Shelley Fabares is best known for her acting on TV. The actress has starred in numeorus productions, charming audiences as she portrayed the role of Mary Stone on The Donna Reed Show from 1958 to 1963.
Due to her excellent display of talent, she won a Young Artist Former Child Star Lifetime Achievement Award in 1994. She has been in the industry for quite some time now, and is famous for her great talent. Having started as a child actress, it is easy to see why she continues to amaze her fans.But what else is there to know about the actress? Read on to discover more interesting details about her.
Shelley Fabares profile summary
- Name: Shelley Fabares
- Date of birth: January 19, 1944
- Age:76 years old
- Place of birth: Santa Monica, CA
- Profession: Celebrated actress
- Nationality: American
- Ethnicity: White
- Birth sign: Capricorn
Shelley Fabares age and early life
How old is Shelley Fabares? She was born on January 19, 1944 in Santa Monica, CA. How old is Shelly Fabre now? This makes her 76 years old as of 2020. She rose to popularity when she was part of the TV sitcom Coach, in which she played the love interest of Craig T. Nelson.
More than that, the aged actress began her life-long career at the age of three. She went on to make her debut when she was only 10 years old on the Letter to Loretta where she acted as Marie Schumann Kathy.
She was the daughter to Elsa and James Fabares. She is an American of white ethnicity.
Actress Shelley Fabares got into showbiz at a very young age. Her mother, Elsa put her into modeling when she was just 3 years old. This explains why it was difficult for her to deal with the fact that Elsa suffered from Alzheimer disease later in life.
Fabares was born in Santa Monica, California and was the niece of actress Nanette Fabray. She started acting at age of three, and at the age of 10 made her television debut in an episode of Letter to Loretta. She went on to guest-star on different TV series, before landing 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 top the charts on the Billboard Hot 100 in April 1962. It peaked at number 41 in the UK, and sold over one million copies, getting a gold certification.
Why did Shelly Fabre leave the Donna Reed Show?
Fabares left The Donna Reed Show in 1963 but would return periodically until its end in 1966. She left to pursue a film career. As a result, she appeared in a number of motion pictures, including three Elvis Presley movies: Girl Happy of 1965, Spinout in 1966, and Clambake in 1967 which by then was the most number of movies done by anyone actress. She went on to act in two other 1960s movies, where 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.
In the 1970s, Fabares appeared on several TV 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 TV movie Brian's Song, the true story of terminally ill Chicago Bears running back Brian Piccolo which became a sensational success.
Caan played Piccolo, and she played his wife, Joy. In 1981, Fabares played Francine Webster on the CBS sitcom One Day at a Time, a role that she later reprised throughout the series' run.
In 1989, she won the role of Christine Armstrong Fox on the ABC sitcom Coach. Her excellence has earned her several nominations including two times for a Primetime Emmy Award. 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.
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 in 2006.
Below are all the movies and TV series she has been part of throughput her career.
- 1955 - The Girl Rush as Kim
- 1956 - Never Say Goodbye as Suzy Parker
- 1956 - The Bad Seed as Margie
- 1957 - Jeanne Eagels as the teenage girl
- 1958 - Summer Love as Twinkie Daley
- 1958 - Marjorie Morningstar as Seth's Girl Friend
- 1964 - Ride the Wild Surf as Brie Matthews
- 1965 - Girl Happy as Valerie Frank
- 1966 - Hold On! as Louisa Page
- 1966 - Spinout as Cynthia Foxhugh
- 1967 - Clambake as Dianne Carter
- 1968 - A Time to Sing as Amy Carter
- 1971 - Brian's Song as Joy Piccolo
- 1987 - Hot Pursuit as Buffy Cronenberg
- 1990 - Love or Money as LuAnn Reed
- 2006 - Superman: Brainiac Attacks as Martha Kent (Voice)
TV series and TV movies
- 1954–1958 - Letter to Loretta as Marie Schumann Kathy
- 1955 - Producers' Showcase as Rebecca Gibbs
- 1955 - Matinee Theater as Young Cathy
- 1955 - Captain Midnight as Mary Kingsley
- 1956 - Annie Oakley as Prudy Warren
- 1957 - Fury as Midge Mallon
- 1958 - Walt Disney Presents: Annette as Moselle Corey
- 1958–1965 - The Donna Reed Show as Mary Stone
- 1959 - The Rebel as Nora Hendry
- 1963 - Mr. Novak as Dani Cooper
