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Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Annette Funicello dies at 70; Mouseketeer and 'beach' movie star

If you were a girl in the 1950s, Annette Funicello would be your ideal best friend. If you were a boy, she might be your dream date.

She was one of Walt Disney's original 24 Mouseketeers. She also starred in many beach movies in the 1960s.

She was discovered at 12 years old by Walt Disney in 1955 when he saw her perform the lead role in "Swan Lake" at a recital at the Starlight Bowl in Burbank. She was cast her on "The Mickey Mouse Club," the children's variety show that debuted on ABC television in October 1955 and quickly became a daily late-afternoon ritual for millions of young Americans.

Fan magazines chronicled her romance with fellow teen idol Paul Anka, who, Funicello later said, he composed "Put Your Head on My Shoulder" and other songs on the piano in the Funicello family's living room in Encino.

She died Monday from complications of multiple sclerosis at Mercy Southwest Hospital in Bakersfield. 

Annette Funicello & Frankie Avalon of those famous 1960s beach movies

Click HERE to read an article by Los Angeles Times journalists Dennis McLellan & Elaine Woo.

1 comment:

donnie said...

I had SUCH a crush on Annette back in the day. My Dad worked for Disney--in publicity--and was assigned to drive Annette to a personal appearance (a Pop Warner football game, I think) down in Anaheim one day. I must have been 8 years old? He asked me if I'd like to come along.

I sat in the back seat of the Buick with her. I don't think I spoke the entire way! What a thrill...