Fabiani's first marriage was to Katharine Ross (making him the first of her in total five husbands). They first met at Santa Rosa Junior College and later studied at the San Francisco Actors Workshop together, where they married in February 1960 and divorced in 1962. He later remarried once, this time for a lasting relationship, while she had four more husbands afterwards. Career-wise, their paths came close to crossing again in 1985/86, when Fabiani played opposite Joan Collins in Dynasty while Ross appeared in Dynasty's spinoff The Colby's.
Joel Fabiani is the cover star of The Smiths' Singles Box, a disk compilation released in 2008.
Originally a promotional picture for Department S in 1970, it is a photo showing Fabiani next to a black Jaguar sports car, and in 2008 Morrissey chose the image as the cover for The Smiths' album.