Gene Nelson was an American dancer, actor, screenwriter, and director.
Born Leander Eugene Berg in Astoria, Oregon, he moved to Seattle when he was one year old. He was inspired to become a dancer by watching Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers movies when he was a child. After serving in the Army during World War II, Nelson landed his first Broadway role in Lend an Ear, for which he received the Theatre World Award. He also appeared on stage in Follies, which garnered him a Tony Award nomination, and Good News.
Nelson’s film acting credits include This is the Army, I Wonder Who’s Kissing Her Now, Gentlemen’s Agreement, Apartment for Peggy, The Walls of Jericho, The Daughter of Rosie O’Grady, Tea for Two, The West Point Story, Lullaby of Broadway, Painting the Clouds with Sunshine, Starlift, She’s Working Her Way Through College, She’s Back on Broadway, Three Sailors and a Girl, Crime Wave, So This is Paris, Oklahoma!, The Atomic Man, The Way Out, The Purple Hills, 20,000 Eyes, Thunder Island, A Brand New Life, Family Flight, and S.O.B.. Nelson directed episodes of the original Star Trek, the first season of I Dream of Jeannie, and Gunsmoke. In 1959, he appeared with Keith Larsen and Buddy Ebsen in the NBC adventure series Northwest Passage as a young man trying to prove his innocence in a murder case.