October 22, 1942 – April 8, 2013
Annette Funicello was an American child actress who parlayed her popularity as one of the Mouseketeers on the original Mickey Mouse Club into a lifelong career in film, television and pop music. Trained in dance and music at an early age, Funicello was discovered by Walt Disney when she was 12 years old. She was one of a very few to have been selected by Disney himself. After the first show’s first season, she reportedly received over 6000 pieces of fan mail per month. After graduating from Disney, Funicello became a teen idol, starring with Frankie Avalon in popular beach movies like Beach Blanket Bingo, Beach Party, How To Stuff A Wild Bikini, and Muscle Beach Party. Throughout her career, she scored charting hits with “Tall Paul” (#7), “Pineapple Princess” (#11), “First Name Initial” (#20), and many more. In 1987, Funicello and Avalon reunited for Back To The Beach, a parody of their earlier beach movies. They also toured the U.S. singing their hits. In 1992, she revealed that she was suffering from Multiple Sclerosis to discount rumors that she was battling alcoholism. Annette Funicello ultimately died as a result of MS on April 8, 2013. She was 70.
Thanks to Harold Lepidus at Bob Dylan Examiner for the assist.
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