Shelley Fabares is the niece of Nanette Fabray. She began acting at age three and at age 10 made her television debut in an episode of Letters to Loretta. After guest-starring on various television series, Fabares landed the role of "Mary Stone" in the long-running ABC-TV family sitcom The Donna Reed Show (1958 – 1966).
Her national popularity led to a recording contract and two "Top 40" hits, including “Johnny Angel”, which went to No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, in April 1962. It sold over one-million copies and was awarded a Gold Disc.
Fabares left The Donna Reed Show in 1963 (she would return periodically until its end in 1966) to pursue a film career. She appeared in a number of motion pictures, including three Elvis movies: Girl Happy (1965), Spinnout (1966), and Clambake (1967).