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Shelley Fabares

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Born Michele Ann Marie Fabares in Santa Monica, California, she is the niece of Nanette Fabray, who changed the spelling of her last name, though Shelley kept the original form.[1] She got her big break in the role of the teenage daughter in the long-running television family sitcom, The Donna Reed Show. Her national popularity led to a recording contract and she had two “Top 40” hits including “Johnny Angel” that went to No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in April of 1962. Fabares left the TV show for a career in film and starred in a number of motion pictures including three Elvis Presley movies: Girl Happy (1965), Spinout (1966) and Clambake (1967).

Fabares is Annette Funicello’s best friend. Shelley and Annette have been friends since they were young teenagers, and Shelley was a bridesmaid at Annette’s first wedding. Shelley also played herself in A Dream Is a Wish Your Heart Makes: The Annette Funicello Story. Fabares married Jan & Dean’s record producer Lou Adler in June 1964 before separating in 1966. The couple would officially divorce many years later, in 1980.

In later years, she returned to television, most notably in the roles of Francine Webster (1981-1984) on One Day at a Time and as Christine Armstrong Fox on the sitcom Coach (1989-1997). She has traveled extensively, speaking out and offering families support on behalf of the Alzheimer’s Association.

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