Fabian Forte

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Fabian Forte
Fabian Forte 1959.JPG
in 1959
BornFabiano Anthony Forte
(1943-02-06) February 6, 1943 (age 70)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Other namesFabian
OccupationSinger, actor
Years active1959–present
Spouse(s)Kathleen Regan (m.1966–1979)
Kate Forte (m.1980–1990)
Andrea Patrick (m.1998)
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Fabian Forte
Fabian Forte 1959.JPG
in 1959
BornFabiano Anthony Forte
(1943-02-06) February 6, 1943 (age 70)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Other namesFabian
OccupationSinger, actor
Years active1959–present
Spouse(s)Kathleen Regan (m.1966–1979)
Kate Forte (m.1980–1990)
Andrea Patrick (m.1998)

Fabiano Anthony Forte (born February 6, 1943), better known as Fabian, is an American singer and actor.

Fabian rose to national prominence after performing several times on American Bandstand. He became a teen idol of the late 1950s and early 1960s. Eleven of his songs reached the Billboard Hot 100 listing.

Early life[edit]

Fabian is the son of Josephine and Dominic Forte; his father was a Philadelphia policeman.[1] He is the oldest of three brothers.

Fabian was discovered in 1957 by Bob Marcucci and Peter DeAngelis, owners of Chancellor Records. At the time record producers were looking to the South Philadelphia neighborhoods in search of teenage talents with good looks. Frankie Avalon, also of South Philadelphia, suggested Fabian as a possibility.



With songwriters Doc Pomus and Mort Shuman writing for him, Fabian released a series of hit singles on Chancellor Records, including "I'm a Man", "Hound Dog Man", (US #9; UK #46),[2] "Turn Me Loose" (US #9), and his biggest hit, "Tiger",[3] which reached #3 on the US charts. Other singles that charted included "String Along", "About This Thing Called Love" and "This Friendly World", which reached #12 on the US charts. At 15, he won the Silver Award as "The Promising Male Vocalist of 1958."

In 1959 Fabian told a judge he was earning $250,000 a year.[4]

During the payola scandal of the 1960s,[5] Fabian testified before Congress that his recordings had been doctored electronically to "significantly improve his voice."[6]

His career in music basically ended when he was 18 after he bought out of his contract with Marcucci[7] after signing a seven-year deal with 20th Century Fox. "I felt controlled. I felt like a puppet," he said in 1974. "It was frightening, like a three-year nightmare."[8] He spent the next thirteen years concentrating on acting.


Fabian was contracted to 20th Century-Fox beginning with Don Siegel's Hound-Dog Man, based on Fred Gipson's novel. The Psychotronic Encyclopedia of Film featured a photo of Fabian's screen test where he appeared in the same outfit that Elvis Presley wore in Love Me Tender.[9]

The movie was not a success but Fox found they could use Fabian in supporting roles such as North to Alaska. In November 1960 his contract with the studio was amended with an increase in salary.[10]

When Fox temporarily shut down following cost over-runs on Cleopatra, Fabian was one of the first actors whose options were exercised after the studio re-opened.[8] He was considered to play the lead in Beach Party (1963) but was unable to do it because of his contract.[11]

Most of Fabian's early films were comedies and cast him as a restless teenager with a penchant for singing. However, he received critical acclaim for his performance as a psychotic killer in 'A Lion Walks Among Us' for the TV show Bus Stop. This episode was highly controversial due to its violent content, with many affiliates refusing to run the program, and was mentioned in the US Senate.[12]

In November 1965, he signed a multi-picture deal with American International Pictures[13] and made several movies with them including a role as Pretty Boy Floyd in A Bullet for Pretty Boy (1970). He also played Josh Ashley in Little Laura and Big John (1973) for Crown International Pictures.

He performed in John Loves Mary in summer stock.[14]

Later years[edit]

In 1973 he began singing again.[8] He retired once more in 1977, then resumed performing in 1981.[15] Forte never regained his teenage popularity, but has continued performing. Recently[when?] he has been appearing with Frankie Avalon and Bobby Rydell to perform concerts as The Golden Boys.

