Between 1955 and 1959, Annette Funicello was one, if not the most popular Mouseketeer on “The Mickey Mouse Club.” She was the first teen super star to receive thousands of fan letters each month. She was cast after being discovered at a dance recital. Annette was just 13 years old when she started working with the Walt Disney Company whom she stayed faithful to her entire career. She became a successful singer and sang on 15 albums with 2 hit singles: “Tall Paul” and “Pineapple Princess.”
She appeared in such Disney movies as “Johnny Tremain,” ”The Shaggy Dog,” ”The Horsemasters,” ”Babes in Toyland,” ”The Misadventures of Merlin Jones” and “The Monkey’s Uncle.” In 1963 she was paired with Frankie Avalon in a series of beach party movies establishing a trend among which were: “Muscle Beach Party,” ”Bikini Beach,” ”Beach Blanket Bingo,” ”How to Stuff a Wild Bikini," “Dr. Goldfoot" and the Bikini Machine.” Unfortunately she was diagnosed with MS in 1992 and struggled with the illness since then. She passed away Monday at Mercy Southwest Hospital in Bakersfield, California. She was 70 years old. Annette was a great role model and we will miss her.