniversary party of the Gourmet Beverly. Others couples are Barbara Ruick and Robert Horton, Ron Randell and Amanda Blake, and John Hodiak and Pat Hardy.
July 53 is seen at the Ice Capades opening in Los Angeles talking with the show's star, Dick Buttons. Her escort is Tab Hunter.
August 53 is pictured cheering up with Geary Steffen and Dick Long
columnist Edith Gwynn reports her back from a theater tour of several weeks - "so Dick Long is wearing a big grin again..."
October 53 she and Tab Hunter are among the first-nighters at Xavier Cugat's smash opening at Ciro's
March 54 is in Inside U-I, the annual stage show to show off new talent
11 April 54 attends the wedding of actress Suzan Ball and actor Richard Long in Santa Barbara, California
May 54 she and fellow Universal-International starlet Piper Laurie are reported making their first loan-out movies at RKO; Piper in Dangerous Mission and Lori in The Big Rainbow
Late July 54 she and Debbie Reynolds launch their new dress styles for the fashion editors in West Los Angeles. "The dresses designed by Debbie's mother are for girls between the ages of 11 and 15 who find it difficult getting chic little numbers for themselves."
August 54 dates actor-turned-agent Dick Clayton
Early September 54 columnist Harrison Carroll notes several interesting twosomes at her birthday party: "Julia Adams and George Nader, Kathleen Crowley and Dick Clayton, Marla English and Bud Pennell. Debbie Reynolds comes with her mother and her high school friend, Leon Tyler." Lori's date is Race Gentry, "but she got a present and telegram from Tab Hunter, who's in Lake Placid taking a refresher course in fancy ice skating."
Late September 54 her family tosses her a soiree
October 54 attends the premiere of Sabrina with her father
columnist Bob Thomas reports that "option time fell for several dolls at U-I recently. Some, like Lori Nelson and Susan Cabot, declined to stay without the pay rise. Mara (Corday) decided to remain, drawing the same salary - $175 a week."
Late October 54 is crowned "Queen of the United Fund Ball" held by the Holloman Air Development Center at Vandenberg Air Force Base
November 54 she and Debbie Reynolds are noted "two of Hollywood's loveliest blondes sneaking under the chain at a recent gala premiere"
columnist Walter Winchell thinks that she's "doing her best to help James Dean forget Pier Angeli's wedding plans with Vic Damone..."
December 54 Louella Parsons tells that in one week Ralph Meeker dated Lori, Gaby Rogers, and Maxine Cooper "even though is his most serious romance is Marian Carr"
columnist Jimmy Fidler tells that "Hollywoodites are nodding because Tab Hunter and Lori Nelson are being seen together, but Lori insists they are not dating steadily..."
is the date of Wayne Mosley, Guy Madison's brother, at the party thrown by Helen Cunsworth for Guy and Sheila Madison
Mid-January 55 is among the stars at Howard Hughes' smash Underwater premiere in Silver Springs, Florida. Louella Parsons tells: "Debbie Reynolds, with her best friend, Lori Nelson, gave Florida a quick, cute nod, using the free junket as a means to see Eddie Fisher..."
Late January 55 is seen at the Bantam Cock with Wayne Mallory
Early February 55 columnist Dorothy Kilgallen reports: "song publisher Ivan Mogul, who was torching for Roberta Peters, is forgetting with the pulchritudinous aid of starlet Lori Nelson..."
February 55 Jimmy Fidler tells: "Margaret O'Brien's escort on her 18th birthday was Tab Hunter. Tab has been dating Margaret since Lori Nelson went to New York..."
Winchell quotes her: "When Tab Hunter kissed me it was a nice affectionate kiss, not one of those kiss-kiss-kiss things."
Early March 55 columnist Jimmy Fidler knows of her corresponding with Tab Hunter
12 March 55 the press reports from Hollywood: "Lori Nelson is eating six nourishing meals a day to regain the weight she lost in New York when stricken with the flu. She wants to be at her normal weight of 109 before she faces the Cinemascope cameras for Jagged Edge at Warner Brothers next week."
Late March 55 is seen at Jack's at the Beach with Robert Francis
is on the panel of "Juke Box Jury." Other panelists are Dean Martin, Anna Maria Alberghetti, and Debra Paget.
