Alberta Nelson

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Alberta Nelson (August 14, 1937 - April 29, 2006) was an American television and film actress. She graduated from Andrews High School for Girls in Willoughby, Ohio. After several dramatic parts in television in the early 1960s, she made five guest appearances on The Andy Griffith Show, four of them as Goober Pyle's girlfriend, Flora Malherbe.

Nelson appeared in seven movies in the 1960s as one of Eric Von Zipper's "mice" in the successful American International Beach Party series. She is the only person who appeared in all seven Beach Party movies, including Beach Party, Muscle Beach Party and How to Stuff a Wild Bikini. Nelson played the leather clad "rat pack" biker chick Puss (sometimes also called Alberta and in one film, Lisa), one of the comic villains who dogged the steps of America's sweethearts, Annette Funicello and Frankie Avalon.

After her successful girl-next-door stint as Flora on The Andy Griffith Show and her comedic career as biker girl Puss, Nelson starred in 1970s The Wild Scene as Dr. Virginia Grant, a female psychiatrist who talks graphically about her tawdriest cases. This and a 1970 appearance on Love, American Style would be Nelson's last credited roles.

Personal life/death

Alberta Nelson was married for 35 years to Herbert Gilman. She died on April 29, 2006, aged 68.

TV filmography

The Andy Griffith Show

Movie filmography


Alberta Ann Nelson was born in Erie, Pennsylvania on Aug 14, 1937 to Frank Alton Nelson (1909–1959) and Katherine Storkel (1900–1982). Her only sibling was a half-sister, Irene Stephens McAleer (1919–1994).

After graduating from the Andrews School for Girls in Willoughby, Ohio, class of 1955, she briefly attended St. John's Hospital School of Nursing, Cleveland, Ohio. In the late 1950s, she moved to New York City where she modeled.

Alberta married Ryan MacDonald (Machunas) ca1959 in New York City. Their son Adam was born in NYC ca1960 and was a victim of sudden infant death syndrome at the age of two-months. Adam is buried in his father's hometown of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Alberta never had any other children. Ryan MacDonald was the first male centerfold in the first issue of Playgirl magazine ca1978. Ryan and Alberta divorced ca1962 and Alberta moved to Beverly Hills, California where she pursued an acting career.

Alberta married Herbert Lester Gilman (b. November 19, 1922) in Erie, Pennsylvania on February 14, 1971, his second marriage.

Alberta fought cancer of the jaw/throat for several years, dying in Herbert's arms on April 29, 2006, at the home of Herbert Gilman's daughter, in Willoughby Hills, Ohio. Alberta was buried next to her mother and father at Laurel Hill Cemetery in Erie, Pennsylvania on May 2, 2006. Herbert Gilman died on June 29, 2007. He was buried at Laurel Hill Cemetery in Erie, Pennsylvania on July 1, 2007.[1]


  1. "Alberta Nelson Obituary". Erie Times-News. Erie, PA. 2 May 2006.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>