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" and "Beach Blanket Bingo."
According to "Extra," Annette had been hospitalized in Bakersfield due to complications from multiple sclerosis and had recently fallen into a coma.
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.
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.
I'm glad she isn't suffering anymore. MS scares me.
No jokes here. She seemed like a lovely lady who was dealt a terrible hand in life.
Wow, every celebrity who has been more known for their illness lately is passing away this month!
Roger, Margaret and now Annette!
She was likeable but not a great talent, very bland as an actress/singer.
Very sad to hear, but her pain and suffering are finally over. By all accounts, she seemed like a very sweet woman. RIP
Roger Ebert, Margaret Thatcher, Annette.
That makes 3.
Eh, I think its Thatcher, Annette and whoever is next. Ebert was last week, it feels like too big a gap.
Yep, Ebert was just a few days ago, so that does make 3. They came so quickly and easily though, I wouldn't be a surprised if a 4th one mucks up the "comes in 3s" thing.
Does Lilly Pulitzer count?
I think it is Ebert - Thatcher - Funicello for the Trifecta. They were all larger than life characters, big deaths. And as the poster above pointed out, were well known later in life for their illnesses.
Well I just checked, and Ebert was 4 days ago. That's usually close enough, but it's a bit borderline.
Ebert doesn't count because his "mourning period" does not overlap with Thatcher/Annette. I think that should be the criteria: if the attention your death gets is in competition with someone else.
Is Arpad Miklos within the window of the quadfecta?
Pulitzer and Thatcher
Sad, but like someone else said her life had become pretty sad too. I hope she's at peace.
Has there been a movie or TV version of her life yet ? Seems like one that should be made. Something about the 'innocence' of her 'child star' days and some of the stuff that happened to her as an adult (raped, I believe, plus the MS diagnosis, etc). Oscar bait for someone I'm sure ........
Wiat ... maybe it was Connie Francis who was raped .... I might have them mixed up......
Still a pretty interesting life, but yes .... a TV movie (starring Eva LaRue) has already been made.
Yeah, Connie was raped, not Annette.
If she hadn't been under contract to Disney (all her BEACH PARTY movies were made on loan-out) one wonders what films she might have made - BYE, BYE BIRDIE maybe?
You bitches need to be more specific in your subject lines. Can you imagine what a letdown it was when I opened this thread?
Now it's time
to say, 'Goodbye'
to all our company
MIC - See ya real soon!
KEY - Why? Because we like you!
RIP to a beautiful lady who deserved better from life.
The Disney contract doesn't explain why her career limped along in the 70s, subsisting on guest appearances on dreck like Love American Style, Fantasy Island and Love Boat. Let's not try to pretend she was more than a lucky flash in the pan. As the OP linked article points out, she was the MM Club breakout star largely because she filled out early and had the biggest knockers in the club.
[quote]She was the fantasy -- largely because of her breasts -- of millions of teenage boys.
Best obituary ever!
Lenny Bruce referred to her as "The Mouseketeer with tits".
Annette LOVED that!
R20 is quite right. Connie Francis gave a new poignancy to "Where the boys are, someone waits for me...."
R24 she took off an extended period of time to be a full mom.
Damn! Don't do that to me, OP.
I kept telling you bitches to put me on your death race list but no, you wouldn't listen! Ha! fooled ya. Now it's time to say goodbye to all our family..........
I know she wasn't the most amazing singer and she never seemed particularly driven, but Annette always seemed like such a fun gal to be around. And she had the best album covers ever!
[quote]she was the MM Club breakout star largely because she filled out early and had the biggest knockers in the club
Another example of sexism at work. Mouseketeer Lonnie Burr was hung far, far better than Bobby Burgess, but what did it get him? A one-way ticket to Palookaville.
[quote]The Disney contract doesn't explain why her career limped along in the 70s, subsisting on guest appearances on dreck like Love American Style, Fantasy Island and Love Boat. Let's not try to pretend she was more than a lucky flash in the pan. As the OP linked article points out, she was the MM Club breakout star largely because she filled out early and had the biggest knockers in the club.
She raised a family. She wasn't obsessed with her career. No reason to shit on a lovely lady who was loved by millions. She also gave a face to a very horrible disease. You must be a very sad person. Just because it's Datalounge doesn't mean every post has to be snarky.
Will Nikki Newman pick up Annette's torch and be the new face of MS?
