Made his professional stage debut as a member of the Fanchon and Marco Juvenile Revue at the Paramount Theater in Los Angeeles in 1935. He also studied tap with Nick Castle.
First wife Miriam Franklin (nee Frankel) was a specialty film dancer from Broadway ("Panama Hattie"). Married in 1941, she worked in Hollywood while Gene served in the Army. He joined her later and she was instrumental in helping him work up his innovative dance routines on film.
He can be seen as one of the anonymous studio executives in the trailer for the original 1947 version of Miracle on 34th Street (1947),.
Suffered a fractured pelvis in 1957 when a horse fell on him while on film location in Tennessee.
Second wife Marilyn Morgen was a studio secretary he married in 1958. She was 12 years his junior.
Born Leander Eugene Berg, he went to Superior Court in 1964 to change his legal name to "Gene Nelson" as he wanted to use it for himself and his family.
Nominated for a 1972 Tony Award for Featured Actor for his performance as Buddy in the original production of Follies
Nominated for a 1972 Tony Award for Supporting or Featured Actor (Musical) for his performance as Buddy in the original production of "Follies."
Pitcher for the New York Yankees (1981), Seattle Mariners (1982-1983), Chicago White Sox (1984-1986), Oakland Athletics (1987-1992), California Angels (1993) and Texas Rangers (1993).