When Shelley Fabares stormed the limelight as an entertainer, she endeared herself to many teenage hearts playing the role of Mary Stone in the family sitcom titled The Donna Reed Show. Shelley was only 10 years old then but that wouldn’t stop her from being widely celebrated as teenagers’ favorite actress.

Lady Fabares has withstood the test of time and circumstances; she successfully transitioned into adult roles unlike her contemporary child actresses of the 1960’s who faded into thin air and never made it to adult roles in the entertainment industry.

Shelley Fabares Biography

The renowned actress cum singer was born on the 19th day of January 1944 in Santa Monica, California to Elsa and James Fabares. While there is virtually nothing known about her dad, it is said that her mother Elsa died as a result of Alzheimer’s disease. The famous actress Nanette Fabray is her aunt and she has a sister called Smokey.

Just as with her dad, almost nothing is known about the educational institutions Shelley attended. It is, however, a common knowledge that she started modeling right from elementary school. Shelley began acting at the tender age of three and made her TV debut at the age of 10 when she appeared in an episode of Letter to Loretta. The lassie would later bag the role of Mary Stone in The Donna Reed Show after appearing as a guest star on a handful of television series.

Remember we said Shelley is equally a singer? Well, her increasing popularity got her a recording contract. She covered Lyn Duddy and Lee Pockriss’ song Johnny Angel and it quickly became a massive hit. The single from Shelley’s album – Shelley! eventually made it to number one on the Billboard Hot 100. It’s on record that the single equally sold more than one million copies and was certified gold.

When this sheila left The Donna Reed Show in 1963, she made appearances in several motion pictures which include Clambake (1967), Girl Happy (1965) and Spinout (1966). She also played the part of a young Hank Williams in A Time to Sing and the love interest of Peter Noone of Herman’s Hermits in Hold On!.

In addition to the foregoing, Shelley Fabares made appearances in different television series in the 1970s which include Fantasy Island, Mary Hartman, Love, The Practice, American Style, The Interns, Mannix, and The Rockford Files. Also, she co-starred with James Caan and Billy Dee Williams in 1971 in the television movie titled Brian’s Song. Caan played the role of Piccolo while Shelley took the part of Piccolo’s wife – Joy. Later, precisely in 1978, Shelley portrayed Francine Webster on CBS’ sitcom One Day At a Time. 

The veteran actress got a role on the ABC sitcom, Coach as Christine Armstrong Fox in 1989. Shelley has been appreciated with nominations for two Primetime Emmy Award. She has equally been honored by the Young Artist Foundation with the Lifetime Achievement Award. Meanwhile, Shelley is also a voice actress; she was the voice of Martha “Ma” Kent on Superman: The Animated Series.

The popular entertainer’s love life can be summarized by the two marriages she’s had. In June 1964, she got married to Lou Adler a movie producer but unfortunately, the couple could not last long together – they got separated in 1966 and their divorce was finalized in 1980.

Shelley Fabares
Shelley Fabares and Mike Farrell (Image Source)

Four years later (in 1984), she tied the nuptials with Mike Farrell and became a stepmom to his two kids Michael and Erin. During the actress’ wedding to Mike Farrell, she was given away by her sister Smokey. It appears that the renowned actress and her current husband are living in marital bliss, their union remains strong; not even Shelly’s protracted liver illness has been able to make a mess of their love.

See Also: Who Is Julianna Rose Mauriello The Actress, And Where Is She Today?

Her Net Worth

The actress cum singer’s net worth is pegged at an admirable sum of $1.5 million which she earned mainly from her successful career in acting, in addition to her recording deals and the several awards she has won during her active days in the entertainment industry.

Other Facts About The Actress

Her Real Name

The famous actress’ real name is actually Michele Ann Marie Fabares but she is popularly known as Shelley Fabares.

Shelley’s Height

The renowned actress stands at a height of 5 feet 4 inches. Yeah, she’s 1.64 meters tall.

Health Issues

Shelley was diagnosed with autoimmune hepatitis in early 1999 and had to be on a long waiting list for a donor but eventually, in October 2000, she got a liver transplant which improved her health.

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