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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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629 COMMENTS

No Avatar
481.

Kimberly    

Gracious lady, in the Truest sense of Both those words.

506 days ago
482.

madkono    

rest in peace, beautiful lady!!!

506 days ago
483.

tleeg    

This is sad....she seemed like a sweet lady. I love that movie she did in the mid 80s called "back to the beach"

506 days ago
484.

Dee    

RIP. She definitely fought the disease and may she now rest.

506 days ago
485.

Just me    

MS is an awful disease. She found out before they had medication that helps it. This is how Mitt Romey's wife don't get worse. Only thing the average person can't afford the daily shots. This disease is hitting more and more people through the years. May her soul be please. She was one of the best actresses and really great person off set. I hope they find a cure for this. I did notice many of my patients that had MS also had celiac

506 days ago
486.

Pat    

How sad to lose one of my generation's very best. OMG a real star who could sing, dance, act and was a true beauty. One who depended on her natural talent and natural beauty to achieve success and who didn't need to show her naked boobs, appear in Playboy, marry 20 times or act like the no talent sluts that call themselves stars today.

506 days ago
487.

Goose    

All was good until they had to mention about her breasts. That was really low and in bad taste. What kind of journalism is that?

506 days ago
488.

John    

Let's not be sad for Annette she is in a better place free from the hell her body had put her in. Pray for her family and friends who are sad. I pray to you the God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob, grant peace to the family and friends of Annette,
Got fin avrum in fin yitskhok in fin yankev, bahit dayn libe folk yisruel fin ale bayzn in daynem loyb az di libe shabes koydesh gayt avek. az di vokh in di khoydesh, in di yor zol inz tsi kimen tsi emine shlayme, tsi emines khakhomim, tsi ahaves khavayrim. tsi dvaykes haboyre burikh hi, ma'amin tsi zayn bishloys esre ikrim shelokh ivigilo shlayme vekroyve bimhayre veyumayni. Iviskhiyas hamaysim. Ivinvies moyshe rabayni olov hashulem.
Riboyne shel oylem! di bist dokh dem noysayn layo'eyf koyekh. Gib dayne libe yidishe kinderlakh oykh koyekh dikh tsi loybn. In nor dikh tsi dinen in kayn andern kholile nisht. In az di vokh in der khoydesh in der yor zol inz kimen tsi gezint in tsi mazl in tsi brukhe vehatslukhe. In tsi kheysed in tsi bonay khayhe arikhay imzoyne revikhay vesiyato dishmayo luni ilkhol yisroayl vene'emar, Umayn.

506 days ago
489.

John    

Let's not be sad for Annette she is in a better place free from the hell her body had put her in. Pray for her family and friends who are sad. I pray to you the God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob, grant peace to the family and friends of Annette,

506 days ago
490.

Carol     

She has struggled for a long time with her health. My prayers are with her family. She w as an inspiration. Lovely lady and I watched her weekly on the Mickey Mouse Club as a child.

506 days ago
491.

Bob    

May she rest in peace and how could her neighbors sue a sick woman who was suffering from the worst of our diseases that can't be cured. I hope the people around her were kind to her and treated her with respect to the end.

506 days ago
492.

lana graham    

It is so sad to see this type of end to a human being. My daughter has MS and is really struggling. That is so painful to watch her. The Lord is with her each day and will carry her trhough, as I hope he did with Annette. She will be truely missed. Lana Graham

506 days ago
493.

LK    

RIP

506 days ago
494.

LindaMo    

I grew up watching The Original Mickey Mouse Club in the 50s and Annette and many of the other Mouseketeers will forever live on in my memory and that of many others. I also followed her music and also the beach movies as well. Loved Frankie and her falling in love in the movies. She will be greatly missed.

506 days ago
495.

Pup    

Annette Finally You are out of Pain ! Rest in Peace Annette you are and always will be such a classy lady!! Enjoy heaven thats were I know you are!!! and welcomed with Open arms!

506 days ago
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