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 74)
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 (/fæˈbr/; born January 19, 1944) is an American actress and singer. She is best known for her roles as Donna Reed's daughter Mary Stone on The Donna Reed Show (1958–63) and as Hayden Fox's love interest (and eventual wife) Christine Armstrong on the sitcom Coach (1989–97). 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 chart.

Biography[edit]

Early Life[edit]

Fabares was born in Santa Monica, California.[1] She was the niece of actress Nanette Fabray.[2]

Early TV Appearances[edit]

Fabares began acting at age three and, at age 10, made her television debut in an episode of Letter to Loretta, "The Clara Schuman Story" (1954).

Early TV appearances included the Producers' Showcase adaptation of Our Town starring Frank Sinatra and Paul Newman. She was Young Cathy in a Matinee Theatre adaptation of Wuthering Heights.

Fabares had small parts in The Girl Rush (1955), Never Say Goodbye (1956), The Bad Seed (1956), Rock, Pretty Baby! (1956), Jeanne Eagels (1957), Marjorie Morningstar (1958), and Summer Love (1958).

On TV she was in Captain Midnight, Annie Oakley, Fury, and Colgate Theatre.[3]

She had a semi regular role on the short lived series Annette (1958) starring Annette Funicello.

The Donna Reed Show[edit]

The Donna Reed Show: (clockwise from bottom left) Paul Petersen, Donna Reed, Carl Betz
and Shelley Fabares, 1958

In 1958, Fabares landed the role of Mary Stone in the long-running family sitcom The Donna Reed Show. This ran until 1966. Fabares quickly established herself as a favorite with teen audiences.[4]

"Donna Reed was simply an extraordinary woman, a woman of great strength, kindness, integrity and compassion,"said Fabares later.[5]

Singer[edit]

Fabares' national popularity led to a recording contract and two "Top 40" hits, including "Johnny Angel," which went to number one on the Billboard Hot 100 in April 1962,[2] and peaked at number 41 in the UK.[6] It sold over one million copies and was certified gold.[7] She released an album, Shelley!. "I was stunned about that, to put it mildly," she later said. "After all, I never could sing."[8]

This was followed by a second album, The Things We Did Last Summer (album), which included two hit songs "Johnny Loves Me" (no. 21) and "The Things We Did Last Summer" (no. 46).

Fabares left The Donna Reed Show in 1963 (she would return periodically until its end in 1966) to pursue other acting opportunities. She released a third album, Teenage Triangle in 1963.

She guest starred on Mr. Novak, The Eleventh Hour, Arrest and Trial, and The Twilight Zone ("Black Leather Jackets").[9]

Film Career[edit]

Fabares was one of the female leads in the surf film Ride the Wild Surf (1964). She was Elvis Presley's leading lady in Girl Happy (1965) for MGM and played the love interest of Peter Noone of Herman's Hermits in Hold On! at the same studio.

MGM made a pilot for a TV series based on Meet Me in St. Louis with Fabares in the lead but it was not picked up.

She was reunited with Elvis for Spinout (1966) at MGM and Clambake (1967), at United Artists.

Sam Katzman cast her as the love interest of a young Hank Williams, Jr. in A Time to Sing (1967)

TV Guest Spots[edit]

Film roles dried up in the late 60s and Fabares went back to guest starring on shows like The Ghost & Mrs. Muir[10], Daniel Boone, Medical Center, Lancer, Bracken's World, and The Interns.[11]

Fabares said she went through a period where she struggled to find work. "I went to bed on Tuesday having worked since I was 3. I got up Wednesday morning and didn't work for four years, went to bed Wednesday night after four years, got up and interviewed for a Mannix episode and started working again. I think this business is very cyclical. You go through busy times and you go through dead times."[12]

After Mannix, she was in Longstreet, Owen Marshall, Counselor at Law, Love, American Style, McCloud and Cade's County.

