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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

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Previous 15 Comments | 30 | 31 | 32 | 33 | 34 | 35 | 36
526.

Gregg    

I remember getting home from school in time to watch the MICKEY MOUSE CLUB back in the
1950s. I remember it well. Annette Funicello had
the talent and the true, real beauty to become "America's Sweetheart"~a well deserved title...she earned it through her hard, dedicated work for Disney, then Universal Pictures. There are so many "stars" out there today with minimal or no talent who make the big bucks, but Annette had it all. She could sing, dance, act, AND she had the looks without the need for layers of makeup (lots of names come to mind on that last one!) God Bless You, Annette. You will live on in our fond memories!
PS - Raspberries to TMZ for the "breasts" comment. YOU are a bunch of Neanderthal Pigz!
-gregg in Sarasota, FL

499 days ago
527.

George    

So sad to see that Annette Funicello passed away. She was a beautiful Lady, inside and out.

499 days ago
528.

goddess7240    

Her name was a constant staple in my life growing up from childhood. I admired her for her straight-laced aura. I thought she was beautiful too.

499 days ago
529.

Walt Hutton    

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

499 days ago
530.

Dan     

I, like many others, as saddened to hear of Annette's passing. She lives in my memories as one of the original gang that danced and played across our TV screen when the original Mickey Mouse Club was going. Very sorry for what she had to go through but now her suffering has ended. My condolences to her and the family. RIP Annette and thanks for those special memories.

499 days ago
531.

FriskitokID    

So Disney had gone?

499 days ago
532.

Dan    

You all should really remove the comment about her breasts...it's really not appropriate here!

RIP Annette!

499 days ago
533.

Lil    

I was a huge fan of hers growing up. She was such a beautiful person inside and out unlike all these coke whore tramps today.
Condolences to her family she was so loved and respected and contributed so much in her short time. What a tragedy.

498 days ago
534.

Wehms    

M-I-C......(see ya real soon)....K-E-Y.......(Why? Because we LIKE YOU!!!)....M-O-U-S-E

You'll never be forgotten.........

RIP :o(

498 days ago
535.

Smooth Criminal    

The only Mouseketeer with class...

498 days ago
536.

.    

I remember watching so many Family-oriented Made-for-TV movies with Annette Funicello in them.
`
Wish those days would return to TV.

498 days ago
537.

mistercooldust    

she was the fantasy of teenage boys largely because of her breasts??????? what kind of slime is that for someone who just died after suffering for years with MS. your writer needs an compassionate editor!

496 days ago
538.

Emma    

Annette was a good girl. She was squeeky clean. She was never arrested for anything. She was not conceded. She just did some nice teen flicks, recorded some nifty songs that were popular among teens as well as pre-teens. She will always be an icon of the nifty fifties and early sixties. May you Rest In Peace.

494 days ago
Previous 15 Comments | 30 | 31 | 32 | 33 | 34 | 35 | 36

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