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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
106.

ERIC IVES    

my condolences to her family and friends. i used to watch the mickey mouse club all the time and annette was my favorite. what a beautiful lady. RIP, annette, God bless, and thanks for the memories.

541 days ago
107.

Mark    

TMZ you should be ashamed about the breast comment. Show a little respect and class. You have reached a all time low.

RIP - Annette Funicello. :(

541 days ago
108.

BEEF58    

What the heck? She wasn't popular largey because of her breasts, she was flat when she was a mouseketeer.

541 days ago
109.

hendoo19    

I grew up watching Annette on the MMC. I still have her 45 of "How Will I Know My Love," her first hit. She was my first crush! Annette was born in Utica, New York and I just outside of Utica. Our grandmothers worked together at one time and her aunt and uncle lived next door to my in-laws. She was the greatest. I, for one, will never forget her! Rest in peace Annette! I will always love you! <3

541 days ago
110.

bob    

God bless her and may she finally rest in peace. She suffered for such a long time. Much longer than anyone should have to. You were loved by millions and will be missed Anette.

541 days ago
111.

Mary Edmonson    

For all of us who lived the original Mickey Mouse Club back in the 50's, this is a sad day. Annette, the forever Mousketeer, is now pain-free and running with the wind. God bless her family, especially her husband who was so dedicated to her.

541 days ago
112.

King Anton    

RIP Annette

541 days ago
113.

TJ    

What a wonderful contrast to the Kardashian family! They don't make them like Annette anymore! Wholesome!

541 days ago
114.

marsha pitter    

curious...what complications come from MS??

I do know it is a very serious....and complicated disease....and living it with it is PURE HELL...

thanks

541 days ago
115.

Steve Halloran    

A truly great and beatiful woman. A great star. Now she is at peace. i had a friend who died of that horrible desease and believe me, She's better off. Rest in peace, Annette.

541 days ago
116.

Margo    

She was a beautiful woman! Rest in peace nice lady

541 days ago
117.

Laura    

She was beautiful, inside and out. Rest in Peace, Annette.

541 days ago
118.

surfer john    

omg! i new it would happen some day. annette we love you..rest pretty lady....

541 days ago
119.

George    

Miley Cirus should take note of what a classy child star should be like. Annette was a true lady!

541 days ago
120.

jim Kraskouskas     

The heart's of millions of boys born in 1946 are broken today, our first heart throb.

541 days ago
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