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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
511.

Michael    

Annette was so enormously huge in the entertainment world that SNOOPY cried when she got married. Always classy. Bless you, Annette.

571 days ago
512.

MARIE LEPORE    

Britney Spears, you are a disgrace for what you said about Annette. Remember, what comes around, goes around.

571 days ago
513.

-Dave    

Annette was not loved by millions of guys because of her breasts as the "TMZ" (whatever that is) airtical implies. She was adored by millions of guys because she was a very sweet, beautiful and talented person. Millions of adult men, including myself, who grew up with Annette are very sad today.

571 days ago
514.

Marie    

RIP Annette! You will surely be missed. My daughter was named after you because of your popularity. She was so sad and wept as if she met her in the past. I met Annette's parent in Palm Springs, as they are friends of our musical family that lives there. May God give her the rest and keep well in Heaven. Condolences to her family.

571 days ago
515.

Larry B    

I was part of the Anette, Frankie Avalon, Fabian, Brenda Lee. Freddie Cannin, Bobby Rydell,
Justine & Bob, American Bandstand genertation.
I am a Catholic who is convinced that our lives are
Hell.
Death, sleep, and peace are the true heaven, and that is whee the long suffering Annette Funicello is.

571 days ago
516.

madkono    

rest in peace, beautiful lady!!!

571 days ago
517.

RHamil1066    

"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." - You didn't have to be a teenager yet - when I was in 5th or 6th grade, she came to my school with Jimmy and Roy (I think it was them - didn't really care about them, anyway). We talked about it and her forever. RIP

571 days ago
518.

maryanndambrogio    

we will miss the most amazing woman of the 20th century and she was a beautiful person,beautiful personality always smiling,she loved her kids,grandkids, and most of all she loved all her fans for many generations... R.I.P.annette and no more pain,no more suffering... now you can rest in peace forever more....Amen!!!! bella !!!!

571 days ago
519.

RealAsTheyCome!    

She aged very well! She looked like she was in her mid 40s! Amazing! RIP LOVELY LADY!!

571 days ago
520.

R O C K Y     

She will be missed greatly by many people. a star in hr own time and a great personality. Rest In Peace.

571 days ago
521.

Pat    

Donate a jar of Skippy to your local food kitchen or any other item. She was a spokesperson for Skippy for years.

571 days ago
522.

Bruce Wayne    

Annette Funicello was a Musketeer on the Mickey Mouse Club, and I had 4 year old's "crush" on her long before she hit puberty. If she had large breasts, I never noticed. Later, I was a gate guard at the exclusive community she lived in with her husband & children, and the entire family is genuinely descent & wonderful Annette was a completely successful female television, music, & movie star, woman, & mother from start to finish.
She is a wonderful role model for us all.
Even as a 59 year old, I will miss her.

571 days ago
523.

Pat    

MIC - C you real soon. KEY - Y - Y because we like you. MOUSE

571 days ago
524.

reem    

PRIMO Magazine featured her in the third edition of 2011. www.primomagazine.com.

571 days ago
525.

Walt Hutton    

Now it's time to say goodbye ....

571 days ago
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