"I wasn't a big risk-taker," she said later. "I should have been more aggressive. I was nervous and scared to try something really different."[8]

Fabares had support roles in TV movies like Brian's Song (1971) (playing the wife of Brian Piccolo, played by James Caan), and Two for the Money (1972). Her performance in Brian's Song earned her a Golden Globe nomination.[13]

The Brian Keith Show, The Practice[edit]

Fabares had a regular role on The Brian Keith Show (1972-74) which lasted for 47 episodes.[14]

When the show ended she resumed guest shots: Police Story, Ironside, The Rockford Files, The Rookies, Matt Helm, Medical Story, Marcus Welby, M.D., Barnaby Jones, and Spencer's Pilots.

She had a role in the TV movie Sky Heist (1975) and from 1976-77 Fabares had a regular part on The Practice with Danny Thomas.

Forever Fernwood, One Day at a Time and Highcliffe Manor[edit]

She then had a regular role on Forever Fernwood.

In 1978, Fabares played Francine Webster on the CBS sitcom One Day at a Time, a role she reprised for the last three years of the show. "I was Francine, a rather villainous character," she said later. "She was wonderful. She saw the world only through her eyes, and it never occurred to her that her people didn't."[15]

She was also in episodes of Lucan, Vega$ , The Incredible Hulk, Hello, Larry, and Fantasy Island.

Fabares was in the TV movies Pleasure Cove (1979), Donovan's Kid (1979), Friendships, Secrets and Lies (1979) and Gridlock (1980).

She had the starring role in the TV series Highcliffe Manor (1979) but it only lasted six episodes.

1980s[edit]

In the 1980s Fabares could be seen on Mork & Mindy,Matt Houston, The Love Boat, Newhart, and Murder, She Wrote.

She did a TV movie Memorial Day (1983) with Mike Farrell who became her husband, as well as movies Suburban Beat (1985), The Canterville Ghost (1985), Hot Pursuit (1987), and Run Till You Fall (1988).

Coach[edit]

In 1989, she won the role of Christine Armstrong Fox on the ABC sitcom Coach.

"Here was an intelligent, funny, well-written series," Fabares said "And the people putting it on wanted me to play a very successful, ambitious woman in it."[8]

The series originally struggled in the ratings until shifted after Roseanne. It was a hit and played until 1997.

For her work, Fabares was nominated twice for a Primetime Emmy Award,[16] 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.[17]

During the series' run Fabares appeared on Love or Money (1990), Deadly Relations (1993), The Great Mom Swap (1995), and A Nightmare Come True (1997).

Later Career[edit]

After Coach ended in 1997, Fabares voiced the role of Martha "Ma" Kent on Superman: The Animated Series. She reprised the role twice, once for a 2003 episode of Justice League and again for the direct-to-video film Superman: Brainiac Attacks (2006).

She was in Playing to Win: A Moment of Truth Movie (1998).

From 2004-2011 she produced the Screen Actors Guild Awards.

Personal life[edit]

Fabares was a lifelong friend of Annette Funicello, whom she met in the seventh grade.[18]

Marriages[edit]

Fabares married record and movie producer Lou Adler in June 1964, separated in 1966, and was divorced in 1980.[19] In 1984, she married actor Mike Farrell. She is stepmother to his two children, Erin and Michael.[18]

Health issues[edit]

In October 2000, Fabares received a life-saving liver transplant after being diagnosed with autoimmune hepatitis.[20][21]

Filmography[edit]