The 1980 film The Idolmaker, written by Edward Di Lorenzo and directed by Taylor Hackford, was a thinly-disguised biography of Fabian (called "Caesare" in the film), as well as songwriter/producer Marcucci (called "Vinnie Vacarri") and Frankie Avalon (called "Tommy Dee"). In the movie version, singer Caesare—a pretty boy with little singing talent—goes through a whirlwind of success in a short time, and in a fit of pique, he abruptly fires his songwriters and quits his record label. The real-life Fabian threatened a lawsuit at the time of the picture's release, though the filmmakers insisted that the movie presented only fictional characters (even though Marcucci was a paid consultant on the film). Fabian claimed they settled out of court, where he and his wife received apologies and Marcucci's 7.5% ownership of the film passed to Fabian.[7]

He appeared in a 1982 television commercial for The Idols of Rock n' Roll and in the 2005 documentary film The Bituminous Coal Queens of Pennsylvania.

In his latest endeavor, Fabian hosts and headlines in the hit show The Original Stars of Bandstand at The Dick Clark Theater in Branson, Missouri.[16] The show stars Fabian and Bobby Vee and features The Chiffons, Brian Hyland, Chris Montez and rare footage of the performers and Dick Clark.

Personal life[edit]

He was drafted, but rejected, for military service during the Vietnam War. According to USMC Lt. Col. Arthur Eppley, Fabian was declared 4F (unfit for service) after presenting a doctor's note stating that induction into the Army could cause him to develop homosexual tendencies.[17]

In 1982 a jury found him jointly liable for an accident in a 1978 car race in which he was injured.[18] He received $32,000 in an out of court settlement.[19]

Marriages and children[edit]

Fabian has been married three times. His first marriage was to model Kathleen Regan in September 1966.[20] They had two children together, Christian and Julie before separating in June 1975.[21] In October 1975, Fabian was arrested after an argument with Regan in which he was accused of hitting her.[22] The couple divorced in 1979.

He married Kate Netter in 1980. They divorced in 1990. In 1998, he married Andrea Patrick, a former Bituminous Coal Queen and Miss Pennsylvania USA.[23]


Fabian and his current wife are actively involved in the American Diabetes Association, the American Heart Association and Fabian has helped raise money for veterans with his Celebrity Golf Tournament in North Carolina. They live on 20 acres (81,000 m2) in Southwestern Pennsylvania in a home which she designed.


Before going to Chancellor records Fabian cut two albums on his own, one of which contained the original version of the song Old Time Rock And Roll. but albums were a commercial failure.


  • "Shivers"/"I'm In Love" (1958)
  • "Littly Lou"/"Be My Steady Date" (1958)
  • "I'm A Man"/"Hypnotized" (1959)
  • "Turn Me Loose"/"Stop Thief" (1959)
  • "Tiger"/"Mighty Cold" (1959)
  • "Come On and Get Me"/"Got A Feeling" (1959)
  • "Hound Dog Man"/"This Friendly World" (1959)
  • "String Along"/"About This Thing Called Love" (1960)
  • "I'm Gonna Sit Right Down and Write Myself a Letter"/"Strollin' In The Springtime" (1960)
  • "King Of Love"/"Tomorrow" (1960)
  • "Kissin' And Twistin'"/"Long Before" (1960)
  • "You Know You Belong to Someone Else"/"Hold On" (1961)
  • "Grapevine"/"David and Goliath" (1961)
  • "The Love That I'm Giving to You"/"You're Only Young Once" (1961)
  • "A Girl Like You"/"Dream Factory" (1961)
  • "Tongue Tied"/"Kansas City" (1961)
  • "Wild Party"/"Made You" (1961)
  • "Break Down and Cry"/"She's Staying Inside With Me" (1963)[24]



Unmade Projects[edit]


On his audition for Bob Marcucci.

As I'm tone-deaf, I didn't think he'd like it much - but I sang for him. It sounded like a jackass! You could have bowled me over when he said I had possibilities.