- 1964 - The Eleventh Hour as Carol Hamilton
- 1964 - Arrest and Trial as Donna Blaney
- 1964 - The Twilight Zone as Ellen Tillman
- 1968 - The Ghost & Mrs. Muir as Vanessa
- 1969 - Daniel Boone as Charity Brown
- 1969 - Lancer as Melissa Harper
- 1969 - Bracken's World as Hilary Saxon
- 1969 - Medical Center as "Mike" Carter
- 1971 - Longstreet as Marianne Franklin
- 1971 - Brian's Song as Joy Piccolo
- 1971 - Owen Marshall: Counselor at Law as Lorraine Latham
- 1972 - McCloud as Natalie Rudell
- 1972 - Cade's County as Stephanie
- 1972 - The Brian Keith Show as Dr. Anne Jamison
- 1974 - Police Story as Annette Weiner
- 1974 - Ironside as Charlotte Black
- 1974 - The Rockford Files as Jolene Hyland
- 1975 - The Rookies as Ann McNeal
- 1975 - Matt Helm as Chris/Tina
- 1975 - Barnaby Jones as Susan Burke
- 1976 - Marcus Welby, M.D. as Norma Fritchie
- 1976 - Spencer's Pilots as Annette
- 1976-1977 - The Practice as Jenny Bedford
- 1977–1978 - Forever Fernwood as Eleanor Major
- 1978 - Vega$ as Linda Stockwood
- 1978 - The Incredible Hulk as Holly Cooper
- 1978–1984 - One Day at a Time as Francine Webster
- 1979 - Hello, Larry as Marion Alder
- 1979 - Highcliffe Manor as Helen
- 1980–1981 - Mork & Mindy as Cathy
- 1980–1985 - The Love Boat as Various roles
- 1983 - Matt Houston as Barbara Newton
- 1983 - ABC Afterschool Special as Fran Brogliatti
- 1983 - Memorial Day as Ellie Walker
- 1985 - The Canterville Ghost as Lucy
- 1985 - Suburban Beat as Mimi
- 1987 - Newhart as Diane Beckwith
- 1988 - Run Till You Fall as Kathy Reuben
- 1989 - Murder, She Wrote a Liza Caspar
- 1989–1997 - Coach as Christine Armstrong
- 1993 - Deadly Relations as Shirley Fagot
- 1995 - The Great Mom Swap as Millie Ridgeway
- 1996 - Superman: The Last Son of Krypton as Martha Kent (Voice)
- 1996–1998 - Superman: The Animated Series as Martha Kent (Voice)
- 1997 - A Nightmare Come True as Lily Zarn
- 1998 - Playing to Win: A Moment of Truth Movie as Nancy Erickson
- 2003 - Justice League as Ma Kent (Voice)
Apart from acting, she also had a career in music. She is best remembered for the following works:
- Shelley! -- Colpix CP-426 (Mono)/SCP-426 (Stereo) -- #106, 7/62
- The Things We Did Last Summer—Colpix CP-431/SCP-431 -- #121, 10/62
- Teenage Triangle—Colpix CP-444/SCP-444 -- #48, 5/63
- Bye Bye Birdie—Colpix CP-454/SCP-454—1963
- More Teenage Triangle—Colpix CP-468/SCP-468—1964
- "Spring Fever" (1965) w/Elvis Presley from the movie Girl Happy (The soundtrack album only features Elvis' vocals)
- "Make Me Happy" (March 1966) from the movie soundtrack of Hold On! MGM Records
- "Next Time I Say Goodbye I'm Leaving" (1968) from the movie soundtrack of A Time to Sing (Music From The Original Soundtrack) MCA Records– MCA-1458
- Rare Items And Big Hits Colpix of 198
- 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
These are identified based on the year of release, song title, side B, Label and number. They include:
- February 1962 - "Johnny Angel"/ "Where's It Gonna Get Me" - Colpix 621
- April 1962 - "What Did They Do Before Rock 'n' Roll"/ "Very Unlikely" - Colpix 631
- May 1962 - "Johnny Loves Me"/ "I'm Growing Up" - Colpix 636
- August 1962 - "The Things We Did Last Summer"/"Breaking Up is Hard to Do" - Colpix 654
- December 1962 - "Telephone (Won't You Ring)" "Big Star" - Colpix 667
- March 1963 - "Ronnie, Call Me When You Get a Chance"/ "I Left a Note to Say Goodbye" - 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
Accolades and nominations
Shelly was one of the most popular actresses of her time in Hollywood. She was practically in every show and portrayed the perfect teenager every young girl wanted to grow into. As such, she amassed a number of awards throughout her acting career. These include:
- 1993 and 1994- Primetime Emmy Award nominations for the Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series Coach
- 1965 - Laurel Awards nominations for the New Faces, Female category
- 2004 - TV Land Award nominations for Favorite Teen Dream - Female category for The Donna Reed Show
- 1994 - Young Artist Award winners of Former Child Star Lifetime Achievement Award in The Donna Reed Show
Shelley Fabares today
If you are one of those people that lived during the Shelly Fabares and Elvis on TV then you most likely miss seeing Shelly on TV. Shelley starred with Elvis Presley in the 1965 movie Girl Happy, and was also one of three leading ladies in 'Spinout' in 1966. This was yet another movie Shelley Fabares and Elvis. The following year she starred in 'Clambake' in 1967 which was her third starring role alongside the King.
