Fabiano Anthony Forte (born February 6, 1943, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania), known as Fabian, is an American teen idol of the late 1950s and early 1960s. He rose to national prominence after performing several times on American Bandstand. In total, he charted 11 hit singles on the Billboard Hot 100.
Fabian was born the son of Josephine and Domenic Forte. His father was a policeman. Fabian was discovered in 1957 by Bob Marcucci and Peter DeAngelis, owners of Chancellor Records. At the time, record producers were looking to the South Philadelphia neighborhoods in search of teenage talents with good looks, and Frankie Avalon, also of South Philly, suggested Fabian as a possibility.
Fabian was the oldest of three brothers, and with his father ill and unable to work, he hoped to earn enough for his family. At fifteen, Fabian won the Silver Award as "The Promising Male Vocalist of 1958."
With songwriters Doc Pomus and Mort Shuman, Fabian released a series of hit singles for Chancellor Records including "I'm a Man", "Hound Dog Man", a #9 hit in the U.S., "Turn Me Loose" (U.S. #9), and his biggest hit, "Tiger", which reached number 3 in the U.S. charts. Other singles that charted included "String Along", "About This Thing Called Love" and "This Friendly World", which reached #12 on the U.S. charts.
His career in music basically ended after he bought out of his contract with Marcucci after signing a seven-year contract with 20th Century Fox. During the payola scandal of the 1960s, Fabian testified before Congress that his recordings had been doctored electonically to significantly improve his voice.
The 1980 film The Idolmaker, written by Edward Di Lorenzo and directed by Taylor Hackford, was a thinly-disguised biography of Fabian (called "Caesare" in the film), as well as songwriter/producer Marcucci (called "Vinnie Vacarri" in the film) and Frankie Avalon (called "Tommy Dee" in the film). In the movie version, singer Caesare - a pretty boy with little singing talent - goes through a whirlwind of success in a short time, and in a fit of pique, he abruptly fired his songwriters and quits his record label. The real-life Fabian threatened a lawsuit at the time of the film's release, though the filmmakers insisted that the film presented only fictional characters (though Marcucci was a paid consultant on the film). Fabian claimed they settled out of court where he and his wife received apologies and Marcucci's seven and a half percent ownership of the film passed to Fabian.
Fabian was contracted to 20th Century Fox beginning with Don Siegel's Hound Dog Man. The Psychotronic Encyclopedia of Film featured a photo of Fabian's screen test where he appeared in exactly the same outfit Elvis Presley wore in Love Me Tender. He appeared in more than 30 films, including Five Weeks in a Balloon, High Time, Ten Little Indians (1965), North to Alaska, The Longest Day and Ride the Wild Surf (1964) (with Tab Hunter) and Peter Brown. Most of his early films were comedies, and cast him as a restless teenager with a penchant for singing. After 1965, his film and singing career began to fade, along with his popularity as a teen idol. He made several films for American International Pictures, including playing Pretty Boy Floyd in A Bullet for Pretty Boy (1970). He also played Josh Ashley in Little Laura and Big John (1973) for Crown International Pictures.
He never regained his former stature, but has continued performing for more than forty years. Recently he has been appearing with Frankie Avalon and Bobby Rydell to perform concerts as The Golden Boys.
He later appeared in a 1982 television commercial for The Idols of Rock n' Roll and in the 2005 documentary film The Bituminous Coal Queens of Pennsylvania.
In his latest endeavor, Fabian hosts and headlines in the hit show The Original Stars of Bandstand at The Dick Clark Theater in Branson, Missouri. The show stars Fabian and Bobby Vee and features The Chiffons, Brian Hyland, Chris Montez and rare footage of the performers and Dick Clark
He has been married twice — to Kate Netter Forte from 1980 to 1990 and to his current wife Andrea Patrick, a former Bituminous Coal Queen and Miss Pennsylvania USA, whom he married in 1998. He has a son, Christian, and a daughter, Julie, from his first marriage. Christian is a screenwriter with the 1996 movie Albino Alligator starring Matt Dillon, Faye Dunaway, and Gary Sinise and directed by Kevin Spacey to his credit. He also both wrote and directed Deep in the Valley with Denise Richards, Chris Pratt, and Brendan Hines, released in October 2009, and he is also the co-screenwriter for The Monkey Wrench Gang, which is scheduled for release in 2010. Christian and his wife are the parents of Fabian's granddaughter, Ava Josephine.
Fabian and his wife are actively involved in the American Diabetes Association, the American Heart Association and Fabian has helped raise money for veterans with his Celebrity Golf Tournament in North Carolina. They live on 20 acres (81,000 m) in Southwestern Pennsylvania in a home which Andrea designed.
- Hound-Dog Man (1959)
- High Time (1960)
- North to Alaska (1960)
- Love in a Goldfish Bowl (1961)
- Mr. Hobbs Takes a Vacatio (1962)
- Five Weeks in a Balloon (1962)
- The Longest Day (1962)
- The Greatest Show on Earth ("Uncaged", 1963 ABC television series with Jack Palance)
- The Eleventh Hour as Gilbert Brubaker in "You're So Smart, Why Can't You Be Good" (1964)
- Ride the Wild Surf (1964)
- Dear Brigitte (1965)
- Ten Little Indians (1965)
- Fireball 500 (1966)
- Dr. Goldfoot and the Girl Bombs (1966)
- The Rat Patrol (TV series) Season 1, Episode 21 'The B Negative Raid', Guest Star (1967)
- Thunder Alley (1967)
- Maryjane (1968)
- The Wild Racers (1968)
- The Devil's 8 (1969)
- A Bullet for Pretty Boy' (1970)
- Little Laura and Big John (1973)
- The Day the Lord Got Busted (1976)
- Disco Fever (1978)
- Kiss Daddy Goodbye (1981)
- Up Close & Personal (1996)
"Ride The Wild Surf"