Monday, April 8, 2013
Annette Funicello dies
Some truely sad news to report today. Former child star Annette Funicello has died at the age of 70.
The actress, who is best remembered for her time as a Mouseketeer on The Mickey Mouse Club from 1955 to 1957, died from complications related to multiple sclerosis, which she was diagnosed with more than 20 years ago.
Funicello first lost the ability to walk in 2004, and later lost the ability to speak in 2009. Family members say that they were by her side when she was taken off life support, after being in a MS coma for years.
The former actress was the original Disney star, getting her start as a Mouseketeer and staring in Disney films including, The Shaggy Dog and Babes in Toyland, before transitioning into a teen idol. In the early 1960s Funicello starred in a series of Beach Party movies co-starring Frankie Avalon, that included Beach Party, Muscle Beach Party, Pajama Beach Party, Beach Blanket Bing and How to Stuff a Wild Bikini.
Funicello was married to her first husband, Jack Gilardi, from 1965 to 1981, with whom she had three children. In 1986, she married horse breeder/trainer Glen Holt, who took care of her until the very end.