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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
46.

Kelly    

There must be a lot of ex-alcoholics on here. Who cares if they mention her boobs? What's written is true. Will we have to censor Dolly's obit so as not to mention boobs? Also, if you survive a fire do you not escape, even if you're carried out like a bag?

533 days ago
47.

tremers    

RIP

533 days ago
48.

JERRY BUNER    

DISNEYS ORIGINAL SWEETHEART! RIP

533 days ago
49.

LeeInOceanside    

She was my first love......at age 4.

533 days ago
50.

Bear King of the Dead Thread Heads (and he means it)    

Rest In Peace Annette......

533 days ago
51.

myopinion    

I remember her in the Beach Party movies I loved watching those movies as a kid! may she rest in peace!

533 days ago
52.

Jimmy    

The Icon of the Baby Boomer Generation has left us. Annette was everything good for those who experienced her radiance. Hopefully, her suffering is now over and she brings new joy to all the Angels in Heaven. Thank you, Annette, from the bottom of my heart. REST IN PEACE, dear Mousketeer.

533 days ago
53.

pattycake    

So sad

533 days ago
54.

Proud2bBlack    

R.I.P. Annette the most beautiful girl on t.v. I use to always wish she was my best friend as a little girl. Such a sweet person. Loved you on Mickey Mouse Club

533 days ago
55.

Dink    

Annette was popular but not for her breasts alone. She was cute and sweet and that's why the guys dug her! R.I.P. Annette.

533 days ago
56.

Elizabeth    

Very surprised to hear of Annette's passing. She was a great lady and brought much happiness to the world with her television career and her personality.'

533 days ago
57.

TJ    

Used to rush home from school to watch MICKEY MOUSE CLUB, everyday. Annette was always the prettiest, sweet one. Who would have thought she would get MS? Shows you never know what life is going to hand you. SAD news for all. Appreciate today,because tomorrow is uncertain.

533 days ago
58.

Blonde Ambition    

She's free of her earthly misery now ... Annette could rock a swimsuit better than so many chicas today. My Ma & I adored her through the decades. RIP, you Pineapple Princess!

533 days ago
59.

Herb    

There goes my dream girl.

533 days ago
60.

Denver    

Most if not all of the TMZ staff being born after the original Mickey Mouse club and the beach movies, they have NO IDEA about Annette's career. So, of couse they had to include a crass line about her endowments. Pathetic. She was a favorite of Walt Disney, a talented singer and the beach movies were dumb but fun. Having personal experience with MS, her last years were painful and difficult for her and her family. Try writing a story about a cherished entertainer without gutter humor next time. RIP Annette...

533 days ago
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