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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
121.

jim Kraskouskas     

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

472 days ago
122.

BEEF58    

She wasn't popular largely because of her breasts, since she was flat when she was a mouseketeer. Her popularity was due to her Italiano personality and acting and baby boomer and her Republican-Eisenhower morality.

472 days ago
123.

bhockey47    

She definitely was the greatest Mouseketeer of all time...RIP Annette

472 days ago
124.

Girl from NY    

So sad to hear. She was such a class act! Hey, Harvey, no comment about the death of the Great Women Margaret Thatcher? Why no love?

472 days ago
125.

palermo    

Back in the days when life was more innocent, I miss it. Annette really suffered, I'm glad she is out of her pain. RIP.

472 days ago
126.

Harry Reynolds    

Classy lady. She was the clean cut l next door dream girl. I still remember drooling over her on the Micky Mouse Club. She represented decency on TV and in the movies.

472 days ago
127.

ed baggett    

I was thinking about her over the weekend...it's really sad...RIP Annette

472 days ago
128.

Sylvia    

I watched The Mickey Mouse Club as a child, remember them all well. RIP Mouseketeer!

472 days ago
129.

AD    

She was my child hood sweet heart.. I mourn her passing...I hope her family does well with their grief

472 days ago
130.

Irishpeats    

The woman was in a class of her own.

472 days ago
131.

EUGENE BUTLER    

We all love you Annette,But you gone to a better place.

472 days ago
132.

Jill     

Who wrote this POS? Annette was famous "largely due to the size of her breasts?" Incredibly disrespectful as well as erroneous. She was famous because of her inherent sweetness, her lovely face and for her singing voice. It was about her overall persona. You are a terrible writer,

472 days ago
133.

Jane Dolan    

Annette RIP. You have struggled with these disease for many years. Now you are free.

472 days ago
134.

Margie Becker    

Aw Man my whole day is ruined , I knew it was going to happen but I,m surprised, Their goes my childhood, Sad day at Disneyland, I so sad

472 days ago
135.

Joe V.    

Now, this is a Lady whom other young woman and some of the publicity seeking people like the Kardashans (sp) could take lessons from.

472 days ago
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