Ozzie and Harriet's Youngest Grandson Sam Nelson's Childhood Struggles

Jaimie-lee Prince
Jul 04, 2019
09:29 P.M.
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Sam Nelson's footprint in the entertainment industry was not as prolific as others in his family, but his story is as spellbinding as any in Hollywood. 

The son of Rick Nelson and Kristin Harmon, Sam Nelson was born on August 29, 1974, in Burbank, California. Unsurprisingly, he grew up surrounded by music and show business.

Sam's grandparents were the stars of the popular and longest-running sitcom, "Adventures with Ozzie and Harriet" while his own parents were actors and musicians. 

Sam had three siblings, Tracy Kristine Nelson, and twin brothers Gunnar Eric and Matthew Gray Nelson. The twins would go on to form a band called Nelson. 


They all personally witnessed the extremely long divorce between Ricky and Kristine which formally began in 1977. In an interview, Sam revealed that the legal battle tore apart his relationship with his father. 

However, he made sure to let people know how much he loved his dad, whom he affectionately called "Pop." Also, he knows that his father also loved him "very much." 

Sadly, Ricky's divorce proceedings left him with limited access to his own son, as requested by Kristine and absurdly granted by a judge. The lengthy battle made things worse for father and son. 


Sam said that the divorce felt like it went on "forever" because it "happened all through [his] childhood." As a child, he wanted to see his dad so badly that would sometimes "sneak out" to do so. 

When his father passed, he would sometimes ask his grandmother certain things to learn more about Ricky. "Was he like this? Did he do this? Did he enjoy this?" he would question her.

Ricky Nelson died in a plane crash on the day of New Year's Eve in 1985. Six others passed away in the fiery incident that finished in Dallas, Texas. Sam was just 11 when his father left him. 


He called it a "surreal" experience because it had been just days earlier he saw his father on Christmas. The tragic incident left Sam "lost" and wondering just who he was. 

However, this time having famous parents was a good thing for the boy, who said he found a "crutch" in the "music, history, [and] photographs" his father left behind. 

Eventually, Sam grew up and expressed himself in ways similar to how his father had. He attained a psychology degree then proceeded to form his own band, named H is Orange. 


Sam has a special love for the creative process, also working as a songwriter, short story writer, and poet. Yet he's always mindful of his late father since he also works as one of the principals of their estate. 

Addtionally, he's helping to keep his grandparents' legacy alive with a documentary of the show "The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet." He garnered finances from fans online via Kickstarter.com. 

Brothers Matthew and Gunnar are also keeping both their parents' and their grandparents' legacies alive using a more direct approach. The twins have continued performing for fans, even doing a live tour dedicated to their father called, "Remembering Ricky Nelson."