Fabares at the 1991 Emmy Awards
Michele Ann Marie Fabares
January 19, 1944
Santa Monica, California, U.S.
|Other names||Shelly Fabares|
(m. 1964; div. 1980)
Mike Farrell (m. 1984)
|Relatives||Nanette Fabray (aunt)|
Michele Ann Marie "Shelley" Fabares (; 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.
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).
"Donna Reed was simply an extraordinary woman, a woman of great strength, kindness, integrity and compassion," said Fabares later of her television mother.
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, and peaked at number 41 in the UK. It sold over one million copies and was certified gold. She released an album, Shelley!. "I was stunned about that, to put it mildly," she later said. "After all, I never could sing."
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.
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.
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."
"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."
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.
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."
She had the starring role in the TV series Highcliffe Manor (1979) but it only lasted six episodes.
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).
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."
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, 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.
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.
Fabares married record and movie producer Lou Adler in June 1964, separated in 1966, and was divorced in 1980. In 1984, she married actor Mike Farrell. She is stepmother to his two children, Erin and Michael.
|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|
|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|
|1954-1958||The Loretta Young Show||Marie Schumann
|1955||Our Town||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||Two for the Money||Bethany Hagen||Television movie|
|1972||Cade's County||Stephanie||1 episode|
|1972-1974||The Brian Keith Show||Dr. Anne Jamison||47 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|
|Year||Title||B-Side||U.S.||Label and number|
|February 1962||"Johnny Angel"||"Where's It Gonna Get Me"||1||Colpix 621|
|April 1962||"What Did They Do Before Rock 'n' Roll"(with Paul Petersen)||"Very Unlikely"
(with Paul Petersen)
|May 1962||"Johnny Loves Me"||"I'm Growing Up"||21||Colpix 636|
|August 1962||"The Things We Did Last Summer"||"Breaking Up is Hard to Do"||46||Colpix 654|
|December 1962||"Telephone (Won't You Ring)"||"Big Star"||109||Colpix 667|
|March 1963||"Ronnie, Call Me When You Get a Chance"||"I Left a Note to Say Goodbye"||72||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|
|Year||Award||Result||Category||Film or series|
|1993||Primetime Emmy Award||Nominated||Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series||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|