Kristin Nelson, the late sister of NCIS actor Mark Harmon, and her tragic downward spiral

Mark Harmon has been a television mainstay for nearly 50 years. Mark is most known for his role as special agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs on “NCIS,” which he portrayed for 18 seasons, but he has also acted in a variety of other popular television series. These include “The West Wing,” “St. Elsewhere,” and “JAG,” where his “NCIS” character debuted.

In truth, Mark was born into the entertainment industry. Mark Harmon is the son of football player Tom Harmon and actress Elyse Knox. He has two sisters, Kristin Nelson (née Harmon) and Kelly Harmon. Kelly, a model and actress, and Kristin, an actor and painter, are both his sisters who have forged careers in the entertainment sector.

Kristin, who died of a heart attack in 2018, had a difficult life that included marital problems, substance misuse, and even alienation from one of her children. Mark was instrumental in getting his sister’s assistance, and he even had temporary custody of her youngest boy when she wasn’t able to adequately care for him. Let’s go through Kristin’s awful life story and how Mark helped her get over it.

Kristin Harmon, the eldest Harmon kid, was born on June 25, 1945. Kristin initially met the man who would become her future husband, Ricky Nelson, when she was just 12 years old. Ricky Nelson, the son of stars, was featured on “The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet” alongside his parents, Ozzie and Harriet Nelson.

After a few years, Ricky and Kristin married in 1963, when she was 17 and he was 23. Kristin gave birth to their first child, Tracy, six months later.

Ricky was a teen superstar by this point, and after their marriage, Kristin began to appear on “The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet,” which launched her acting career. Despite their celebrity, the couple continued to expand their family, having three more children: Gunnar, Matthew, and Sam.

Kristin continued to perform after “The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet” concluded in 1966. She appeared in the Academy Award-winning short film “The Resurrection of Broncho Billy” as well as the television series “Adam-12,” among other ventures.

However, she began to have personal difficulties. Ricky was a legitimate rock star by this time, and the party lifestyle the two of them lived was getting out of hand. Kristin told People in an interview in 1987:

“We were a hippy rock and roll band. “All those years, we did what everyone else did.”

Kristin said, “At first we were in it together,” but “after a time we were absolutely messed up, both of us.” In the same interview, she elaborated:

“I entered into treatment, and so did he for a time, but then he stopped showing up.” I attempted to inform my family that there is a drug problem in our community and that we must all work together to solve it. But they flatly denied that anything was amiss.

Unfortunately, their difficulties affected not only their health but also their relationships and families. Kristin and the kids left their house in 1977 when she saw Ricky fooling with two Los Angeles Rams cheerleaders, which he subsequently claimed was a set-up to give Kristin custody of the kids.

But the couple’s relationship was on and off for a long time. They divorced for good in 1982, but their extremely public parting was material for the press, and the pair didn’t hold back on their feelings for one another.

Kristin began to focus on painting during this period, but her substance usage returned “very severely,” as she revealed to People, and she was frequently too drunk to continue producing work. Sam, her youngest kid, was once left in the care of Kristin’s parents.

Ricky was tragically killed in an aircraft crash in 1985, along with his band and new fiancée. Kristin’s behavior worsened as a result of the terrible news, and despite the fact that her eldest children had already left home, Sam still remained with her. One day, the 12-year-old called his uncle Mark, pleading for help. Sam’s auntie Kelly told People in the same interview:

“Please help me! I need to get out of here!”It’s too much for me. My mother is shaped like a hill. “She goes up and then down.”

Uncertain whether Kristin was under the influence, Mark swore to assist his nephew. Days later, the “NCIS” star discovered his sister grocery shopping, apparently drunk. Soon after, he was able to persuade her to enter treatment. In the same interview, Kristin stated:

“Only my brother could have persuaded me into it since I trusted him.” “For once in your life, let someone assist you,” murmured a voice inside me.

However, Sam desired to remain with his uncle, resulting in a custody fight between Kristin and Mark. While the lawsuit exposed a lot of the family’s dirty laundry, the judge granted Mark interim custody of Sam. Mark eventually stopped making the accusations, and Kristin got Sam back. However, she, Sam, and Mark all had to go to therapy.

Thankfully, Kristin and Sam’s relationship began to mend, and in an interview two years before her death in 2016, she discussed how they worked things out between them. She stated:

“Things that were once significant become less so as you get older.” Problems are no longer problems. You either work through them or don’t. But, in general, you hope to. “I believe we are in a good place together and have a wonderful connection.”

Kristin married TV producer and director Mark Tinker one year after the highly publicized custody fight for Sam. They were married for 12 years before divorcing in 2000.

Kristin kept mainly out of the spotlight in her later years. Then, on April 27, 2018, she died after a heart attack. Tracy, her daughter, announced the news on her Facebook page:

“Kristin Harmon Nelson, my mother, died abruptly and unexpectedly last night. “Love and light are always welcome.”

Kristin’s legacy carries on via her children, who have all pursued careers in the entertainment world. Tracy is an actress, while Gunnar and Matthew are the founders of the band Nelson. Sam, on the other hand, is a musician who founded the band H Is Orange. Of course, her brother Mark and sister Kelly carry on the family tradition.

Despite the problems in her life, Kristin found calm once she became clean. Kristin’s memory lives on through the love of her family, who stood by her even when circumstances were tough.

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