Film
Year Title Role Notes
1955 The Girl Rush Kim - Age 9 Uncredited
1956 Never Say Goodbye Suzy Parker
1956 The Bad Seed Margie Uncredited
1957 Jeanne Eagels Teenage Girl Uncredited
1958 Summer Love Twinkie Daley
1958 Marjorie Morningstar Seth's Girl Friend Uncredited
1964 Ride the Wild Surf Brie Matthews
1965 Girl Happy Valerie Frank
1966 Hold On! Louisa Page Alternative title: There's No Place Like Space
1966 Spinout Cynthia Foxhugh
1967 Clambake Dianne Carter
1968 A Time to Sing Amy Carter
1971 Brian's Song Joy Piccolo
1987 Hot Pursuit Buffy Cronenberg
1990 Love or Money LuAnn Reed Alternative title: For Love or Money
2006 Superman: Brainiac Attacks Martha Kent (Voice) Direct-to-video release
Television
Year Title Role Notes
1954–1958 Letter to Loretta Marie Schumann
Kathy
2 episodes
1955 Producers' Showcase Rebecca Gibbs 1 episode
1955 Matinee Theater Young Cathy 1 episode
1955 Captain Midnight Mary Kingsley 1 episode
1956 Annie Oakley Prudy Warren 1 episode
1957 Fury Midge Mallon 1 episode
1958 Walt Disney Presents: Annette Moselle Corey 15 episodes
1958–1965 The Donna Reed Show Mary Stone 191 episodes
1959 The Rebel Nora Hendry 1 episode
1963 Mr. Novak Dani Cooper 2 episodes
1964 The Eleventh Hour Carol Hamilton 1 episode
1964 Arrest and Trial Donna Blaney 1 episode
1964 The Twilight Zone Ellen Tillman 1 episode
Black Leather Jackets
1968 The Ghost & Mrs. Muir Vanessa 1 episode
1969 Daniel Boone Charity Brown 1 episode
1969 Lancer Melissa Harper 1 episode
1969 Bracken's World Hilary Saxon 1 episode
1969 Medical Center "Mike" Carter 1 episode
1971 Longstreet Marianne Franklin 1 episode
1971 Brian's Song Joy Piccolo Television movie
1971 Owen Marshall: Counselor at Law Lorraine Latham 1 episode
1972 McCloud Natalie Rudell 1 episode
1972 Cade's County Stephanie 1 episode
1972 The Brian Keith Show Dr. Anne Jamison Unknown episodes
1974 Police Story Annette Weiner 1 episode
1974 Ironside Charlotte Black 1 episode
1974 The Rockford Files Jolene Hyland 1 episode
1975 The Rookies Ann McNeal 1 episode
1975 Matt Helm Chris/Tina 1 episode
1975 Barnaby Jones Susan Burke 1 episode
1976 Marcus Welby, M.D. Norma Fritchie 1 episode
1976 Spencer's Pilots Annette 1 episode
1976-1977 The Practice Jenny Bedford 27 episodes
1977–1978 Forever Fernwood Eleanor Major Unknown episodes
1978 Vega$ Linda Stockwood 1 episode
1978 The Incredible Hulk Holly Cooper 1 episode
1978–1984 One Day at a Time Francine Webster 23 episodes
1979 Hello, Larry Marion Alder 3 episodes
1979 Highcliffe Manor Helen Blacke 6 episodes
1980–1981 Mork & Mindy Cathy 3 episodes
1980–1985 The Love Boat Various roles 3 episodes
1983 Matt Houston Barbara Newton 1 episode
1983 ABC Afterschool Special Fran Brogliatti 1 episode
1983 Memorial Day Ellie Walker Television movie
1985 The Canterville Ghost Lucy Television movie
1985 Suburban Beat Mimi Television movie
1987 Newhart Diane Beckwith 1 episode
1988 Run Till You Fall Kathy Reuben Television movie
1989 Murder, She Wrote Liza Caspar 2 episodes
1989–1997 Coach Christine Armstrong 199 episodes
1993 Deadly Relations Shirley Fagot Television movie
1995 The Great Mom Swap Millie Ridgeway Television movie
1996 Superman: The Last Son of Krypton Martha Kent (Voice) Television movie
1996–1998 Superman: The Animated Series Martha Kent (Voice) 8 episodes
1997 A Nightmare Come True Lily Zarn Television movie
1998 Playing to Win: A Moment of Truth Movie Nancy Erickson Television movie
2003 Justice League Ma Kent (Voice) 1 episode

Discography[edit]

Studio albums[edit]

Featuring four tracks each by Shelley, James Darren and Paul Petersen
  • Bye Bye Birdie—Colpix CP-454/SCP-454—1963
Songs from the movie sung by Shelley, The Marcels, James Darren and Paul Petersen
  • More Teenage Triangle—Colpix CP-468/SCP-468—1964
Second compilation featuring Shelley, James Darren and Paul Petersen

Soundtrack songs[edit]

Compilations[edit]

