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Ricky Nelson: Original Teen Idol (1999)

Not Rated | | Drama | TV Movie 22 August 1999
Biographical story of rock idol and TV star, Ricky Nelson is recalled from the view of Ricky in a discussion with a fan just hours before his death in a plane crash in 1985. Told in ... See full summary »


Sturla Gunnarsson


Arlene Sarner

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Gregory Calpakis ... Ricky Nelson
Jamey Sheridan ... Ozzie Nelson
Sara Botsford ... Harriet Nelson
Anthony Lemke ... David Nelson
Nicky Guadagni ... Donna Fontana
Larissa Laskin ... Helen Blair
David Keeley ... Bobby Neal
Melody Johnson ... Lorrie Collins
Peter Oldring ... Terry
Tara Rosling ... Suzanne Fontana
Anne Openshaw Anne Openshaw ... Kris
Katie Griffin ... June Blair
Chris Loane Chris Loane ... James Burton
Rob Fenton Rob Fenton ... Elvis
Booth Savage ... Lew Chudd


Biographical story of rock idol and TV star, Ricky Nelson is recalled from the view of Ricky in a discussion with a fan just hours before his death in a plane crash in 1985. Told in flashbacks, the film examines the Nelson's early life, their rise to TV stardom in the 50's, Ricky's struggles with his Dad to move into music and out of his Dad's control, and his own struggles with drugs and his star drop after his early teen successes. Written by John Sacksteder <jsackste@bellsouth.net>

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Not Rated

Parents Guide:

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Canada | USA



Release Date:

22 August 1999 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Ricky Nelson See more »

Filming Locations:

Toronto, Ontario, Canada See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


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Did You Know?


References I Love Lucy (1951) See more »

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User Reviews

A rock 'n' roll career fast and hard as a roller coaster.
2 July 2002 | by michaelRokeefeSee all my reviews

It did not necessarily hurt being on TV every week. We watched him grow up on his family's TV program that later became a launching pad for his recording career. This is a glimpse at the ups and downs of Ricky Nelson's career between 1940 and New Years Eve 1985, when he died in a plane crash in Texas. His career is recalled in a series of flashbacks as Nelson reviews his past with a fan....just hours before his life ended. It is impressive they did not try and candy coat his story. Several bits of negative activity is presented along with accomplishments anyone would be proud of. Of course this TV film is not meant to be the gospel of Ricky Nelson, so take some of this in stride.

I am not impressed with Gregory Calakis as Nelson. A grin and wide eyes just doesn't cut it. Jamey Sheridan was darn good as Ozzie Nelson. Sara Botsford plays Harriet and Anthony Lemke is David Nelson. The cast is pretty much made up of unknowns. I'm sure if this was a theatrical release we would see some real stars in the key roles. Roles of interest: Chris Loane as James Burton; Chris Dignan as Johnny Burnette with his brother Sean playing Dorsey Burnette; Kelly Harms as Randy Meisner and Rob Fenton hams it up as Elvis. If you are a 'rockin' Ricky fan you will be pleased that someone cared to put this project together. It is worth watching.

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