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Shelley Fabares?

Updated on December 1, 2013

Shelley Fabares: Everyone's Sweetheart

Some of us grew up with her and today she is a role model for aging.  And better yet, I don't think that is her goal, she is not trying to be a role model for aging.

I met her by serendipity.  Her husband of nearly 25 years, Mike Farrell, was appearing at my local independent book store to talk about politics, M*A*S*H and his newest book.  I knew she might be there, but didn't know that she would be such a treat.

I had a brief meeting scheduled with Mike for which he was late.  I learned it was because his wife wasn't feeling well and he was concerned.  I knew she had had a liver transplant years ago, and a hip replacement in the summer of 2008.  I had been mildly interested in seeing her, even though she was a huge memory from my youth.

About halfway through the public talk, Mike stated that she was there, 'you could tell by the pink hair'.  (!) I looked back and sure enough I could see pink spikes.  Hmmm....

She wouldn't come up front and wasn't at the table for the book signing.  So as I left, I looked for her and founding her in the stacks talking to a couple of people, admiring Quail Ridge Bookstore.

I asked her two things.  One, about her career.  I had read in several places that her career bagan with Mary Stone in the Donna Reed Show, I could have sworn she played with Annette on some of the Mickey Mouse Club serials they showed one day a week.  I was right, she played one of the 'mean girls' in Annette.

Then I asked her about the hair.  I was a bit surprized that I liked it.  It looked good on her as it framed the face that obviously had never seen a surgeon's knife or a Botox filled needle.  So, Shelley, what's up?

The story started nine years ago when she was in the middle of a serious illness. It lasted for years and the doctors couldn't figure it out. Eventually, she had a liver transplant.  Just before her surgery she was at the hair dresser's and saw "the most beautiful woman I have ever seen, and I am in a business with a lot of beautiful women."  The woman was 6 foot tall and a mix of black, oriental and European.  She had pink spikey hair.  The hairdresser suggested that maybe Shelley would like to have it done.  She thought about it, realized that as an actress (since age 3) she had had to ask someone for every hair change she ever had.  Plus, she really didn't know if she would out live that disease.  So she did it!  And she has kept it for nine years.  It is blonde on the lower layer, coppery orange of the top, with pink spikes.  At she looks great! 

I even asked her about Cairg T. Nelson, her costar in Coach. Mike had talked about how great it was to work with like minded people on M*A*S*H, and Nelson had recently made the statement on Hannity, "I was on food stamps and welfare and nobody ever helped me then!" Indeed.  Well, she said, "Craig is a brilliant actor and likes to stir the pot".  She was diplomatic and still informative.

Three reasons to love Shelley Fabares

1. She was a role model for our childhood, adulthood and aging. She played Mary Stone, when we wanted to know how to be a teenager; Christine Armstrong when we liked strong women and Johnny Angel will always please our ears. She starred in more Elvis Presley movies than any other actress (3).

2. She has survived a liver transplant and a hip replacement all the while being true to herself as she ages.

3. She and her husband of 25 years (12/31/84) have worked for social justice while maintaining personal and professional lives.

Quick, what do you think of Shelley Fabares?

See results

Shelley Fabares Through the Years

Shelley Fabares Through the Years
Shelley Fabares Through the Years

Mike Farrell and Shelley Fabares Married 12/31/84

Mike Farrell and Shelley Fabares Married 12/31/84
Mike Farrell and Shelley Fabares Married 12/31/84

There Is A Lot of TV History Here

There Is  A Lot of TV History Here
There Is A Lot of TV History Here

Share your stories, sightings, thoughts, rants, raves...

Shout Out For Shelley Fabares!

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    • profile image

      jon b 11 days ago

      I just can't understand her hairstyle, she struck me as a classy lady, and she would look like one too, just that hair... I prefer her classic look.

    • profile image

      Robin Hopkins 4 weeks ago

      Just love her.....Shelley you still look "Marvelous"....wish I knew your secret!

    • profile image

      Denise 4 months ago

      I think she looks absolutely beautiful especially given all she's been through. Kudos for doing her and to hell with what anyone else thinks.

