Recently I've been watching DVDs of early episodes of The Donna Reed Show which aired on ABC from 1958 until 1966. The show centred around the adventures of the Stone family - Dr. Alex Stone, a pediatrician, his wife Donna, and their two children, Mary and Jeff. Daughter Mary was played by Shelley Fabares who left the show in 1963 to pursue a movie career. She co-starred with Elvis Presley in three movies - Girl Happy (1965), Spinout (1966) and Clambake (1967).
Shelley was born Michelle Marie Fabares on January 19, 1944 in Santa Monica, California. She is now 66 years old and has enjoyed a long and successful acting career. Here are some of her notable television appearances and roles.
* She appeared in a 1964 episode of The Twilight Zone entitled "Leather Jackets."
* She played Joy Piccolo in the 1971 television movie, Brian's Song.
* From 1981 until 1984,, she portrayed Francine Webster on One Day at a Time.
* From 1989 until 1997, she played the role of Christine Armstrong on Coach.
Shelley Fabares sang "Johnny Angel" during the fourth season of The Donna Reed Show. She performed the teenage love ballad on a February 1, 1962 episode of the series entitled "Donna's Prima Donna." "Johnny Angel" became a huge hit and reached the top of the Billboard charts on April 7, 1962. It sold more than a million copies and earned Shelley a gold record.
Watch a video of Shelley Fabares (as Mary Stone) singing "Johnny Angel" on the The Donna Reed Show before her adoring television mother. Just click on the link below.
To watch a Good Morning America interview with Shelley (circa 1991), click below.
Here are some interesting tidbits about Shelley Fabares.
* Shelley is the niece of singer/dancer Nanette Fabray. Nanette Fabray's real name is Ruby Bernadette Nanette Fabares.
* Sheley has been married to actor Mike Farrell (best known for his role as Captain B.J. Hunnicutt on M*A*S*H.) since 1984.
* In October of 2000, at the age of 56, Shelley underwent a liver transplant in Los Angeles. Her liver had deteriorated as a result of an autoimmune disorder.