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What is the connection between Pam Dawber and the Nelson family?

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Quick Answer

Pam Dawber is connected to the Nelson family through marriage. Dawber is married to actor Mark Harmon, and Harmon’s sister Kristin was once married to musician Ricky Nelson. In 1987, Dawber and Harmon petitioned for custody of Kristin’s youngest son, Sam Nelson, accusing Kristin of being an unfit parent. The suit was later dropped.

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Full Answer

Dawber’s sister-in-law Kristin married Ricky Nelson in 1963 and began appearing on the family television show “Ozzie and Harriet” with Ricky and his parents. Kristin and Ricky Nelson divorced after a long and troubled legal battle. Nelson died in a plane crash in 1985.

Five months after Dawber married Harmon in 1987, Kristin was in rehabilitation for drug abuse, and the couple went to court and won temporary custody of Kristin’s youngest son. The bitter public battle tore the family apart, and after Kristin made allegations of cocaine use against Dawber, Harmon dropped the petition, and Kristin regained custody.

Two of Dawber’s other nephews, the twin brothers Gunnar and Matthew Nelson, founded the rock band Nelson. As of 2015, they are still performing and touring.

Dawber is best known for co-starring with Robin Williams in the hit show “Mork & Mindy" and in the sitcom “My Sister Sam.” Harmon has appeared in popular television shows, including “St. Elsewhere,” “Chicago Hope" and “The West Wing.” As of 2015, he stars in the naval crime show “NCIS.”

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