    • profile image

      Carolyn 5 months ago

      She was once a beauty! Looks like a bag lady now. I know she's trying to be cool but she looks ridiculous.

    • profile image

      Ken 16 months ago

      Yep, she's an icon. Of course, you'd have to be a certain age to remember. I never knew that she married Mike Farrell.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      @anonymous: I would love to write Ms Fabraes but I don't know where to send it. I have tried to look on line for a studio or some place to send her a letter. Would you be able to tell me an address that a letter could get to her? Thank you for your time. Vicky Bishop

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I always enjoyed watching her. She is lovely and has always been. I am glad u put up a picture of her husband I always thought she was married to someone else. She has age gracefully.

    • profile image

      antoniow 5 years ago

      Fantastic lens, nicely done! Squidlike

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Shelley is such a beautiful person, then & now!

    • LiteraryMind profile image

      Ellen Gregory 5 years ago from Connecticut, USA

      Surprised by the pink hair -- she was always the well groomed All American Girl type-- but I like it. It's a unique self expression.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Stopping back to smile at this excellent tribute to Shelley Fabares, more reasons for us all to love her!

    • profile image

      sheezie77 5 years ago

      Interesting lens thumbs up!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I love you

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I fell in love with Shelley when I was 19 I moved from Ohio to California hoping to meet 1978 I not only met her, but went on to become friends and have a friendship that has endured ever since. She is as wonderful, kind, caring and beautiful as one would hope and an amazing human being. I am proud to be a fan of Shelley Fabares' work, and honored to be able to call her my friend.

    • profile image

      SteveKaye 5 years ago

      Anyone with the courage to wear multi-colored hair has my vote.

    • chezchazz profile image

      Chazz 5 years ago from New York

      Who could forget! Shelley Fabares and Annette were my first tween crushes. Nice to catch up.

    • Carmel Aaron profile image

      Carmel Aaron 5 years ago

      Thank you for this page. I have always adored Shelley Fabares. I loved the video, she still looked fabulous!!

    • TTMall profile image

      TTMall 6 years ago

      nice lens!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      America's Sweetheart is Right! :) Always loved character and actor! You Look FABulous! Be Blessed

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      nice lens..I love it...!

    • kathysart profile image

      kathysart 6 years ago

      WOW.. long time no see.. I forgot about her. YES I loved her too! So nice to see a lens dedicated to her. Her hair is darn cute. Blessed lens.

    • PromptWriter profile image

      Moe Wood 6 years ago from Eastern Ontario

      She has seriously funky hair. I love it!!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Watching her now in an old Twilight Zone episode. Loved her (crushed) in the movies she did with Elvis. Had no clue she played the wife in "Coach" and I've seen the show quite a few times.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      I always thought Shelley was fabulous, when in the Donna Reed Show and also in the movies she played with Elvis. So glad I found this lens.

    • LaraineRoses profile image

      Laraine Sims 6 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      Shelley is a gutsy lady but a delight. I remember her on the Donna Reed show. Her hair, well, we all have to feel special and if that is what it takes, good on her. Loved everything about this lens!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      How can I not like Shelley Fabares? My names Johnny! I'm still waiting for Virgin to offer it as a ringtone. (Shelley, please step in.)

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Im happy to see she is doing well.She has a special quality about her she always seemed to be so genuine.She gave me so much happiness I hope she is happy also.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      shout out for Shelley! I've liked her since Donna Reed and even more in Coach. I'm only 6 yrs younger & always said I wanted to do my hair in purple spikes, but never had the guts!

    • Blackspaniel1 profile image

      Blackspaniel1 6 years ago

      I actually remember when she was on a game show as a panalist.

    • profile image

      dellgirl 6 years ago

      Shelley sure is a sweetheart.

    • profile image

      tlkool1 6 years ago

      Please Support My Online Charity Funds Smile Train And The Caring For The Children Organization.Dear Family and Friends,I recently created an online fund for Smile Train, the world's largest cleft charity and the Caring For The Children Orgaization to help the homeless children in America and around the World .And also to help the children with cleft palate disease. I'd like you to Please consider donating to my Charity Funds at and . Whatever you can give will be deeply appreciated, and everything helps. Thank you for your support. And may God Bless You.

