She won the Tony at 28 for the Alan Jay Lerner/Kurt Weill show "Love Life", followed by Jule Styne/Sammy Cahn's "High Button Shoes". Later on, she was unfairly removed from the comedy series, with the producers citing unreasonable demands for her Season 3 contract. Her family was with her when she died.
Appearing in "Caesar's Hour", Nanette earned three Emmys.
Nanette was also born in San Diego, California, but her parents moved to Los Angeles so their daughter could start her acting career at a young age.
She worked in radio and made her film debut in "The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex" in 1939, starring Bette Davis, Errol Flynn and Olivia de Havilland.
Nanette won three Emmy Awards for the sketch comedy series Caesar's Hour. The problem was eventually corrected by surgery, and she became a spokeswoman and advocate for the hearing-impaired. She left the show in 1943 to take a small replacement role in Rodgers and Hart's "By Jupiter".
She is survived by her son, John, and two grandchildren. One doctor predicted she'd lose her hearing in five years.
During her lifetime, Nanette was married twice - the first time to Press Agent David Tebet from 1947 - 1951, and secondly to screenplay writer Randall MacDougall in 1957.
MacDougall died in 1973.
SAG-AFTRA and the Tony Awards also paid tribute to Fabray's career. Her first credited appearance was on "The Chevrolet Tele-Theater" in 1949, but she had already been involved in demonstrations of the new medium.
In 1961, she appeared as Nan McGovern in Westinghouse Playhouse, but the show was cancelled after 26 episodes.
She appeared in several movies, most notably in the classic 1953 musical "The Band Wagon" opposite Fred Astaire and Cyd Charisse, but she was best known for her TV work. "She just exuded warmth, wit, charm, love, and she touched so many people in so many ways".
Ms. Fabray continued to do stage work (in 2007 she appeared in "The Damsel Dialogues" in Sherman Oaks, Calif.), but said a couple of times that live television was her first love.
And in the 1990s Fabray played mother to Shelley Fabares, her real-life niece, in the hit sitcom "Coach".
Born Ruby Nanette Bernadette Theresa Fabares in San Diego, her career spanned eight decades, from her start in Vaudeville at the age of 3, to musical theater in NY, to television and motion pictures in Hollywood.