Shelley Fabares

Girl Happy, 1965

Spinout, 1966

Clambake, 1967

Real Name: Michele Fabares
Born: January 19th, 1944, in Santa Monica, California.
Husband(s): Lou Adler (1964 - ?) Mike Farrell (1984-present)

Elvis once cited Shelley Fabares as his favorite actress of those he had worked with. They must have hit it off pretty well during the filming of Girl Happy, since she was eventually asked to take the lead in two more Elvis films. In the 60's, Shelley was known to most audiences as the daughter on "The Donna Reed Show". She had appeared by this time in Ride the Wild Surf with Fabian and Barbara Eden, and had a number one record with "Johnny Angel" in 1962 (She was knocked out of this position by Elvis' "Good Luck Charm").

Her first appearance with Elvis was in Girl Happy, quite possibly the quintessential Elvis movie. There's college kids, there's a beach, there's loads of silly songs, and of course there's Shelley! Our fair lady plays the daughter of mobster Big Frank, and Elvis and his band are shanghai-ed into following her down to Fort Lauderdale to keep an eye on her! Again, Elvis with a thankless job that's just got to be done! Along the way, he does the Clam, he does a scene in drag, sings "Puppet On a String" to Shelley more often than he probably should, and he ditches Mary Ann Mobley more times than anybody ever should! But, hey, it's an Elvis movie!

Carl Betz played Shelley's dad in "The Donna Reed Show", and for Spinout, they're playing father and daughter once more! (Also, Jimmy Hawkins, who was a regular on the TV show, shows up as a member of Elvis' band.) Shelley, the rich girl, gets Daddy to help out on her quest for Elvis. In this quest she is up against Diane McBain, Deborah Walley, and some really awful dialogue! But, hey, it's an Elvis movie!

Shelley's third and final Elvis outing was the astounding Clambake, a film that is absolutely unforgettable, no matter how much you drink! Especially that wierd psychodelic playground scene where Elvis sings "Confidence", a blatant ripoff of Sinatra's "High Hopes", and the party scene where Elvis sings "Clambake" although the party isn't really a clambake, and there aren't any clams to be seen for miles around! Anyway, the basic idea is that Elvis is super-rich and must prove to himself that he is worthy by forsaking his riches and making it on his own (also see Laurel Goodwin in Girls! Girls! Girls!). He does this by (1)being super-smart and inventing GOOP, a super-substance that super-protects the outer layer of a boat hull, and allows Elvis to "win that race", and (2)by wooing Shelley away from super-rich playboy Bill Bixby, relying only on his super-smarts, super-good-looks, super-singing, super-karate, super-nice-guy-ness, but without benefit of any of those millions of dollars so therefore he's proved... something, I'm sure, but I can't figure it out! Hey, waitaminnit! Maybe "Clambake" is a pun on money and stuff! You know? "Clam", money, get it? Hey, we may be onto something!! But... maybe not. Anyway, Shelley looks terrific in this flick, so it's not a complete waste!

Shelley escaped Clambake fairly unscathed and went on to appear on television in the series "The Brian Keith Show", "The Practice", and more recently, "Coach", for which she has been nominated twice for an Emmy.

Shelley Links!

Teenage Triangle

Shelley Photos!

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from "The Brian Keith Show"

from Spinout

from Girl Happy, with Mary Ann Mobley

from Ride the Wild Surf, with Barbara Eden

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Shelley Music and Soundtracks!

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