NCIS star Mark Harmon: the tragic life of famous sister Kristin Nelson
Mark and his sister also went through a custody battle for her son, Sam NCIS star Mark Harmon feels like a member of the family due to his longtime presence on our screens as Gibbs – but how much do you know about the man behind the character?
The actor, who left the show back in 2021, wasn’t the only actor in the family, as his sister Kristin Nelson was also an actor before her sad d***h in 2018. Find out more about her here…
The actress and artist tied the knot with teen idol Ricky Nelson back in 1963, and joined his family’s television show, The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet, and also starred alongside her husband in Love and Kisses.
The pair shared four children, Tracy, twins Gunnar and Matthew, and Sam, but unfortunately had a deeply acrimonious relationship which ultimately resulted in a divorce in 1982. Ricky was k****d in a plane crash three years later after his plane crashed into trees and electrical wires during an emergency landing.
Kristin opened up about their lifestyle to People back in 1987, saying: “We were hippie rock n’ rollers. We did what everyone else was doing all those years… After a while, we were totally messed up, both of us. I got into therapy and so did he for a while but then he started not showing up. I tried telling my family, there’s a d**g problem here and we’ve all got to help. But they totally denied there was anything wrong.”
Mark (aged eight) with his family
She added that she ultimately went to rehab on the advice of Mark, saying: “Nobody but my brother could have talked me into this because I trusted him. A voice inside me said, ‘For once in your life, let somebody help you.’”
Following her time in rehab, Mark tried to gain custody of Kristin’s youngest son, Sam. After being awarded temporary custody of Sam, who was 12 at the time, the custody battle became so vitriolic that Mark pulled out of the situation. According to People, he told Kristin’s attorney: “We don’t want to go any further with this. Too much blood has been spilled.” The pair eventually agreed on visiting rights and attended family therapy together.
Mark (left) with his sister Kristen (second right)
At the time, Kristin explained: “I was feeling very proud and happy because I had just very successfully completed a program to help myself. Suddenly, I had two hours to find a lawyer who would help me keep my son. At first, I thought it was a joke, and I wondered, ‘Where’s the punchline?’”
Kristin with her first husband, Ricky
Back in 2016, Sam opened up about his relationship with his mother, telling Medium: “As you get older, things that were important aren’t important anymore. Problems aren’t problems anymore. You work through them, or you don’t. But for the most part, you hope to. I think we’re in a good way together, and we have a good relationship.”
Kristin’s eldest child and only daughter Tracey confirmed that her mother had passed away in 2018 after suffering from a heart a****k on Facebook. Sharing a photo of her, she wrote: “My mother, Kristin Harmon Nelson, pass3d away suddenly and unexpectedly last night. Love and light are welcome.”