Shelley Fabares

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Shelley Fabares
Shelley Fabares at the 1991 Emmy Awards cropped.jpg
Fabares at the 1991 Emmy Awards
BornMichele Ann Marie Fabares
(1944-01-19) January 19, 1944 (age 71)
Santa Monica, California, U.S.
Other namesShelly Fabares
OccupationActress, singer
Years active1947–present
Spouse(s)Lou Adler (m. 1964; div. 1980)
Mike Farrell (m. 1984)
RelativesNanette Fabray (Aunt)
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Shelley Fabares
Shelley Fabares at the 1991 Emmy Awards cropped.jpg
Fabares at the 1991 Emmy Awards
BornMichele Ann Marie Fabares
(1944-01-19) January 19, 1944 (age 71)
Santa Monica, California, U.S.
Other namesShelly Fabares
OccupationActress, singer
Years active1947–present
Spouse(s)Lou Adler (m. 1964; div. 1980)
Mike Farrell (m. 1984)
RelativesNanette Fabray (Aunt)

Michele Ann Marie "Shelley" Fabares (born January 19, 1944) is an American actress and singer. Fabares is known for her roles as Donna Reed's oldest child Mary Stone on The Donna Reed Show (1958–1963), and as Hayden Fox's love interest (and eventual wife) Christine Armstrong on the sitcom Coach (1989–1997). She was Elvis Presley's co-star in three films. In 1962 her recording of "Johnny Angel" reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100.

Early life and career[edit]

Born Michele Ann Marie Fabares in Santa Monica, California,[1] she is the niece of actress Nanette Fabray.[2] Fabares began acting at age three, and at age 10 made her television debut in an episode of Letter to Loretta. After guest-starring on various television series, Fabares landed the role of Mary Stone in the long-running family sitcom The Donna Reed Show.

Her national popularity led to a recording contract and two "Top 40" hits, including "Johnny Angel," which went to No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in April 1962,[2] and peaked at #41 in the UK.[3] It sold over one million copies and was certified gold.[4] Fabares left The Donna Reed Show in 1963 (she would return periodically until its end in 1966) to pursue a film career. She appeared in a number of motion pictures, including three Elvis Presley movies: Girl Happy (1965), Spinout (1966) and Clambake (1967), the most by any one actress. In two other 1960s movies, she played the love interest of Peter Noone of Herman's Hermits in Hold On! and of a young Hank Williams Jr. in A Time to Sing.

During the 1970s Fabares appeared on several television series, including Love, American Style, The Rockford Files, The Interns, Mannix, The Practice; Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman and Fantasy Island. In 1971 she starred along with Billy Dee Williams and James Caan in the successful TV movie Brian's Song, the true story of terminally ill Chicago Bears running back Brian Piccolo. Caan played Piccolo, and she played his wife, Joy. In 1981, Fabares played Francine Webster on One Day at a Time, a role she reprised throughout the series' run.

In 1989 she won the role of Christine Armstrong Fox on the ABC sitcom Coach. For her work, Fabares was nominated twice for a Primetime Emmy Award,[5] and in 1994, she was honored by the Young Artist Foundation with its Former Child Star "Lifetime Achievement" Award for her role as Mary Stone on The Donna Reed Show.[6] After Coach ended in 1997, Fabares voiced the role of Martha "Ma" Kent in Superman: The Animated Series. She reprised the role twice; once for a 2003 episode of Justice League and again for the 2006 direct-to-video film Superman: Brainiac Attacks.

Personal life[edit]

Fabares was a lifelong friend of Annette Funicello whom she met in catechism class in the seventh grade.[7] She was at Annette's bedside with her family when she passed away after a long battle with multiple sclerosis on April 8, 2013.


