Gene Nelson directed six episodes of Season 1.
|Occupation:||TV/film screenwriter, Director, Producer and Actor|
|Years active:||1938 to 1980|
|Birth name:||Leander Eugene Berg|
|Date of birth:||24 March 1920|
|Born in:||Seattle, Washington|
|Died:||16 September 1996|
|Died in:||Seattle, Washington|
|Spouse(s):||Miriam Franklin (1941–1956) one child |
Marilyn Morgan (1958–1974) two children
Jean Martin (1990 – ?)
| Appeared on/in |
and/or involved with:
|I Dream of Jeannie|
|Number of episodes:||directed 6 from seasons 3-5|
Gene Nelson (born Leander Eugene Berg) directed six episodes of I Dream of Jeannie in Season 1, beginning with the series' pilot episode, "The Lady in the Bottle". The episode "Whatever Became of Baby Custer?" was his last.
Born in Astoria, Oregon, he moved to Seattle when he was one year old. He was barely a teen when he saw the Fred Astaire movie Flying Down to Rio (1933), which would change his life. It was then that he decided he would be a dancer. After graduating from high school, Nelson joined the Sonja Henie Ice Show, and toured for three years before joining the US Army in World War II. After he was discharged, he appeared in a handful of movies before 1950. He worked with Debbie Reynolds in The Daughter of Rosie O'Grady (1950), Doris Day in Tea for Two (1950) and Virginia Mayo in She's Working Her Way Through College (1952). He would be best known for his role of cowboy Will Parker in Oklahoma! (1955), where he would twirl the lasso to the tune of "Kansas City".
After his dancing days ended he turned to directing TV and films, including two Elvis Presley movies, Kissin' Cousins (1964) and Harum Scarum (1965). For television he directed episodes of Star Trek, I Dream of Jeannie , Gunsmoke, The Rifleman, The Donna Reed Show and many others. He also taught in the Theater Arts Department at CSU San Francisco in the late 1980s.
Nelson died of cancer, aged 76, in Los Angeles. He was survived by three children, Douglas, Victoria and Chris.
Awards and Nominations
|1951||Golden Globe Award||Win||Most Promising Newcomer||Tea for Two|
|1965||Writers Guild of America Award||Nominated||Best Written American Musical||Kissin' Cousins (Shared with Gerald Drayson Adams)|