NCIS star Mark Harmon was not the only successful actor to come out of his family. Long before Mark made a name for himself on CBS’ hit crime drama, his sister, Kristin Harmon, skyrocketed to fame starring on the 1950s sitcom, The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet. Kristin tragically passed away in April of 2018 – but whatever happened to her following the end of the hit TV show?
Kristin Harmon’s rise to fame
Kristin’srise to fame began when she was just 12 years old. At the time, Kristin wasfirst introduced to Ricky Nelson, whose parents starred in the hit 1950ssitcom, The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet. Kristin immediately fellfor Nelson and enjoyed spending time with his family. After years of dating,the two exchanged vows as soon as she turned 18 years old.
Once she was officiallypart of the family, Kristin started appearing on The Adventures of OzzieHarriet as the family’s daughter-in-law. She had her first child with Nelson six month aftertheir wedding. Their first daughter, Tracy, went on to appear as a child starin Yours, Mine, and Ours as well as The Father Dowling Mysteries.The couple would go on to welcome twin sons, Matthew and Gunnar, who started arock band called Nelson. The pair had their fourth child, Sam, in the 1970s.
Inside Kristin Harmon’s battle with drugs
While Kristin’s marriage seemed perfecton the outside, it was not long before she and Nelson got in serious trouble.With Nelson an active rock star, the couple got deep into partying. Before theyknew it, they were both heavily involved in drugs. According to People, Kristin and Nelson tried rehab and therapy toget over their drug addiction, but when that failed, their marriage quicklyfell apart.
“I got into therapyand so did he for a while but then he started not showing up. I tried tellingmy family, there’s a drug problem here and we’ve all got to help. But they totally deniedthere was anything wrong,” Kristen shared.
Kristin turned in divorce papersin 1980. She engaged in a bitter custody battle with Nelson in the ensuingyears, though the courts granted her temporary custody of their children. Bothsides accused each other of drug abuse and bad parenting in the years followingtheir divorce.
Kristen would later admitthat she was still using drugs in the early ’80s and was also drinking veryheavily. Things got so bad that Kristin could no longer perform her duties as apainter and turned to her brother for help.
Mark Harmon and KristinHarmon fight over custody
Mark was more than willing to help out his sister in her time of need. At some point, Kristin moved in with Mark and Pam Dawber, whom he would later marry. Things took a tragic turn in 1985 when Nelson died in a plane crash. Members of Nelson’s band also perished in the crash, along with his fiancée, Helen Blair. When Kristin’s behavior did not improve, Mark convinced her to give rehab another try.
Eventually, Mark took things into his own hands and pushed to win custody of Kristin’s 12-year-old son, Sam. In 1987, Kristin and Mark fought in court and the future NCIS star was given temporary custody.
After months of fighting,both sides agreed to give Kristin full custody, though Mark was allowedvisitation rights. The family also agreed to participate in therapy sessionstogether.
Kristin Harmon’s final days
As Sam got older, he andKristin remained close. In an interview in 2016, Sam revealed that his motherwas now living in New Mexico and that he spoke to her on a regular basis. Samgot a degree from Boston College and later started a band called H Is Orange.His mom tragically passed away in April of 2018 from a heart attack. She was 72years old at the time of her death and had remained out of the public eye foryears.
It is unclear if Mark andKristin Harmon were close during her final years. Given the turbulent nature ofher life, Mark Harmon never talked much about his older sister. The NCISstar married Dawber, who is well known for Mork & Mindy, in 1987.The couple has two children together.
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