Early April 55 will be a bridesmaid at Debbie Reynolds' June wedding to Eddie Fisher
Mid-April 55 due to illness, she loses her part in The Lock and the Key to Karen Sharpe
End May 55 Winchell quotes a movie magazine: "Lori Nelson and Bob Francis began it all as a publicity gag, then discovered it was fun..."
July 55 her two favorite dates, Tab Hunter and Bob Francis, are reported both out of town
Mid-July 55 is bat boy for the Hollywood All Star softball team appearing against the Rockets in a cerebral palsy benefit game at the Fresno State College Park
Late July 55 Parsons thinks it looks serious between Lori and Wayne Mallory, brother of Guy Madison, "who were holding hands all through the preview of I Am a Camera."
27 July 55 is among 40 actors and actresses named by the motion picture exhibitors for a national audience poll in November. Together with Anne Bancroft, Dorothy Dandridge, Anne Francis, Dorothy Malone, Cleo Moore, Rita Moreno, Kim Novak, Barbara Rush, and May Wynn, she's nominated in the class of promising young personalities. Public voting in an estimated 10,000 theaters is scheduled for the 10-day period from November 17 to 27.
September 55 Winchell considers her, Tab Hunter and Wayne Mallory a triangle
30 SEptember 55 is named a "Deb Star of 1955" before a crowd of 2,000 at a ball sponsored by makeup artists and hair stylists. The other winners introduced by Maureen O'Hara are Jody Lawrence, Anita Ekberg, Lillian Montevecchi, Kipp Hamilton, Mara Corday, Cathy Crosby, Tracey Morgan, Marisa Pavan, and Gloria Thomas.
October 55 is a twosome with actor Tom Tryon
columnist Mike Connolly tells that she, "Ursula Andress and Kathy Case still dissolve into tears at the mention of Jimmy Dean's name..."
November 55 is seen at the Bull Room with Larry Pennell enjoying the piano tunes of Dave Kenner
Mid-November 55 is on the panel of "Juke Box Jury." Other panelists are Zsa Zsa Gabor, Tab Hunter, and Vic Damone.
December 55 wins the COMPO National Audience Award as one of the “Stars of the Future”
is reportedly the favorite date of actor Tab Hunter
attends the Thalians’ show at Ciro’s with Tab Hunter
poses with New Mexico's new automobile license plates
January 56 is on the panel of "In Person." Other panelists are Tab Hunter, Ernest Borgnine, and Marla English.
End January 56 attends the Hollywood premiere of Helen of Troy with her agent, Dick Clayton. Other celebrities are Barbara Rush with Richard Gully, Zsa Zsa Gabor with Jean Pierre Aumont, Aldo Ray with Jeff Donnell, Natalie Wood with Tab Hunter, Jeff Hunter with Jeanne Baird, Margaret O'Brien with Rad Fulton, and Dean Martin, all by himself.
6 February 56 appears with host Ed Reimers on KTTV's "Movie Matinee" to discuss the heart fund
Mid-February 56 Winchell knows that "insiders report that those Dean Martin dates with Lori Nelson are strictly business. "She's in his next flicker..."
Late February 56 is selected the "1956 Buddy Poppy Girl" in Hollywood. She will help the Veterans of Foreign Wars in getting their campaign under way.
End February 56 columnist Erskine Johnson writes: "Lori Nelson is the doll helping Dean Martin forget now that Mrs. M. is suing for divorce..."
April 56 finds "you can be too pretty for movies"
Modern Screen tells that she's always a date but never a best girl. Tab Hunter is her most frequent and constant date. Bob Wagner is just a good friend.
is seen at the Oyster House with Bud Pennell
May 56 is seen at the Encore with Bud Pennell
Parsons ponders: "Well, well, well! Lori Nelson and Bud Pennell are a romantic duo. How long will it last?"
15 July 56 is one of the judges at the second annual Blarney Castle Sports Car festival held at 623 South Western Avenue in Pasadena, California
July 56 Parsons spots her at the premiere of Shirley Booth's The Desk Set with producer Ross Hunter
Mid-July 56 is reported steady dating publisher Robert Peterson
End July 56 she and Ross Hunter are at the Ciroette Room to see Abbey Lincoln
August 56 is seen at Jack's at the Beach with Bob Peterson
Early August 56 she and Bud Pennell are a twosome at the California Racquet Club testimonial dinner for Peter Potter. Other guests are Natalie Wood with Nick Adams and Zsa Zsa Gabor with Derek Goodman.
columnist Lee Mortimer writes: "Lori Nelson switched from blonde back to brunette and from publisher Bob Peterson to N.Y. disc jock Bill Bradley..."
