9 items from 2013
Annette Funicello, who has died of complications from multiple sclerosis aged 70, was instantly associated with two names: Mickey Mouse and Frankie Avalon, both of whom were squeaky clean. As a child, Funicello was one of the first Mouseketeers on the original Mickey Mouse Club, the hugely popular Walt Disney children's television programme. In her early 20s, Funicello co-starred with the pop singer Avalon in five "Beach Party" musicals, in which they played wholesome "teenage" sweethearts called Dee Dee and Frankie, always testing each other's fidelity.
Born in Utica, New York, Funicello took ballet dancing lessons as a child to overcome shyness. In 1955, some years after her family had moved to southern California, the 12-year-old was chosen by Disney himself from 200 children auditioning for the first season of the Mickey Mouse Club. From 1955 to 1957, she danced, sang »
- Ronald Bergan
Within the few days or so, we have heard about the deaths of Roger Ebert and "Queen of Prep" Lilly Pulitzer. Following the rule of threes, we have also lost one of America’s sweethearts. Original Disney teen sensation and "Beach Party" star Annette Funicello passed away yesterday, due to complications from multiple sclerosis. Discovered at the age of 12 by Walt Disney, Funicello went on to be a Mouseketeer in the newly formed “Mickey Mouse Club“ and to appear in such Disney classics as "The Shaggy Dog." By this time, Funicello was also releasing pop hits left and right, including "Tall Paul," "First Name Initial," and "Pineapple Princess." After outgrowing her Mouseketeer sweater, she moved onto the series of films she is probably most famous for, the "Beach Party" movies. With the smash hit "Beach Party," Funicello and onscreen love interest Frankie Avalon became instant '60s icons and spawned »
- Diana Drumm
Annette Funicello, the ’50s and ’60s teen dream who passed away Monday after a long battle with multiple sclerosis, rose to fame as a “Mouseketeer” on the original Mickey Mouse Club and starred with fellow idol Frankie Avalon in a series of iconic big-screen “Beach Party” hits, including Beach Blanket Bingo and Bikini Beach. Along the way she made quite an impression on the music scene, singing and dancing her way into the hearts of millions with songs like “Tall Paul,” “Pineapple Princess,” “Because You’re You,” and “Beach Blanket Bingo.”
People put together a loving tribute to Funicello’s career in music, »
- John Mitchell
Former child star was hand-picked by Walt Disney and spoke openly about the degenerative effects of multiple sclerosis
Annette Funicello, who became a child star as a perky, cute-as-a-button Mouseketeer on The Mickey Mouse Club in the 1950s, then teamed up with Frankie Avalon on a string of 1960s fun-in-the-sun movies with names like Beach Blanket Bingo and Bikini Beach, died Monday. She was 70.
She died at Mercy Southwest Hospital in Bakersfield, California, of complications from multiple sclerosis, the Walt Disney Co said.
Funicello stunned fans and friends in 1992 with the announcement about her ailment. Yet she was cheerful and upbeat, grappling with the disease with a courage that contrasted with her lightweight teen image of old.
"She will forever hold a place in our hearts as one of Walt Disney's brightest stars, delighting an entire generation of baby boomers with her jubilant personality and endless talent," said Bob Iger, »
Annette Funicello has passed away at the age of 70. The former Mouseketeer's family confirms to "Extra" that Funicello died after being in a coma in a Bakersfield hospital. The family says the coma was a complication of multiple sclerosis.
It is unclear how long Funicello was in a coma. She announced her Ms diagnosis in 1992 at the age of 50. Over the years, the disease took away Funicello's ability to walk, putting her on a walking cane and eventually confining her to a wheelchair. She eventually lost the ability to talk as well.
Funicello joined the original "Mickey Mouse Club" at the age of twelve and quickly became one of the most well known Mouseketeers. She translated her popularity into a pop music and film career, eventually starring alongside Frankie Avalon in many mid-1960's era "Beach Party" genre films, including "Beach Blanket Bingo, "Pajama Party," and "How to Stuff a Wild Bikini. »
I grew up with Annette Funicello. She was my favorite older girl on "The Mickey Mouse Club," a friendly face with a sweet voice. She started on the show in 1955 at age 13, the only cast member selected by Walt Disney himself after he saw her dance the lead in Swan Lake at the Starlight Bowl in Burbank. She also appeared frequently on long-running weekly show "Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color." Disney released several of her albums; she had two top ten hit songs: "Tall Paul" and "O Dio Mio." Born Annette Joanne Funicello in Utica, N.Y., on Oct. 22, 1942, Funicello gained fame with a series of '60s beach blanket movies opposite teen idol Frankie Avalon in which she managed to be both virginal and sexy in a two-piece suit (not a bikini). The actress died Monday at 70 at Mercy Southwest Hospital in Bakersfield, according to the Walt Disney Co. »
- Anne Thompson
Annette Funicello, who first gained fame as a 12-year-old Mousekeeter on Disney’s “The Mickey Mouse Club” in the 1950s and then starred opposite Frankie Avalon in a series of musical beach party films of the early 1960s, has died. She was 70.
Funicello was taken off life support on Monday morning at a hospital in Bakersfield, Calif. She’d battled multiple sclerosis since 1987, first going public with the diagnosis in 1992.
“Annette was and always will be a cherished member of the Disney family, synonymous with the word Mousketeer, and a true Disney Legend,” said Disney chairman-ceo Robert Iger. “She will forever hold a place in our hearts as one of Walt Disney’s brightest stars, delighting an entire generation of baby boomers with her jubilant personality and endless talent. Annette was well known for being as beautiful inside as she was on the outside, and she faced her physical challenges with dignity, »
- Carmel Dagan
Annette Funicello, who first gained fame as a 12-year-old Mouseketeer on Disney’s “The Mickey Mouse Club” in the 1950s and then starred opposite Frankie Avalon in a series of musical beach party films of the early 1960s, has died. She was 70.
According to a report by TV newsmag Extra, Funicello was taken off of life support on Monday morning. She’d battled multiple sclerosis since 1987, first going public with the diagnosis in 1992.
In addition to “Beach Party,” “Muscle Beach Party,” “Bikini Beach,” “Beach Blanket Bingo” and “How to Stuff a Wild Bikini” (the last without Avalon), all directed by William Asher, Funicello starred in the related pic “Pajama Party.” She also starred with Avalon and Fabian in action comedy “Fireball 500” and with Fabian in the more dramatic but similarly stock car-filled “Thunder Alley.” All these films were made at American Intl. Pictures.
Despite the word “bikini” in the »
- Carmel Dagan
Annette Funicello, the ultimate Girl Next Door to a generation of Baby Boomers who first fell in love with her on the original 1955-'59 incarnation of The Mickey Mouse Club - died Monday after a long battle with multiple sclerosis. She was 70. Her family told Extra that Funicello passed away from complications of her illness, and they were by her side when she was taken off life support. Funicello had been in an Ms coma for years, Extra reported. With her brunette curls and expressive brown eyes, "Annette," as she was simply known, grew up on the nation's TV screens »
- Stephen M. Silverman
9 items from 2013
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