So, where is Shelley Fabares now? This is a question that most of her fans would ask. Shelley who is currently 76 years old is not so much on the front line as she used to be. She is still married to Mike Farrell.
Most of her fans have missed seeing her in front of the cameras, though, as her last acting credit was recorded in 1998 for "Playing to Win." For those wondering, is Shelly Fabre still alive? Yes, she is. She may have been involved in an accident that changed her life but she did not lose it in the process.
Is Shelley Fabares still alive? - accident and sickness chronicles
A turning point in Shelley's life came in 1994. It happened that during the construction of her home, she accidentally fell through the floor joists. This fall left her with all the ribs on the left side of her body broken. She had to stay at the hospital for months but finally recovered.
At the time of the accident, Shelley was working as Christine Armstrong in "Coach," from 1989 and 1997. She was treated and asked to make followups. It was during one of these visits that it was discovered that her liver counts were "off the charts." While the cause of the problem was never established, her doctors managed to stabilize her with medication.
But this was not the end of Shelley's medical issues. She got another medical scare in 1999 when she experienced a sudden esophageal bleed. It became apparent that her progressive liver failure was responsible for the bleeding and as such needed a liver transplant.
It was not until 2 years passed that Dr. John Vierling called her on October 23, 2000, confirming that they had finally found a liver for her. The experience changed Shelley's view on life as she completely changed her approach to life after getting the second chance at it.
Shelley Fabares husband
Who is Shelley Fabares husband? Shelley Fabares's husband, actor Mike Farrell, has been supporting her for years. The couple tied the knot in 1984 when she was working on "One Day at a Time," and he had just finished "M*A*S*H."
Shelley Fabares and Mike Farrell met in 1970 when Shelley was a guest-star in Mike's TV series, "The Interns." However, they did not hit it off immediately. They later reconnected at a CBS affiliate convention twelve years later, became friends and later married.
Four years before Shelley married Mike, she had divorced her first husband of 16 years, Lou Adler. It was Mike's second marriage too. His first wife was actress and screenwriter Judy Farrell.
After walking down the aisle, Shelley became the stepmother of Mike's two children. Sadly, they didn't like the change due to a painful divorce between Mike and Judy. Shelley revealed that the divorce between Mike and his first wife was very difficult for the children. Becoming Mike Farrell wife was not easy but with hard work and patience, the two managed to build two solid homes which were what they wanted all along.
Besides that, Shelley lost her close friend and "The Donna Reed Show" co-star Donna Reed to pancreatic cancer in 1986. Her mother, Elsa also fell ill around the same time.
Shelley Fabares net worth
According to Celebrity Net Worth, Shelley has a net worth value of $1.5 million. This is a significant amount considering that she has been active in showbiz. She has accumulated the money over the years through her acting and singing career, both of which she excelled. She may have suffered a few blows in life, but that did not make her fail or give up.
Shelley Fabares, also known as Michele Ann Marie Fabares is a strong woman. She has endured so much in life, and achieved a lot in her career. She is also happily married and enjoying her 70s with her husband.