Mid-August 56 columnist Erskine Johnson tells: "Lori Nelson is dating Tab Hunter for fan magazine photos only. Her real interest is Bob Peterson, publisher of Hot Rod magazine..."
Mid-Septermber 56 Parsons advises: "The most serious romance Lori Nelson has had is with publisher Robert Peterson. Except for publicity purposes, Lori hasn't dated anyone else since she met young Peterson two months ago."
December 56 is on the panel of "Juke Box Jury." Other panelists are Dolores Donlon, Dennis Hopper, and Rod McKuen.
23 December 56 is among the celebrity usherettes at the Thalians' showing of Around the World in 80 Days, held in the great ballroom of the Hilton Hotel. Other usherettes are Anna Maria Alberghetti, Jayne Mansfield, Natalie Wood, Debbie Reynolds, Dorothy Malone, Julie London, and Maggie and Barbara Whiting.
February 57 columnist Harrison Carroll tells that "eyebrows lifted when publisher Bob Petersen, who has been dating Lori Nelson, attended Carroll Righter's party with Jeanne Dawson. When I queried him, Bob explained that Lori is in Arizona."
has a sexy photo layout in Escapade
March 57 Parsons knows that Lori is a "twice-a-day visitor to Good Samaritan Hospital where her boyfriend, publisher Bob Petersen, is a patient"
she, Doe Avedon and Charlotte Austin are reported chosen for the leads in 20th Century-Fox TV's upcoming "How to Marry a Millionaire"
her "heretofore exclusive property," Bob Peterson, is seen at the Bantam Cock with Eva Bartok
April 57 good-byes actor Ben Cooper to the army
Early April 57 is ringsiding at Eddie Fisher's Tropicana opening in Las Vegas. Among the guests are the Gordon MacRaes, Sheila and Guy Madison, Anne Jeffreys and Bob Sterling, Jeanne and Dean Martin, Loretta Young and Jo Wayne, and Ann Miller.
15 April 57 is an honorary starter with J. C. Agajanian at the annual Mobilgas economy run, a 1,568-mile trip from Los Angeles to Sun Valley, Idaho
May 57 attends Anna Maria Alberghetti's 21st birthday party at the Cocoanut Grove with Jack Haley, Jr. Among the guests are Bob Evans with Dorothy Malone and her father, Pier Angeli with Vic Damone, Earl Holliman with Dolores Hart, Natalie Wood with Nicky Hilton, and Guy Madison with his wife Sheila.
End-May 57 her newest date is Stuart Cramer, 3rd, Jean Peter's wealthy ex-husband
June 57 Winchell thinks she and MGM actor Don Burnett are "sighing in rhythm..."
Mid-June 57 is among the many celebrities at the Saturday Evening Post's smash Hollywood party held at the Beverly Hilton
26 June 57 starts rehearsing for a big NBC spectacular, "The Pied Piper of Hamelin"
July 57 will be the fair game in Moss Hart's new show, Fair Game
her newest flame is William Morris agent Lloyd Kolmer "and he's trying to wangle a transfer to the coast..."
Mid-August 57 fractures a rib in a dance rehearsal for "The Pied Piper of Hamelin"
Late August 57 columnist Harrison Carroll reports: "At the Thalians' beach party, Bob Peterson took Ziva Rodann, but spent a lot of time talking to former romantic moment Lori Nelson."
Winchell reports her ex-fan, Bob Peterson, crazy about Ziva Rodann
December 57 Winchell advises: "Don't invite starlet Lori Nelson and new actor Bob Evans to the same fete, unless you enjoy pneumonia..."
November 58 she, Merry Anders and Barbara Eden arrive in New York to promote their TV series, "How to Marry a Millionaire"
columnist Dorothy Kilgallen tells: "Agent Lloyd Kolmer has returned to the ranks of the eligibles. He and starlet Lori Nelson, once a sure-fire matrimonial bet, have decided the continent between them is too formidable for romance."
