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Annette Funicello

Legendary Mouseketeer

Dead at 70

4/8/2013 11:55 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
breaking news

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Annette Funicello -- the undisputed queen of the "Mickey Mouse Club" -- has died, according to Disney's official fan club Twitter. She was 70.

Funicello was a triple threat -- Mouseketeer, pop singer and bigscreen star. She was huge in the 60's with movies like "Beach Party," Bikini Beach," and "Beach Blanket Bingo."

According to "Extra," Annette had been hospitalized in Bakersfield due to complications from multiple sclerosis and had been in a coma. 

Funicello disclosed in 1992 that she suffered from multiple sclerosis. She lost the ability to walk in 2004, could no longer speak by 2009 and required round-the-clock care.

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Annette was bigger than Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake and Ryan Gosling combined. She was the fantasy -- largely because of her breasts -- of millions of teenage boys.

Paul Anka -- who dated Annette way back in the day -- tells TMZ, "She was a lovely lady. She was a great star. It's a very very sad ending."

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Frankie Avalon -- who starred with Funicello in a bunch of those 60's beach movies -- tells us, "She was a very courageous gal that fought and fought and fought ... I'm devastated. I loved this gal." Click below to hear the interview.

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Back in 2011, Annette's house caught on fire. She managed to escape without serious injury ... but her neighbors later sued Funicello claiming the blaze caused damage to surrounding homes.

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630 COMMENTS

No Avatar
451.

bev    

This was such a beautiful person inside and out. Never heard a bad word about her. She seemed to keep her private life private. What a wonderful human being. There is a place in God's house for her. RIP Annette

478 days ago
452.

Kimby55    

And the boob comment, that was very classy TMZ. That puts you right up there with the neighbors who sued her because her house caught fire. Heartless and stupid.

478 days ago
453.

frank1946    

I was a little too old for Mickey Mouse..................but not for Annette !

She had Class and Style and of course the Body.

Most of all she had a Great Big Heart.

She won you over, the Perfect Teen Star !

Sorrow and Sadness to Friends and Family.

478 days ago
454.

Majestik    

R.I.P. Annette, you dear soul. You brought great joy to my life and endless hours of entertainment. You didn't deserve to deal with a devastating disease but then again, no one does. You dealt with it with dignity and gave many, many, many people all over the globe something to think about. A child star that did NOT mess up, Annette, you and Shirley Temple Black should've been the inspirations to so many child stars as the progressed into Adulthood. God bless you, CLASSY lady.

478 days ago
455.

Tejana    

Beautiful, talented, nice and friendly. May you rest in peace!! Sorry for your loss!

478 days ago
456.

PVA member    

RIP Annette, you were a first wonder in my life, a love , an Idol, more so than any now that think they should be.

478 days ago
457.

Deborah     

RIP Annette and godspeed to heaven! You are no longer suffering and in any pain. You are in the arms of Jesus now. I always loved your smile and your courage, strength and determination. My prayers to your family.

478 days ago
458.

hammonator62    

If you look up the word "classy" in the dictionary, a picture of Annette should be next to it!!! So glad she is not suffering any more. Heaven just received a beautiful person!!! RIP Annette

478 days ago
459.

merij    

She was really something.

478 days ago
460.

S Dobbs    

Annette was an icon of America for all the years she starred on the MMC and in her movies. A beautiful girl, she grew into as pretty a woman. Having MS in our family, I greatly respect all she went through and the struggle to live each day. I am so sorry to her family and hope they find peace. As for Annette, no doubt she is teaching them a thing or two in Heaven.

478 days ago
461.

Dagney    

I remember being a little kid and just loving her. She was so vivacious! RIP Annette.....

478 days ago
462.

dee    

She used to sing How will I know my love, how will I know my darling, please Mr. Moon up above how will I know my love. Mouseketeer Club

478 days ago
463.

E.A.    

I'm sad to hear that Annette Funicello died!! She was my favorite mouseketter!And I loved all her 60's movies she did w/ Frankie Avalon! I'll miss her alot!

478 days ago
464.

Pam    

RIP Annette U were a Great Lady loved all u have done for us Proud to say u were an awesome lady. To the family sorry for ur loss she was a great lady in my eyes so sad to hear :'(

478 days ago
465.

TIFFANY    

RIP ANNETTE

478 days ago
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