Fabares married record and movie producer Lou Adler in June 1964, separated in 1966 and was divorced in 1980.[8] In 1984 Fabares married actor Mike Farrell, and is stepmother to his two children, Erin and Michael.[7]

Health issues[edit]

In October 2000, Fabares received a life-saving liver transplant after being diagnosed with autoimmune hepatitis.[9][10]


1955The Girl RushKim - Age 9Uncredited
1956Never Say GoodbyeSuzy Parker
1956The Bad SeedMargieUncredited
1957Jeanne EagelsTeenage GirlUncredited
1958Summer LoveTwinkie Daley
1958Marjorie MorningstarSeth's Girl FriendUncredited
1964Ride the Wild SurfBrie Matthews
1965Girl HappyValerie Frank
1966Hold On!Louisa PageAlternative title: There's No Place Like Space
1966SpinoutCynthia Foxhugh
1967ClambakeDianne Carter
1968A Time to SingAmy Carter
1987Hot PursuitBuffy Cronenberg
1990Love or MoneyLuAnn ReedAlternative title: For Love or Money
2006Superman: Brainiac AttacksMartha Kent (Voice)Direct-to-video release
1954–1958Letter to LorettaMarie Schumann
2 episodes
1955Producers' ShowcaseRebecca Gibbs1 episode
1955Matinee TheaterYoung Cathy1 episode
1955Captain MidnightMary Kingsley1 episode
1956Annie OakleyPrudy Warren1 episode
1957FuryMidge Mallon1 episode
1958Walt Disney Presents: AnnetteMoselle Corey15 episodes
1958–1965The Donna Reed ShowMary Stone191 episodes
1959The RebelNora Hendry1 episode
1963Mr. NovakDani Cooper2 episodes
1964The Eleventh HourCarol Hamilton1 episode
1964Arrest and TrialDonna Blaney1 episode
1964The Twilight ZoneEllen Tillman1 episode
1968The Ghost & Mrs. MuirVanessa1 episode
1969Daniel BooneCharity Brown1 episode
1969LancerMelissa Harper1 episode
1969Bracken's WorldHilary Saxon1 episode
1969Medical Center"Mike" Carter1 episode
1971LongstreetMarianne Franklin1 episode
1971Brian's SongJoy PiccoloTelevision movie
1971Owen Marshall: Counselor at LawLorraine Latham1 episode
1972McCloudNatalie Rudell1 episode
1972Cade's CountyStephanie1 episode
1972The Brian Keith ShowDr. Anne JamisonUnknown episodes
1974Police StoryAnnette Weiner1 episode
1974IronsideCharlotte Black1 episode
1974The Rockford FilesJolene Hyland1 episode
1975The RookiesAnn McNeal1 episode
1975Matt HelmChris/Tina1 episode
1975Barnaby JonesSusan Burke1 episode
1976Marcus Welby, M.D.Norma Fritchie1 episode
1976Spencer's PilotsAnnette1 episode
1976-1977The PracticeJenny Bedford27 episodes
1977–1978Forever FernwoodEleanor MajorUnknown episodes
1978Vega$Linda Stockwood1 episode
1978The Incredible HulkHolly Cooper1 episode
1978–1984One Day at a TimeFrancine Webster23 episodes
1979Hello, LarryMarion Alder3 episodes
UnknownHighcliffe ManorHelenunknown
1980–1981Mork & MindyCathy3 episodes
1980–1985The Love BoatVarious roles3 episodes
1983Matt HoustonBarbara Newton1 episode
1983ABC Afterschool SpecialFran Brogliatti1 episode
1983Memorial DayEllie WalkerTelevision movie
1985The Canterville GhostLucyTelevision movie
1985Suburban BeatMimiTelevision movie
1987NewhartDiane Beckwith1 episode
1988Run Till You FallKathy ReubenTelevision movie
1989Murder, She WroteLiza Caspar2 episodes
1989–1997CoachChristine Armstrong199 episodes
1993Deadly RelationsShirley FagotTelevision movie
1995The Great Mom SwapMillie RidgewayTelevision movie
1996Superman: The Last Son of KryptonMartha Kent (Voice)Television movie
1996–1998Superman: The Animated SeriesMartha Kent (Voice)8 episodes
1997A Nightmare Come TrueLily ZarnTelevision movie
1998Playing to Win: A Moment of Truth MovieNancy EricksonTelevision movie
2003Justice LeagueMa Kent (Voice)1 episode


Studio albums[edit]

Featuring four tracks each by Shelley, James Darren and Paul Petersen
Songs from the movie sung by Shelley, The Marcels, James Darren and Paul Petersen
Second compilation featuring Shelley, James Darren and Paul Petersen

