Thunder Alley
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3 items from 2013


Annette Funicello obituary

10 April 2013 2:18 AM, PDT | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Mickey Mouse Club favourite who appeared with Frankie Avalon in 60s Beach Party musicals

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

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Annette Funicello Dies at 70

8 April 2013 10:14 AM, PDT | Variety - TV News | See recent Variety - TV News news »

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

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Annette Funicello dies at 70

8 April 2013 10:14 AM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

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

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3 items from 2013


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