December 58 producer John Wildberg is reported latching her and Broderick Crawford for the top spots in his dramatization of Red Quinlan's book about what goes on behind the TV camera, The Merger
January 59 Winchell reports that Lieutenant Jack Haley spends nearly all of his furloughs with her
June 59 attends the Thalians' beatnik party at the Friars' club with Jack Haley, Jr. Other twosomes around the room are Debbie Reynolds with Leon Tyler, Allison Hayes with Mac Krim, Donna Boyce with Ben Cooper, Genie Marin with Ray Barnes, Sandra Giles with Bill Holmes, Julie London with Bobby Troup, Irish McCalla with Michael Dante, Cathy Case with Bob Petersen, and Roxanne Delman with Larry Laurie.
is seen at the Round Robin with Hal Stanley
August 59 columnist Harrison Carroll knows: "Although they didn't announce their engagement at Lori Nelson's birthday party, Burt Reynolds of the ‘Riverboat’ TV series, gave Lori a gold charm for her bracelet inscribed with the date they first met."
Mid-October 59 Carroll tells: "I checked actress Lori Nelson on the many rumors she and Burt Reynolds, of the ‘Riverboat’ TV series, are altar-bound. 'It could be that we will get married,' admitted Lori, 'but, at the moment, we are not even officially engaged.'"
End October 59 Winchell knows that she will become Mrs. Burt Reynolds in February
Early January 60 bows out of "How to Marry a Millionaire" and is replaced by Lisa Gaye
Late January 60 Carroll reports: "After a second try to understand each other, Lori Nelson and actor Burt Reynolds again have called off their engagement. This time, it appears to be final. Lori is going to Palm Springs for a vacation. She will stay at the Desert Inn. Later, she may sign to do a stage show in Phoenix. Burt, who was dissatisfied with his role in the ‘Riverboat’ TV series, will stick in Hollywood and try to advance his career."
End February 60 the press still expects her to marry Burt Reynolds
June 60 the press tags her "one perennial never-been-married beauty searching for a husband," who can't find Mr. Right
July 60 plans to move out of her parents' home "and is looking for an apartment to share with school chum Betty Bauer (she's publicist Norman Winter's girl Friday)"
August 60 columnist Lee Mortimer thinks it looks serious between her and Liberty's composer, Johnny Mann
7 September 60 announces she’ll marry Johnny Mann, composer and conductor. No date has been set, "but we want to make it as soon as possible," adding: "Johnny asked me to marry him last weekend and I said 'yes' so fast he was caught without a ring." Mann is with Liberty records. He has made musical arrangements for Julie London, Eddie Fisher and other singers. The marriage will be the first for both.
Late September 60 shows off a three-carat diamond engagement ring presented to her by Mann. They plan to marry in December.
October 60 Winchell tells: "Ronnie Wayne isn't grieving about Lori Nelson's betrothal to another. His new amour is Mary Ann Mobley, ex-"Miss Americaine"
November 60 Tab Hunter, her co-star in the "Bachelor at Large" TV series, throws her a party. "Lori is to wed Johnny Mann later this month. Tab thought it would be appropriate to host a party for the pair to show he harbors no hurt feelings." Ann Blyth is among the guests.
10 December 60 marries John R. Mann in Los Angeles. He's 32; she's 27.
16 May 62 her daughter Lori S. is born in Los Angeles
7 July 65 her daughter Jennifer L. is born in Los Angeles
? lives with her family in Chatsworth, California
May 68 she, her husband and their daughters, Jennifer, 3, and Susan, 6, ride at the head of the annual Chatsworth parade
April 73 divorces Mann in Los Angeles
February 75 columnist Dorothy Manners tells that Lori's union with Mann hit the rocks after several years. "After a number of reconciliations and separations, the Manns were divorced. Their two daughters are not yet in their teens."
17 April 83 marries Joseph J. Reiner, a policeman, in Los Angeles. He's 46; she's 49.
? is reported running an antique shop in Southern California
23 August 20 dies at age 87 at her home in Porter Ranch, Los Angeles, from complications following Alzheimer's disease
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Recommended Books:
JSR Pages: Lori Nelson
Lori Nelson at Spooky's Nightmare Mansion
Brian's Drive-In Theater: Lori Nelson
An Interview with Lori Nelson by Mike Fitzgerald