Q: Who played Sister Steve on "Father Dowling Mysteries?" I used to love that show. Also, is it available on DVD?

« Back to Q & A

Adam Thomlison / TV Media

Everyone remembers Tom Bosley as Father Dowling -- he was already beloved as a different kind of father, after all -- but few remember the showbiz royalty who played his sidekick.

Bosley brought an impressive resume to his role as the mystery-solving priest, having previously starred as Howard Cunningham on the landmark sitcom "Happy Days," but co-star Tracy Nelson brought an impressive pedigree.

She's the daughter of '50s-and-'60s TV and pop-music heartthrob Ricky Nelson, and thus also the granddaughter of Ozzie and Harriet Nelson, of another landmark sitcom, "The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet," which aired from 1952 to 1966.

And that's just one side of her family. She's also the daughter of Kristin Harmon, an actress in her own right, but more notable for being the daughter of football great Tom Harmon, and the sister of "NCIS" star and former '80s heartthrob Mark Harmon. (Much throbbing of hearts was caused by Tracy's family -- even her two younger brothers, Matthew and Gunnar Nelson, spent some time in teen magazines when they formed the uncreatively titled '80s pop band Nelson).

Though she's never achieved the intensity of fame that some of her loved ones have, Tracy has nonetheless maintained a steady acting career since the age of 19, when she co-starred in the short-lived, early-'80s sitcom "Square Pegs."

However, her first screen role came much earlier, in 1968, when she was just five years old. She had a small part in the Lucille Ball film "Yours, Mine and Ours," which, as fate would have it, also starred Bosley, 21 years before they would team up on "Father Dowling Mysteries" (all three seasons of which are available on DVD, by the way, either individually or as a box set, which was released last year).

Since Father Dowling hung up his robes in 1991, Tracy has mostly kept busy with made-for-TV and direct-to-video movies. She recently starred in the family-friendly comedy "My Stepbrother is a Vampire!?!" (2013), and is currently working on a thriller called "A Fatal Obsession," starring opposite fellow B-movie regular Eric Roberts.


Have a question? Email us at questions@tvtabloid.com. Please include your name and town. Personal replies will not be provided.