    • Sylvestermouse profile image

      Cynthia Sylvestermouse 6 years ago from United States

      I have to say I agree with you and I love that new hair! I have always wanted to do something crazy like that and color my hair blue. Really cool and awesome that you got to meet her!

    • profile image

      Ghita1985 6 years ago

      Very GREAT article!

    • Krafick profile image

      Krafick 6 years ago

      I didn't know her but you have convinced me that she is a fantastic personality. Rafick

    • ChrisDay LM profile image

      ChrisDay LM 6 years ago

      Striking woman - I must say that some people go for striking appearance and it falls fall on its face. By way of contrast, in your first photograph of her, one can only feel the positive energy.

    • linhah lm profile image

      Linda Hahn 6 years ago from California

      Love her hair!

    • Ilonagarden profile image

      Ilona E 6 years ago from Ohio

      thanks for a great lens telling her story and all the great pictures of her.

    • RetroMom profile image

      RetroMom 6 years ago

      Love Shelley, big thumbs up for this lens.

    • profile image

      7Suze7 6 years ago

      I wish I had the guts to do something like her hair

    • profile image

      7Suze7 6 years ago

      I wish I had the guts to do something like her hair

    • profile image

      DongMei 7 years ago

      Enjoyed the video of her singing very much. Lovely song, lovely voice, lovely sentiment.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      I absolutely love Shelley Fabares! I've watched and loved her in every series she's been in (except that I didn't know until today about the Mickey Mouse Club role). I've never had the privilege of meeting her, but my sister did meet her at a Walk for Alzheimer's, and she said that Shelley is lovely, genuine, sweet, and every bit as classy as she's portrayed in her official "image". Didn't know about all of her health issues.She's as beautiful as ever--may she be blessed.

    • norma-holt profile image

      norma-holt 7 years ago

      Beautiful tribute lens. Love the hair. Featured this on Motivation.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      I love the pink hair. And who can forget her big hit "Johnny Angel?" I became a fan all over again when she was on "Coach." So nice you got to meet her!

    • TreasuresBrenda profile image

      Treasures By Brenda 7 years ago from Canada

      Very nice! I wasn't familiar with Shelley Fabare before and I love her hair and your very well put together lens.

    • Amy Fricano profile image

      Amy Fricano 7 years ago from WNY

      What fun and what a lady.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      A lovely lens about a lovely lady. Nicely done!

    • kateloving profile image

      Kate Loving Shenk 7 years ago from Lancaster PA

      She really is a beautiful example of Grace!

    • jnstewart profile image

      John Norman Stewart 7 years ago from Cottonwood, CA

      Nice lens. I'm old enough to remember her...:)

    • SandyMertens profile image

      Sandy Mertens 7 years ago from Frozen Tundra

      Wonderful tribute to Shelly Fabare. I have always loved her acting.

    • MBradley McCauley profile image

      MBradley McCauley 7 years ago

      Good lens Margo. i always liked Shelley especially on Coach. She was an independent role for model for women.

      Glad I found this lens--I lost touch with you somewhere along the way. You are doing a great job--so glad you joined Squidoo..

    • Ramkitten2000 profile image

      Deb Kingsbury 7 years ago from Flagstaff, Arizona

      Wow, I wouldn't have recognized her! But I do love the hair, too. It really suits her. Funny, I knew the name and I knew the younger face, but I wouldn't have been able to put the two together until I saw this lens. What a classy lady. I like her spunk.

    • awakeningwellness profile image

      awakeningwellness 7 years ago

      Shelley was a big part of my youth, I remember watching her on TV every week and Johnny Angel was one of my favorite songs. I have to say if anyone can pull off pink spikes it's her! (o:

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      I met Shelley many years ago right before she started work on ABC-TV's "Coach"

      series with Craig T. Nelson. I did an extensive interview with her as she had always

      been my favorite actress. She was wonderful! The interview eventually was

      published in DISCoveries Magazine.

