Skye wrote this lovely piece on her Grandmother Anne\’s passing placed in
the \”show business trades\” by CBS Television.
Devoted CBS Business Affairs executive Anne Roberts Nelson died
Saturday, June 20, 2009 at her beloved Baldwin Hills home from natural
The proud South Pasadena native and third generation Californian
earned her B.A. in Journalism from UC Berkeley in 1944.
In 2009, with 64 years under her belt, Anne became the longest tenured
employee of CBS. Her illustrious career spanned radio, the advent of
television and new media. As Anne was fond of telling, her journey
with CBS began as a two week temp job in 1945 that lasted until
January 2009. She enjoyed many positions within CBS, ultimately
serving as Vice President of Business Affairs, CBS Entertainment.
During her tenure, she negotiated landmark contracts for \”I Love
Lucy,\” \”All in the Family,\” \”Gunsmoke,\” \”The Wild Wild West,\” \”The Red
Skelton Show,\” \”Perry Mason,\” \”The Young and the Restless\” and many
others. Through her business dealings Anne forged relationships with
some of her closest friends and confidantes, including Robert Conrad,
Stan Freberg, Gail Patrick Jackson, Norman Lear, Art Linkletter, Donna
Mills, Ozzie and Harriet Nelson, Red Skelton and Jane Withers, to name
Anne simultaneously managed to have both a fulfilling personal life
and successful career. As an active member of Crenshaw Neighbors Anne
spearheaded the founding of the Jim Gilliam Park. In the 1960s, she
aided in the successful integration of the Baldwin Hills neighborhood.
Professionally, she was a founding member of the Academy of Television
Arts & Sciences, a long standing board member of the American Film
Institute Associates and American Women for International
Understanding. In the era of the \’Old Boy\’s Club,\’ Anne was one of the
first female radio engineers and one of the first female show business
Nelson\’s status as an entertainment industry icon was recognized first
in 2003 by author Mollie Gregory in her book \”Women Who Run the Show.\”
In 2006, the UC San Diego Rady School of Management honored Anne with
the inaugural Pinnacle of Excellence Award for Business Leadership.
An entire floor at CBS\’s Television City, \”The Anne Nelson Mezzanine,\”
was dedicated in her honor in March of 2005.
Her husband, Harmon Oscar Nelson, Jr., was a popular band leader and
musician of the 1930s and 40\’s, as well as a respected advertising
executive. He died in 1975. Together they had three children who
survive Nelson: Gaye Nelson Gallavan, and twins Amy Nelson Frelinger
and Harmon Oscar Nelson III.
Among her other survivors are granddaughters Skye Stolnitz, Krista and
Elyse Frelinger; Harmon\’s son Connor Mahoney; younger sister Jeanne
Gilette; sons-in-law David Frelinger and Rick Gallavan; his son
Brendan and their families.
In line with Anne\’s wishes a private service was held. The family
invites you to celebrate her life on Tuesday, July 14, 2009 at 5:00PM
at CBS Television City, Studio 36, 7800 Beverly Boulevard, Los Angeles
90036. Please wear festive attire as Anne herself specifically
requested that no one wear black. Bring short stories to share with
the guests. All are welcome to attend.
In lieu of flowers, please send donations to one of the following
American Film Institute Associates – Donations may be sent to AFIA,
P.O. Box 2501, Beverly Hills, CA 90213-2501.
The Heart of the Healer Foundation (THOTH), preserving indigenous
traditions and protecting the Amazonian Rainforest – Donations may be
sent to The Heart of the Healer, P.O. Box 1458, Old Chelsea Station,
New York, NY 10113-1458 or by going online to www.heartofthehealer.org
American Retina Foundation for macular degeneration – Donations may be
sent to American Retina Foundation, 6816 Southpoint Parkway, Suite
100, Jacksonville, FL 32216 or by going online to www.americanretina.org/donors
Please send condolences to The Anne Roberts Nelson Family, c/o Gaye
Nelson, 4570 Van Nuys Blvd., #269, Sherman Oaks, CA 91403-2613 or e-
mail [email protected] or call 818-997-6696.