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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
91.

Nancy    

Another end of a era. Rest in Peace Annette. Now you are free to walk run talk. Your no longer a prisoner in your own body!!

561 days ago
92.

Shirley    

Her passing is devastating to those of us that watched her go from a lovely young Mouseketeer to a much loved American teenager and to a woman with a big heart and a lot of love for her family. She truly was the girl next door and a wonderful example of what is good in American youth. Rest in peace Annette.

561 days ago
93.

Hilly13    

What class acts you are!!! The woman was more popular than 3 famous mouseketeers COMBINED. The most modestly dressed of the four AND a TRIPLE threat and you say HER BREASTS made her famous???? Wow!

561 days ago
94.

Gil    

Classless reference to her breasts. A sweet kid.

561 days ago
95.

Ruth    

So sorry! Never a scandal, fun, clean movies & TV shows. May She Rest In Peace!

561 days ago
96.

jimmy    

MIC...see ya real soon! KEY...Y?...because we love YOU!!! thanks for the great entertainment...wdw=jimmy

561 days ago
97.

Michael    

Very sad..... I'm 68 now..... Annette was one of my first loves....

561 days ago
98.

flora68    

Talk about fighting the good fight....

She is already missed and won't be forgotten. Such a kind, sweet, beautiful, gentlewoman. Condolences to her family.

561 days ago
99.

Elaine    

Annette was my favorite Mouseketeer. Grew up watching her on Mickey Mouse Club & her beach movies. So sad she suffered so much. God speed Annette. PS - that TMZ comment was very upsetting and out of place today of all days, no class at all. Who writes and approves these things??

561 days ago
100.

CloBird    

Annette was my favorite Musketeer. RIP.

561 days ago
101.

decentfan    

TMS, what color was her hair? Her eyes? Oh that's right, you didn't notice, since you are "breast obsessed". You're pathetic. Annette was an attractive, talented and friendly personality that appealed to a broad range and many fans of both genders. Entertainment "journalism" has become so degenerate today that everything is about something to do with sex. You need to get some serious help and clean up your act. People are far more valuable than their physical assets, whatever that may be. Thank you, Annette for wholesome entertainment. My condolences to your loved ones.

561 days ago
102.

Mark    

TMZ - class it up. That comment about her breast is no un called for. you should be ashamed.

561 days ago
103.

Luz    

Such an icon of an era, so many wonderful things to say about this woman, and TMZ says she was famous because of her large breasts?? What an improper, disrespectful remark! Sorry, TMZ, but you missed the point!

561 days ago
104.

mike in washington dc    

i actually feel like I lost a friend or family member. As a 3rd grader, growing up in Washington DC, I would rush home and turn on Mickey Mouse Club after school. She was everyone's favorite Mouskateer!My thoughts and prayers to Annette and her family

561 days ago
105.

Ruth    

To Annette --- Rest In Peace!

To TMZ ---- Rot In Hell!

561 days ago
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