      I miss seeing her on TV. She did maybe five series throughout her career and

      so many guest appearances as well as made for TV movies.

      And, of course, she did three films with Elvis.

      I wish her good health and happiness always.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      I am very excited that i came across your lense. This is great. I had loads of fun and gained great knowledge from it. All thanks to you.

    • Lee Hansen profile image

      Lee Hansen 7 years ago from Vermont

      I always loved Shelley Fabares - so happy to see this profile of her as she is today. Still hip and beautiful!

    • CherylsArt profile image

      Cheryl Paton 7 years ago from West Virginia

      Nice lens. I remember Shelley Fabares in various roles but didn't know she sang Johnny Angel! So cool!

    • profile image

      Tarra99 7 years ago

      OMG!...I had no clue who she was with the intro pic (love the hair btw!)...but the 2nd pic...I remember her from Coach...but rarely watched the show...thanks sharing and for popping into my kitchen gadget lens...I appreciate your comments.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      Did I spell her last name wrong? I know it's Fabares!

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      This is a beautiful tribute of a lovely and greatly loved lady. I grew up with her too and always thought she was classy. I didn't know about the liver transplant, the hip replacement or her great marriage, you have now caught me up on all things Shelley Fabres! Wonderfully done and so interesting on this great lady, I like the pink hair!

    • RuthCoffee profile image

      Ruth Coffee 7 years ago from Zionsville, Indiana

      I always thought she seemed like such a sweetheart. Nice showcase on her!

    • Jack2205 profile image

      Jack 7 years ago

      I used to watch Shelley on the Donna Reed Show and Coach all the time.

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      JimH 7 years ago

      I remember her mainly from the TV series Coach, a true beauty and great talent.

    • Andy-Po profile image

      Nobody 7 years ago from UK

      Very interesting. I didn't know she was married to Mike Farrell. They both look like good example of how to stay young.

    • Heather426 profile image

      Heather Burns 7 years ago from Wexford, Ireland

      I like Shelley Fabares and I had no idea she is married to Mike Farrell. Very nice to read about her and she looks great.

    • KimGiancaterino profile image

      KimGiancaterino 7 years ago

      Shelley is great ... I've run into her a few times in Studio City at (big surprise) a funky book store/coffee house. I'm featuring this on my "Johnny Angel" lens.

    • nightbear lm profile image

      nightbear lm 7 years ago

      I LOVE this lens. So beautiful about such a beautiful person. Great job!!

    • WindyWintersHubs profile image

      WindyWintersHubs 7 years ago from Vancouver Island, BC

      Wonderful tribute to one of my favorite actresses! :)

    • blue22d profile image

      blue22d 7 years ago

      Great lady. I didn't realize she had a transplant. I have enjoyed her acting over the years.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      I have been a fan of Shelley's for many years, and I've talked with her in person more than once. Whether you spend a minute or an hour with her, it's easy to see that she's such a lovely person. She'll steal your heart in an instant!

    • jolou profile image

      jolou 7 years ago

      What a great tribute to her. I always liked Shelley.

    • MargoPArrowsmith profile image

      MargoPArrowsmith 8 years ago

      An angel blessing for Johnny Angel! Perfect and thanks!

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      I always liked Shelley, and I have not heard of her health problems. Thanks.

    • chefkeem profile image

      Achim Thiemermann 8 years ago from Austin, Texas

      What a cool chick!

    • evelynsaenz1 profile image

      Evelyn Saenz 8 years ago from Royalton

      I remember Shelley Fabares from movies I watched with my mother as a child. Thank you for sharing what her life has been like ever since.

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 8 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      Oh, I read every word and thoroughly enjoyed catching up with Shelley Fabares. This one well deserves an Angel Blessing so here it is!

    • Franksterk profile image

      Frankie Kangas 8 years ago from California

      Wow. She is as beautiful as ever. I'd recognize that lovely face anywhere. I too am surprised that I like the hair. lol It's also nice to see that others are aging besides me. I wish I looked that good! Thank you for a wonderful lens about a very special woman. Bear hugs, Frankie