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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
496.

Amy    

Classy talented lady..a true star..TMZ on the other hand has no class. Are you really that ignorant to not see beyond her breast size?.Annette,I hope you are dancing to Beach Blanket Bingo in heaven right now. RIP...

500 days ago
497.

Mee    

Nice Classy lady,
RIP

500 days ago
498.

Joan    

Thank you for your article and videos. It's a wonderful tribute to her. Being her age and a fan I am very heart broken to hear of her passing although she did suffer. It's a shame what happened to her. One thing I've learned growing old is to appreciate and love your friends and family while there is time left. Some day there won't be a tomorrow.

500 days ago
499.

Kariann Hart    

Annette was part of our growing up experiences as was the Mickey Mouse Club. She was such a talented young lady. Anyone remember Spin and Marty? Such sad news. RIP dear lady.

500 days ago
500.

Bridget    

My mom has always been such a huge fan of hers. Annette was such a talented woman. She will definitely be missed. Rest in Peace.

500 days ago
501.

Kariann Hart    

Annette was part of our growing up experiences as was the Mickey Mouse Club. She was such a talented young lady. Anyone remember Spin and Marty? Such sad news. RIP dear lady.

500 days ago
502.

Daydriver    

TMZ sucks! Who wrote this damn story? Some punk ass, 25 yr old, high school dropout on your staff I'll bet!

500 days ago
503.

H2OsChild    

She fought a lonely fight for years, so bravely! To all, please accept my sympathy for the loss of such a talented woman. RIP

500 days ago
504.

Kariann Hart    

Annette brought so much enjoyment in my childhood and teen years. Mr. Disney knew talent when he saw it. She was the last one signed but the one that was the break-out star. RIP Annette.

500 days ago
505.

anthony    

They don't make them like that anymore. Will Miley or Lindsey be remembered better?

500 days ago
506.

Kariann Hart    

Annette was part of our growing up experiences as was the Mickey Mouse Club. She was such a talented young lady. Anyone remember Spin and Marty? Such sad news. RIP dear lady.

500 days ago
507.

Art Lynch    

Sad! The first time I saw her on the old MMC, I was in grade school. My first "crush"!! Thanks for sharing your life and talents with us, Annette; in this "kid"'s mind, you'll never be old or gone. You were peerless in your element. Condolences to the family. God bless!

500 days ago
508.

david esmeyer    

they just dont make stars like this beautiful woman was ,she will be sadly missed

500 days ago
509.

jw    

M-I-C...K-E-Y M-O-U-S-E......R.I.P. with condolences and heartfelt thanks......

500 days ago
510.

kathy johnson    

loved annettte, saw how much she went thru at end, so sad, we will miss you, rip

500 days ago
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