Soundtrack songs[edit]



YearTitleB-SideU.S.Label and number
February 1962"Johnny Angel""Where's It Gonna Get Me"1[2]Colpix 621
April 1962"What Did They Do Before Rock 'n' Roll"(with Paul Petersen)"Very Unlikely"
(with Paul Petersen)
Colpix 631
May 1962"Johnny Loves Me""I'm Growing Up"21[12]Colpix 636
August 1962"The Things We Did Last Summer""Breaking Up is Hard to Do"46[13]Colpix 654
December 1962"Telephone (Won't You Ring)""Big Star"109[14]Colpix 667
March 1963"Ronnie, Call Me When You Get a Chance""I Left a Note to Say Goodbye"72[15]Colpix 682
October 1963"Welcome Home""Billy Boy"
Colpix 705
January 1964"Football Season's Over""He Don't Love Me"
Colpix 721
September 1964"I Know You'll Be There""Lost Summer Love"
Vee-Jay VJ632
May 1965"My Prayer""Pretty Please"
Dunhill D-4001
August 1966"See Ya 'Round On the Rebound""Pretty Please"
Dunhill D-4041

Awards and nominations[edit]

YearAwardResultCategoryFilm or series
1993Primetime Emmy AwardNominatedOutstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy SeriesCoach
1965Laurel AwardsNominatedNew Faces, Female
2004TV Land AwardNominatedFavorite Teen Dream - FemaleThe Donna Reed Show
1994Young Artist AwardWonFormer Child Star Lifetime Achievement AwardThe Donna Reed Show


  1. ^ Strodder, Chris (2000). Swingin' Chicks of the '60s: A Tribute to 101 of the Decade's Defining Women. Cedco Pub. p. 35. ISBN 0-7683-2232-4. 
  2. ^ a b c Bronson, Fred (2003). The Billboard Book of Number 1 Hits: The Inside Story Behind Every Number One Single on Billboard's Hot 100 from 1955 to the Present (5 ed.). Billboard Books. p. 107. ISBN 0-8230-7677-6. 
  3. ^ "Shelley Fabares - Johnny Angel". Chart Stats. Archived from the original on 2012-07-23. Retrieved 2012-04-04. 
  4. ^ Murrells, Joseph (1978). The Book of Golden Discs (2nd ed.). London: Barrie and Jenkins Ltd. p. 145. ISBN 0-214-20512-6. 
  5. ^ Lisanti, Tom (2000). Fantasy Femmes of Sixties Cinema: Interviews With 20 Actresses From Biker, Beach and Elvis Movies. McFarland. p. 283. ISBN 0-7864-0868-5. 
  6. ^ "15th Annual Youth in Film Awards". Retrieved 2011-03-31. 
  7. ^ a b Sanz, Cynthia (1991-04-15). "Shelley Fabares Fell for a Former M*A*S*H-Er, Mike Farrell". People 35: 72. ISSN 0093-7673. 
  8. ^ "Shelley Fabares - The Private Life and Times of Shelley Fabares. Shelley Fabares Pictures". Retrieved 2012-04-04. 
  9. ^ Slaughter, Adele (2002-04-24). "Shelley Fabares 'coaches' life-giving game plan". Retrieved 2009-05-08. 
  10. ^ April 4, 2012. "Shelley Fabares: Illness and Liver Transplant - MedicineNet - Health and Medical Information Produced by Doctors". MedicineNet. Retrieved 2012-04-04. 
  11. ^ a b c "Shelley Fabares". AllMusic. 1944-01-19. Retrieved 2012-04-04. 
  12. ^ Whitburn, Joel (1996). The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits (6th ed.). New York: Watson-Guptill Publications. p. 212. ISBN 0-8230-7632-6. 
  13. ^ "Shelley Fabares". AllMusic. 1944-01-19. Retrieved 2012-04-04. 
  14. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2005). Bubbling Under The Billboard Hot 100 1959-2004 (2nd ed.). Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin: Record Research Inc. p. 94. ISBN 0-89820-162-4. 
  15. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2003). Top Pop Singles 1955-2002 (10th ed.). Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin: Record Research Inc. p. 234. ISBN 0-89820-155-1. 

External links[edit]