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Lori Nelson Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (2)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Spouse (2)  | Trivia (5)

Overview (2)

Born in Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA
Birth NameDixie Kay Nelson

Mini Bio (1)

Lori Nelson began her show biz career at the age of two-and-a-half, dancing in a show in her native Santa Fe, New Mexico. She was voted Santa Fe's most talented and beautiful child, and toured the state billed as "Santa Fe's Shirley Temple." At age four, Nelson moved to Hollywood with her parents and there was named Little Miss America. She worked as a fashion photographer's model, then (in the early 1940s) made her first bid for a movie career, testing (unsuccessfully) for a role in Warner Brothers' Kings Row (1942). There was a second false start a few years later, when Arthur M. Landau, a Hollywood producer and self-proclaimed "discoverer" of 1930s star Jean Harlow, expressed interest in casting teenage Nelson as Harlow in a movie bio. (The project never materialized.) Agent Milo O. Frank Jr. helped Nelson get into the movies, taking her to Universal to meet with casting people. Nelson trained with the studio dramatic coach, enacted a scene for the front office and ultimately was offered a seven-year contract, which was approved in court on her 17th birthday. After several years at Universal, she freelanced in movies and TV.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Tom Weaver <TomWeavr@aol.com>

Spouse (2)

Joe Reiner (1983 - present)
Johnny Mann (1961 - 1971) ( divorced)

Trivia (5)

1955 Deb Star.
Interviewed in Tom Weaver's book "They Fought in the Creature Features" (McFarland & Co., 1995).
In the early 1950s, nineteen year old Debbie Reynolds (b: 04.01.1932) was twenty year old Tab Hunter's first date; both Debbie Reynolds and a young 19 year old Lori Nelson (b: 08.15,1933) were constantly linked with Tab Hunter as his romantic - and dating - companion by the movie colony's fan magazine reporters, with photographs of either actress with Tab during their studio film appearances as a couple. When Debbie Reynolds became engaged to crooner Eddie Fisher, Lori Nelson became his primary studio dating partner. Upon the success of "Rebel Without a Cause" - Natalie Wood was matched with Tab Hunter by Warner Bros. casting and publicity department as the new generation Tracy and Hepburn. Natalie Wood engaged Tab Hunter's agent Henry Willson as her agent just so she could meet Willson's actor-client Robert Wagner.
The Ford Motor Company delivered their first pony car in late fall of 1954 - the new 1955 Ford Thunder Bird, Ford's answer to General Motors' Chevrolet 1953 Corvette sports car. The '55 Ford Thunder Bird automobile, only built in Detroit, was delivered in either a gloss-white or gloss-black-ebony painted finish. One of the earliest owners on the West coast, in Hollywood, Tab Hunter (at age 24) purchased a black-ebony Thunder Bird with a red leather interior. The Ford Thunder Bird pony car became very popular for the young talented impressionable Hollywood movie-colony performers as their favorite chariot. Tab's Warner Brothers co-star Natalie Wood (at age 17) had her '55 white T-Bird with a white leather interior custom painted by the Ford dealer a Pepto-Bismo-baby-pink color. Tab's actress girl friend Lori Nelson (at age 22) had her white T-Bird custom painted canary yellow. New York actor Anthony "Tony" Perkins (at age 23), nick named "Ma Perkins" by his fellow actor friends, who was under contract at Paramount Pictures filming "Friendly Persuasion" - after learning how to drive, had his white T-Bird custom painted baby-blue.
Universal had considered the names Dixie Walker and Dixie Nelson before settling on the screen name Lori Nelson.

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