Shelley Fabares Biography

Michelle Fabares, 19 January 1944, Santa Monica, California, USA. Fabares, whose music career was highlighted by the 1962 US number 1 song ‘Johnny Angel’, was the niece of actress Nanette Fabray. Turning to acting herself, Fabares debuted as Trudy in the television series Annie Oakley. She subsequently landed roles in such 50s movies as Never Say Goodbye, Rock, Pretty Baby and Summer Love, before being offered the part of Mary Stone in the US television situation comedy The Donna Reed Show in 1958. As the show’s popularity rose, both she and series co-star Paul Petersen signed recording contracts with Colpix Records. Fabares was given the ballad ‘Johnny Angel’, written by Lee Pockriss and Lyn Duddy, and after its debut on the television show, the single quickly rose to number 1. Three follow-up singles did not fare nearly as well, and neither did the two albums she recorded for Colpix. In 1964 Fabares married record producer Lou Adler, who arranged a record contract for Fabares with Vee Jay Records. There were no hits and Fabares then became the first artist signed to his new Dunhill Records label. Again there were no hits and Fabares returned to acting, working with Herman’s Hermits in their movie Hold On! and with Elvis Presley in Girl Happy, Spinout and Clambake. She divorced Adler in 1967 and continued to work in film and television. In the early 80s, she appeared in the series One Day At A Time as Francine Webster. She married actor Mike Farrell in 1984, and in the late 80s and early 90s was a member of the cast of Coach, a popular US television situation comedy. Her work rate slowed in the latter part of the decade, and in October 2000 she underwent a liver transplant.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.

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