NME - October 1959[30]

In popular culture[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Tobler, John (1992). NME Rock 'N' Roll Years (1st ed.). London: Reed International Books Ltd. p. 68. CN 5585. 
  2. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 192. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  3. ^ Gilliland, John (1969). "Show 12 - Big Rock Candy Mountain: Rock 'n' roll in the late fifties. [Part 2]" (audio). Pop Chronicles. Digital.library.unt.edu. 
  4. ^ Music.com
  5. ^ Bogdanov, Vladimir, Woodstra, Chris & Erlewine, Stephen Thomas All music guide to rock: the definitive guide to rock, pop, and soul 2002 Backbeat Books. p. 1386
  6. ^ a b "The Music Index - Story Of The Stars - Fabian Interview". Story Of The Stars. Retrieved 2012-04-11. 
  7. ^ a b c Dennis Hunt, 'Fabian Back in Singing Biz', Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) [Los Angeles, Calif] 05 July 1974: f11.
  8. ^ Weldon, Michael, Psychotronic Encyclopedia of Film 1987 Ballantine Books
  9. ^ a b Fabian Wins New Contract at 20th: Another Rooney Heard From; Lasky Daughter Sells Script Scheuer, Philip K. Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) [Los Angeles, Calif] 24 Nov 1960: C15.
  10. ^ Samuel Z Arkoff & Richard Turbo, Flying Through Hollywood By the Seat of My Pants, Birch Lane Press, 1992 p 129
  11. ^ Lawrence Laurent, 'New Chief at ABC Indicates a Change', The Washington Post, Times Herald (1959-1973) [Washington, D.C] 21 Mar 1962: C8.
  12. ^ 'Bloomer Girl' on 20th Slate Martin, Betty. Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) [Los Angeles, Calif] 29 Nov 1965: c23.
  13. ^ Age Can't Wither Avalon, Fabian Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) [Los Angeles, Calif] 29 Oct 1965: C11.
  14. ^ Bob Ross, 'Written Off 20 Years Ago, Fabian Is Back', Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) [Los Angeles, Calif] 11 July 1983: sd_a5.
  15. ^ Dick Clark's AB Theater - Branson Missouri
  16. ^ Eppley, Arthur. "A Marine Mustang". Trafford Publishing, 2007, p. 146
  17. ^ Doug Smith, 'Jury Splits Blame in Fabian Crash' Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) [Los Angeles, Calif] 11 Apr 1982: sb1.
  18. ^ Doug Smith, 'Fabian Settles Out of Court for $32,000', Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) [Los Angeles, Calif] 22 Apr 1982: ws4.
  19. ^ "Milestones: Sep. 30, 1966". time.com. September. 30, 1966. Retrieved December 24, 2012. 
  20. ^ "Fabian Forte, Wife Separate". Waycross Journal-Herald. June 27, 1975. pp. P–10. Retrieved December 42, 2012. 
  21. ^ "Fabian Arrested After Row". The Lewiston Daily Sun. October 8, 1975. p. 14. Retrieved December 24, 2012. 
  22. ^ Bryant, Jean (1998-09-22). "Former Connellsville Beauty Queen weds Fabian". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. p. G1. 
  23. ^ Fabian's Discography
  24. ^ Fabian Filmography
  25. ^ Looking at Hollywood: Brad Dillman to Co-Star with Fabian Hopper, Hedda. Chicago Daily Tribune (1923-1963) [Chicago, Ill] 03 July 1961: a3.
  26. ^ Fabian Will Team With Dolores Hart: Bridges 'Joins' Peace Corps; Donald Buka Living Anomaly Scheuer, Philip K. Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) [Los Angeles, Calif] 30 Mar 1961: A11.
  27. ^ TV Ace With 20th; Vallee Goes Legit: Movies for Children Listed; Debbie May Play Ruth Roland Scheuer, Philip K. Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) [Los Angeles, Calif] 12 May 1961: A11.
  28. ^ 'Bloomer Girl' on 20th Slate Martin, Betty. Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) [Los Angeles, Calif] 29 Nov 1965: c23.
  29. ^ Tobler, John (1992). NME Rock 'N' Roll Years (1st ed.). London: Reed International Books Ltd. p. 73. CN 5585. 

External links[edit]