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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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630 COMMENTS

No Avatar
76.

bbwlover1969    

Really?!?? She was only popular because of her breasts?!?! Shame on you TMZ. Do not compare this talented woman to the Kim K's you usually report on.

461 days ago
77.

Jake    

RIP Annette! I am one of countless young men who fell in love with you while watching MMC. Thank you for being one of the happy memories in my life.

461 days ago
78.

Dennis    

May choirs of angels sing you to your rest!

461 days ago
79.

rockytony    

An adorable, charming and courageous lady who gave many, many people a great deal of pleasure and happiness. Though her achievements are measure quite differently than another great lady who died to Ms Thatcher, they both had class, dignity and an ability to please people. May she rest in peace!

461 days ago
80.

Suz    

RIP. Always full of class, grace, and dignity--unlike the spoiled pop princesses of today.

461 days ago
81.

WTF    

Everybody loved Annette in the Mouseketeers and the movies she was in. I know I did.

461 days ago
82.

Tammy DOWNING    

rest in peace

461 days ago
83.

Pat V    

So sorry to hear of Annette Funicello's passing. Lovely lady throughout her career and illness.

I find it very tacky of TMZ to make reference to her breasts at this sad moment.

461 days ago
84.

August    

It's AMAZING how far a little girl could go taking a ride on the WALT DISNEY CASTING COUCH!

461 days ago
85.

Luz    

I go to Hulu and watch Beach Party and Beach Blanket Bingo and others. So entertaining! Annette always carried her fame and her profession with respect for herself. To never saw her name involved in scandals or ugly controversy. A classy lady and professional! My condolences to her family and friends. I so sorry for their loss! May she rest in peace.

461 days ago
86.

teddy Galea    

Annett, you are now with the Risen Lord.

461 days ago
87.

teddy Galea    

Good night Annett, you are now with the Risen Lord.

461 days ago
88.

Tammy DOWNING    

REST IN PEACE

461 days ago
89.

Anne    

I have her name. Momn loved it and her....

461 days ago
90.

Ronald    

Almost every boy in America loved her.

461 days ago
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