  • Rare Items And Big Hits Colpix (1989)
  • The Best of Shelley Fabares Rhino R2 71651—1994
  • Shelley Fabares Johnny Angel Collectables #9931 July 2005
  • Shelley Fabares Meets Paul Petersen Collectables Records July 2009
  • Growing Up-The 1962 Recordings Jasmine 2014

Singles[edit]

Year Title B-Side U.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[23] Colpix 636
August 1962 "The Things We Did Last Summer" "Breaking Up is Hard to Do" 46[24] Colpix 654
December 1962 "Telephone (Won't You Ring)" "Big Star" 109[25] Colpix 667
March 1963 "Ronnie, Call Me When You Get a Chance" "I Left a Note to Say Goodbye" 72[26] 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]

Year Award Result Category Film or series
1993 Primetime Emmy Award Nominated Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series Coach
1994 Coach
1965 Laurel Awards Nominated New Faces, Female
-
2004 TV Land Award Nominated Favorite Teen Dream - Female The Donna Reed Show
1994 Young Artist Award Won Former Child Star Lifetime Achievement Award The Donna Reed Show

References[edit]

  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. ^ TOPS WITH TEENS: Shelley Fabares Likes Boys, Music, Swimming, Chocolate Cake, and (again!) Boys Korman, Seymour. Chicago Daily Tribune 4 June 1960: c25.
  4. ^ Terrific Teen: FABARES Believe It or Not, She's Shy! Fink, John. Chicago Daily Tribune 25 Sep 1960: b18.
  5. ^ FIVE YEARS OF COACH; Shelley Fabares marks 100th show: [FINAL Edition] King, Susan. The Gazette16 May 1993: F6.
  6. ^ "Shelley Fabares - Johnny Angel". Chart Stats. Archived from the original on 2012-07-23. Retrieved 2012-04-04.
  7. ^ Murrells, Joseph (1978). The Book of Golden Discs (2nd ed.). London, UK: Barrie and Jenkins Ltd. p. 145. ISBN 0-214-20512-6.
  8. ^ a b c COACH' IS NEW LIFE FOR SHELLEY FABARES: [3 STAR Edition] Mirabella, Alan. Orlando Sentinel; Orlando, Fla. [Orlando, Fla]28 Nov 1989: E6.
  9. ^ Shelley Fabares Gets 2nd 'Mr. Novak' Role Los Angeles Times 9 July 1963: C7.
  10. ^ Shelley Fabares Role Los Angeles Times 4 Sep 1968: h14.
  11. ^ Shelley Fabares Set for Lancer Episode Los Angeles Times 4 Feb 1969: g14.
  12. ^ SHELLEY FABARES HAS HALF-CENTURY OF SCREEN PRESENCE Los Angeles Times.28 July 1996: F10.
  13. ^ BEAUTY: Actress Learned Hard Way Lane, Lydia. Los Angeles Times 15 Mar 1972: i13.
  14. ^ Donna's 'little girl' grows up Anderson, Jack. Chicago Tribune 23 Dec 1972: b5.
  15. ^ VETERAN FABARES LIKES CHALLENGE OF `COACH' ROLE: Buck, Jerry. Sun Sentinel 9 July 1991: 3E.
  16. ^ 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.
  17. ^ "15th Annual Youth in Film Awards". YoungArtistAwards.org. Retrieved 2011-03-31.
  18. ^ 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.
  19. ^ "Shelley Fabares - The Private Life and Times of Shelley Fabares. Shelley Fabares Pictures". Glamourgirlsofthesilverscreen.com. Retrieved 2012-04-04.
  20. ^ Slaughter, Adele (2002-04-24). "Shelley Fabares 'coaches' life-giving game plan". usatoday.com. Retrieved 2009-05-08.
  21. ^ April 4, 2012. "Shelley Fabares: Illness and Liver Transplant". MedicineNet. Retrieved 2012-04-04.
  22. ^ a b c "Shelley Fabares". AllMusic. 1944-01-19. Retrieved 2012-04-04.
  23. ^ Whitburn, Joel (1996). The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits (6th ed.). New York: Watson-Guptill Publications. p. 212. ISBN 0-8230-7632-6.
  24. ^ "Shelley Fabares". AllMusic. 1944-01-19. Retrieved 2012-04-04.
  25. ^ 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.
  26. ^ 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]