Hard Times For Rick Nelson's Four Children After The Loss Of Their Iconic Father

As the son of Harriet and Ozzie Nelson, Rick became an iconic rock ‘n’ roll artist. After his tragic death, Rick’s children continued building on the family’s legacy while finding their way in life. Rick became a part of the professional entertainment world when he was just a young boy. Not even turning ten years old yet, Nelson made an appearance with his father, Ozzie, mother Harriet, as well as brother David on a radio comedy series that was based on their family. The series became a huge hit in the '50s, hitting TV screens all across the nation. Thanks to their family's popularity, Ricky grew into a teenager in the public eye.

Image Credits: Getty Images

Image Credits: Getty Images

Rick became a part of the professional entertainment world when he was just a young boy. Not even turning ten years old yet, Nelson made an appearance with his father, Ozzie, mother Harriet, as well as brother David on a radio comedy series that was based on their family. The series became a huge hit in the '50s, hitting TV screens all across the nation. Thanks to their family's popularity, Ricky grew into a teenager in the public eye. As a child, Ricky was small and insecure and suffered from severe asthma. At night, his sleep was eased with a vaporizer emitting tincture of evergreen. John Guedel described him as "an odd little kid," likable, shy, introspective, mysterious, and inscrutable.

Image Credits: Getty Images

Image Credits: Getty Images

His life would soon be turned around by rock & roll, as he decided to embark on his recording career in 1956. Many have claimed that Rick, in fact, didn't have any professional singing ambitions, until he decided to create a recording, in hopes to impress his girlfriend. The recorded cover, "I'm Walkin'" blew up straight to number four, with the 'Ozzie & Harriet' TV show plugs helping him out along the way. Away from the world of music, Ricky also ventured into acting. He starred alongside John Wayne in 'Rio Bravo,' for which he earned a Golden Globe nomination for 'Most Promising Male Newcomer.' 

CHAPTER 1

HIS COMPLICATED PERSONAL LIFE

Along the way, Nelson met Kristin Harmon and the pair decided to tie the knot in April 1963. The Harmons and Nelsons were longtime family friends, so it didn't take too long before they bonded. They began dating in December 1961. Their union brought four wonderful children - but their marriage wasn't a strong one. The pair ended up divorcing in December 1982. It was believed that Kris wanted Ricky to be more present at home rather than tour the road. However, because of Kris extravagant lifestyle, Rick had no choice but to continue music so he could keep on providing. For the next dozen years, Nelson continued to record on and off and constantly went on tours, although he wasn't necessarily having any luck in capitalizing his assets. In fact, interest in the rockstar seemed to have steadily died down in the last decade of his life.

Image Credits: Getty Images/ Ricky Nelson and Kristin Nelson

Image Credits: Getty Images/ Ricky Nelson and Kristin Nelson

Unfortunately, the last few decades of his life ended just as tragically, in a private plane crash that happened in 1985. Nelson was on his way to a New Year's Eve gig in Dallas, alongside his new fiancee, Helen Blair. Helen met Nelson in Las Vegas in 1980, and within months of meeting, they began dating. Even though Rick’s unexpected death hit the family hard, the troubles in the Nelson household began long before his death. 

Read how Rick's last days were by going to the 'Next chapter'  

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