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 (from 1958 to 1963), and as Craig T. Nelson's love interest and eventual wife, Christine Armstrong Fox, on the sitcom Coach. She was also Elvis Presley's costar in three films.

Early life and career

Born Michele Ann Marie Fabares in Santa Monica, California,[1] she is the niece of 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] It sold over one-million copies and was awarded a gold disc.[3] 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 movies: Girl Happy (1965), Spinout (1966), and Clambake (1967).

During the 1970s, Fabares appeared on several television series, including Love, American Style, The Rockford Files, The Interns, Mannix and Fantasy Island. In 1971, she portrayed "Joy Piccolo" in the TV movie Brian's Song, the true story of terminally ill Chicago Bears running back Brian Piccolo (played by James Caan).

In 1978, Fabares played "Francine Webster" on One Day at a Time, a role she would reprise 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.[4]

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

Personal life

Fabares is a lifelong friend of Annette Funicello. The two met in catechism class in the seventh grade.[5]

Fabares married Jan & Dean's record producer Lou Adler in June 1964 before separating in 1966. The couple divorced in 1980.[citation needed] In 1984, Fabares married actor Mike Farrell and is stepmother to his two children, Erin and Michael Farrell, from a previous marriage.[5]

In October 2000, she received a life-saving liver transplant after being diagnosed with autoimmune hepatitis.[6]

Selected filmography

Year Film Role Notes
1955 The Girl Rush Kim - Age 9 Uncredited
1956 Never Say Goodbye Suzy Parker
The Bad Seed Margie Uncredited
1957 Jeanne Eagels Teenage Girl Uncredited
1958 Summer Love Twinkie Daley
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
Spinout Cynthia Foxhugh
1967 Clambake Dianne Carter
1968 A Time to Sing Amy Carter
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
Year Title Role Notes
1954–1958 Letter to Loretta Marie Schumann
2 episodes
1955 Producers' Showcase Rebecca Gibbs 1 episode
Matinee Theater Young Cathy 1 episode
Captain Midnight Mary Kingsley 1 episode
1956 Annie Oakley Prudy Warren 1 episode
1957 Fury Tomboy 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
Arrest and Trial Donna Blaney 1 episode
The Twilight Zone Ellen Tillman 1 episode
1968 The Ghost & Mrs. Muir Vanessa 1 episode
1969 Daniel Boone Charity Brown 1 episode
Lancer Melissa Harper 1 episode
Bracken's World Hilary Saxon 1 episode
1971 Longstreet Marianne Franklin 1 episode
Brian's Song Joy Piccolo Television movie
Owen Marshall: Counselor at Law Lorraine Latham 1 episode
1972 McCloud Natalie Rudell 1 episode
Cade's County Stephanie 1 episode
The Brian Keith Show Dr. Anne Jamison Unknown episodes
1974 Police Story Annette Weiner 1 episode
Ironside Charlotte Black 1 episode
The Rockford Files Jolene Hyland 1 episode
1975 The Rookies Ann McNeal 1 episode
Matt Helm Chris/Tina 1 episode
Barnaby Jones Susan Burke 1 episode
1976 Marcus Welby, M.D. Norma Fritchie 1 episode
1977–1978 Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman Eleanor Major Unknown episodes
1978 Vega$ Linda Stockwood 1 episode
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
1980–1981 Mork & Mindy Cathy 3 episodes
1980–1985 The Love Boat Various roles 3 episodes
1983 Matt Houston Barbara Newton 1 episode
ABC Afterschool Special Fran Brogliatti 1 episode
Memorial Day Ellie Walker Television movie
1985 The Canterville Ghost Lucy Television movie
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 w/Billboard chart peak positions


  • 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
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
  • The Best of Shelley Fabares -- Rhino R2 71651—1994


Year Title B-Side U.S. Notes
February 1962 "She Can't Find Her Keys"
"Very Unlikely"(with Paul Petersen)
Colpix 620;
February 1962 "Johnny Angel"</sup> "Where's It Gonna Get Me" 1 Colpix 621
April 1962 "What Did They Do Before Rock 'n' Roll"</sup>(with Paul Petersen) "Very Unlikely"
(with Paul Peterson)
Colpix 631
May 1962 "Johnny Loves Me"</sup> "I'm Growing Up" 21 Colpix 636
August 1962 "The Things We Did Last Summer"</sup> "Breaking Up is Hard to Do" 46 Colpix 654
December 1962 "Telephone (Won't You Ring)"</sup> "Big Star" 109 Colpix 667
March 1963 "Ronnie, Call Me When You Get a Chance"</sup> "I Left a Note to Say Goodbye" 75 Colpix 667
October 1963 "Welcome Home"</sup> "Billy Boy"
Colpix 705
January 1964 "Football Season's Over"</sup> "He Don't Love Me"
Colpix 721
January 1964 "I Know You'll Be There"</sup> "Lost Summer Love"
Vee-Jay VJ632
October 1965 "My Prayer"</sup> "Pretty Please"
Dunhill D-4001
August 1966 "See Ya 'Round On the Rebound"</sup> "Pretty Please"
Dunhill D-4041

Awards and nominations

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


  1. Strodder, Chris (2000). Swingin' Chicks of the '60s: A Tribute to 101 of the Decade's Defining Women. Cedco Pub. p. 35. ISBN 0-768-32232-4. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 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 0-823-07677-6. 
  3. Murrells, Joseph (1978). The Book of Golden Discs (2nd ed.). London: Barrie and Jenkins Ltd. p. 145. ISBN 0-214-20512-6. 
  4. Lisanti, Tom (2000). Fantasy Femmes of Sixties Cinema: Interviews With 20 Actresses From Biker, Beach and Elvis Movies. McFarland. p. 283. ISBN 0-786-40868-5. 
  5. 5.0 5.1 Sanz, Cynthia (1991-04-15). "Shelley Fabares Fell for a Former M*A*S*H-Er, Mike Farrell". People 35: 72. ISSN 0093-7673. 
  6. Slaughter, Adele (2002-04-24). "Shelley Fabares 'coaches' life-giving game plan". Retrieved 2009-05-08. 

External links

  1. REDIRECT Template:IMDb name
pl:Shelley Fabares

fi:Shelley Fabares

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