The Shelley / Elvis chemistry was such a success, that they paired again in 1966 for "Spinout. In Spinout Shelley plays "Cynthia", a rich, spoiled "Daddy's ". Shelley, Deborah Walley, and Diane McBain are all out to get Elvis as their husband, but he enjoys playing the field, saying he is not the marrying kind. Spinout comes equipped with a selection of rockin' Elvis songs.
Fabares' third and final film with Presley was the 1967 hit, Clambake. Here Elvis plays a rich guy who trades places with a water-skiing instructor in order to escape his controlling father. Shelley's character dumps boyfriend Bill Bixby to pair up with Elvis. A few of the featured songs are Clambake and Confidence.
Shelley Fabares went on to even greater fame and popularity by costarring on such television shows as The Brian Keith Show and the hit sitcom, Coach. She is happily married to M*A*S*H's Mike Farrell.
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Bing considered Gary to be the most talented of his boys, so he worked to boost his budding career. Bing teamed with Gary to produce nine duet recordings for commercial release. Their first two records were Playing a Simple Melody and Sam’s Song. This gave a push to Gary’s career and resulted in a few small roles in movies. In 1963 he was signed on to do The Bill Dana Show, which ran on television for two years. About this same time, Crosby was chosen to costar in the Elvis movie, Girl Happy. Gary played a musician named Andy, one of the guys in Elvis’ band. Gary's character was not unlike his off-screen persona... -happy, fun-loving and musically talented.
In 1968, Crosby joined the cast of the popular police drama, Adam 12as Officer Ed Wells. Another police role followed on the 1974 show Chase.
Unbeknownst to fans of both Gary and Bing, life in the Crosby family was not the idyllic situation portrayed in fan magazines. Gary had grown to adulthood with many personal problems, not the least of which were alcoholism and a raging temper. Shortly after Bing's death, Gary wrote a tell-all autobiography entitled Going My Own Way that told about his upbringing. Readers were shocked to learn that the actor who was so closely associated with his lovable and gentle "Father O'Malley" of Going My Way was in reality a cruel despot of a father (at least according to his eldest son). The Mommy Dearest-type book turned many fans against Gary. Incidentally, Gary's younger brother later committed suicide in a state of depression, while watching their Dad's movie, White Christmas.
Gary Crosby continued to make guest appearances on shows and in movies. He had received counseling for his problems and alcoholism and seemed to be happier than ever, but on August 24, 1995, in Burbank, California, he died of lung cancer.
After her Elvis films, Mary Ann guest-starred on a variety of TV shows such as General Hospital and, more recently, Sabrina, The Teenage . She also contributes to many charitable organizations such as The March of Dimes. Mary Ann has been married to Gary Collins for 31 happy years and are the parents of a grown daughter.
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Jimmy Hawkins had grown up in TV and movies and become quite a familiar face - but then something happened that would bring him the most recognition yet. Director Boris Sagal had seen Hawkins’ work and thought he would be just right to play Elvis Presley’s sidekick in his upcoming film, Girl Happy. The movie would feature three bandmembers - and Sagal realized that Jimmy’s personality would make him a good choice for any one of the three. The director gave Jimmy the privlege of picking whether he would rather play Andy, Doc, or Wilbur. After reading the script, Hawkins chose the character of Doc, because he thought he could probably play him best. Doc played guitar and sax in the band - the latter of which Hawkins did not really know how to play. To get an idea of the technique needed to portray a sax player, the actor visited night clubs to observe other saxophone players in action. After his work in Girl Happy, Jimmy was suggested for another Elvis film Tickle Me, but he lost the role to Jack Mullaney. Meanwhile, he appeared on the television series Gidget.
In 1966, Jimmy again got the opportunity to co-star in a Presley film. This time it was the racing flick, Spinout ,in which he played Larry. Coincidentally, Jack Mullaney played Elvis’ other sidekick. After working with the King and co-starring in 2 of his movies, Jimmy remembers he had a good time making both films, but enjoyed doing Girl Happy more and that “Elvis was a great guy who was very talented.”
In the 70’s and 80’s, Hawkins tried his hand at producing motion pictures. His projects included Evel Knievel, Love Leads the Way, and Don’t Look Back: The Story of Leroy ‘Satchel’ Paige. He also created The 50th Anniversary Motown Returns to the Apollo - a television special based on the famed Black theatre. This accomplishment garnered an Emmy Award.
Jimmy Hawkins - who, today , has over 80 motion picture credits - has come a long way since he charmed war-weary movie audiences as little Tommy Bailey. In the meantime, It’s a Wonderful Life, which was only a moderate success when it was originally released in 1946, became a classic by way of television in the 1980s and 90s. To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the beloved film, Hawkins compiled a beautiful coffee table book, entitled The It’s a Wonderful Life 50th Anniversary Scrapbook. He also delighted fans of the movie by authoring the It’s a Wonderful Life Trivia Book. The actor/author/producer’s most recent production was 1997’s “Merry Christmas, George Bailey” ( PBS Television’s all-star radio version of “It’s a Wonderful Life”). He also serves on the Board of The Donna Reed Foundation for the Performing Arts.
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