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Shelley Fabares

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Also Known As: Michele Fabares Died:
Born: January 19, 1944 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Santa Monica, California, USA Profession: actor, singer

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Pretty, girlish, light leading lady who has enjoyed a remarkably lengthy career in mostly trivial TV fare since the mid-1950s. Beginning in early adolescence in films and TV, Fabares first gained real attention with her role as Mary Stone, perfect daughter to the perfect mom, on the sitcom ode to the 50s nuclear family, "The Donna Reed Show" (ABC, 1958-63). She also enjoyed a hit on the pop music charts at this time, the schmaltzy but fondly remembered Number 1 smash, "Johnny Angel". Fabares left "The Donna Reed Show" in 1963 (when her character went off to college) and returned to feature films, but, despite roles in three Elvis Presley movies ("Girl Happy" 1965, "Spinout" 1966 and "Clambake" 1967), her career stalled until the mid-70s. A series of sitcom roles followed, either supporting or recurring roles on popular fare ("One Day at a Time", as Bonnie Franklin's uptight, perma-pressed business associate) or leading roles on less successful shows ("The Practice", a lukewarm vehicle for Danny Thomas). The vivacious Fabares nonetheless had become by that time a comfortable, familiar presence to TV watchers. Her role as Craig T Nelson's often frustrated fiance (and later wife) on "Coach" (ABC,...

Pretty, girlish, light leading lady who has enjoyed a remarkably lengthy career in mostly trivial TV fare since the mid-1950s. Beginning in early adolescence in films and TV, Fabares first gained real attention with her role as Mary Stone, perfect daughter to the perfect mom, on the sitcom ode to the 50s nuclear family, "The Donna Reed Show" (ABC, 1958-63). She also enjoyed a hit on the pop music charts at this time, the schmaltzy but fondly remembered Number 1 smash, "Johnny Angel".

Fabares left "The Donna Reed Show" in 1963 (when her character went off to college) and returned to feature films, but, despite roles in three Elvis Presley movies ("Girl Happy" 1965, "Spinout" 1966 and "Clambake" 1967), her career stalled until the mid-70s. A series of sitcom roles followed, either supporting or recurring roles on popular fare ("One Day at a Time", as Bonnie Franklin's uptight, perma-pressed business associate) or leading roles on less successful shows ("The Practice", a lukewarm vehicle for Danny Thomas). The vivacious Fabares nonetheless had become by that time a comfortable, familiar presence to TV watchers. Her role as Craig T Nelson's often frustrated fiance (and later wife) on "Coach" (ABC, 1989-97) represented not only a return to a popular series but also one of her more likable and sizable parts to date.

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Playing to Win: A Moment of Truth Movie (1998) Nancy Erickson
2.
 Nightmare Come True, A (1997) Lily
4.
 Great Mom Swap, The (1995) Millie Ridgeway
5.
 Deadly Relations (1993) Shirley Fagot
6.
 Love or Money (1990) Lu Ann Reed
7.
 Class Cruise (1989) Ellen Poston
8.
 Run Till You Fall (1988) Kathy Reuben
9.
 Hot Pursuit (1987)
10.
 Memorial Day (1983) Ellie Walker
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

1954:
Played Trudy, a small supporting role, on the syndicated series "Annie Oakley"
1955:
First notable feature film roles, in "The Girl Rush" and "Never Say Goodbye"
:
Played the role of Twinkie Daley in the feature film "Rock, Pretty Baby" (1956) and its sequel, "Summer Love" (1958)
1958:
Played Corey on the TV comedy series, "Annette", starring Annette Funicello
:
Was Mary Stone on the long-running sitcom, "The Donna Reed Show"
1966:
Played the leading role of Esther Smith in a TV adaptation of the classic film musical, "Meet Me in St. Louis"
:
Portrayed Dr. Anne Jamison on the comedy series, "Little People" (a.k.a. "The Brian Keith Show")
:
Played Jenny Bedford on the NBC sitcom, "The Practice"
:
Appeared in the recurring role of Mary McConnell, sister to Mindy, on ABC's "Mork and Mindy"
1981:
Joined the cast of "One Day at a Time" after it had been on the air for several seasons; played the semi-regular role of Francine Webster which she had originated in the late 1970s
1987:
Returned to feature films after nearly two decades to appear in "Hot Pursuit"
:
Played Christine Armstrong on the popular ABC sitcom, "Coach"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Notes

Fabares underwent a liver transplant in October 2000.

Companions close complete companion listing

husband:
Lou Adler. Agent, producer. Later involved with Britt Eklund and married to Page Hannah.
husband:
Mike Farrell. Actor, producer. Married 1984; began dating c. 1982; best remembered as B.J. Hunnicutt on the TV sitcom "M*A*S*H".

Family close complete family listing

mother:
Elsa Rose Fabares. Had Alzheimer's disease; died September 28, 1992 in Los Angeles at age 81.
aunt:
Nanette Fabray. Actor, singer, vaudevillian. Born 1920; acted in the musical film "The Band Wagon" (1953) and has done much TV work, including working with Fabares on "One Day at a Time".
sister:
Smokey Echols.

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