The last part of her life was so sad, but no one deserves to die in Bakersfield.
Annette always said - "When I get married and have children - they will always come first."
And she meant it. She would do the TV guest spots and the commercials, and did one last movie BACK TO THE BEACH and a 35-city tour....but her children were nearly grown by then.
Her life was so low-key and out of the spotlight, many people didn't even know she had been divorced and remarried when she went public with her MS diagnosis and wrote her book.
She also had a great sense of humor about herself and didn't think that she had had a GREAT career. She always called herself lucky and gave a lot of credit to the people she worked with.
In the 1970's when she was out and people would be shocked that she was a smoker, Annette would say: I also have three children, so guess what else I do!
Nice lady - tough breaks - and the only person with a mean thing to say about her was Ruth Lyons....a old bag who had a television show in Ohio... Annette said to no one in particular when she was booked on Ruth's show to publicize a movie, the name of which Ruth didn't even bother to learn. Annette didn't get why she was on tv with this old woman who didn't even know who she was... Ruth called Walt and was furious with him and read him the riot act about his "ungrateful star"....
Lisa Whelchel posted the following on her Twitter:
[quote] R. I. P. to fellow Mouseketeer, Annette Funicello. She was always so sweet to us little mice. :)
RIP Annette. I also remember that TV movie about her life. Eva LaRue was pretty decent in that role.
You have to give Disney credit for insisting she keep her mellifluous Italian name instead of changing it to a more "American" (i.e. WASP) one, insisting that her name was actually an asset because it was so unique that no one who heard it would ever be able to forget it.
I'm not sure he would have said that if she were named Annette Goldfarb.
Aside from Joe DiMaggio, there weren't all that many Italian-American "stars" of pop culture who kept their names in the '50s and '60s, Her heritage made her a big hit with all my Italian cousins. That and her boobs. :)
She did have a bit of a nose-job pre-Beach Party. IMHO, she didn't need it.
She was really charming in the Beach Party movies. My favorite was Beach Blanket Bingo, which also featured Linda Evans, Michael Nader (pre-Dex Dexter Dynasty!), Don Rickles and Paul Lynde.
Not to forget series regular Jody McCrea, bone-headed but appealing son of dreamy Joel McCrea.
They don't make 'em like that anymore!
Beach blanket bingo
Beach blanket bingo
Beach blanket bingo
That's the name of the game!
Loved 'Tall Paul', 'Pineapple Princess' and 'First Name Initial'. Annette deserves so much more introspection and adoration than Thatcher.
I'm surprised no one's mentioned the *completely* heart-breaking news piece on her that someone posted here a few months back. MS had shriveled her literally to the point where she could no longer move or speak in any way. I can't imagine the suffering she had to have been going through, and although I hate to say it, it's probably better that she passed.
I think Annette could have had a career a la Natalie Wood if she wasn't confined to doing so many Beach movies in the sixties. She was quite the sex symbol.
Did she have ownership in Disney? I thought I read that she was given 1 percent ownership out of gratitude. She was Disney's biggest star at one point.
"Beach Blanket Bango"
Rene Bond plays the Annette role.
[quote]Did she have ownership in Disney?
No, you're thinking of Kyle Richards.
While her talent may have been limited, she had unquestionable charisma. For those of old enough (55+ I guess) to remember her in the original Mickey Mouse Club, she was the standout and our very first imaginary girlfriend.
It wasn't only her boobs because she was popular a couple of years before they appeared. I think it was her dark ethnic looks which were rarely seen in teenage girls in 1950s TV.
It seems to me, however, that Disney's interest in her was limited. While he prominently featured her on afternoon TV programming, I don't think she ever appeared in any of his 1950s/60s family feature films, in which she could have easily been cast alongside Tommy Kirk, Tim Considine and Moochie Whatshisname, who all transitioned successfully to the big screen from the Mickey Mouse Club shenanigans.
Actually the three will be Thatcher and Annette and I make my one wish in life and that its Scalia.
R52 What did Jack Scalia ever do to you?
She was in the Spin and Marty series, R51, as well as The Shaggy Dog, Zorro, and other Disney properties.
[quote] I don't think she ever appeared in any of his 1950s/60s family feature films, in which she could have easily been cast alongside Tommy Kirk, Tim Considine and Moochie Whatshisname, who all transitioned successfully to the big screen from the Mickey Mouse Club shenanigans.
She was in BABES IN TOYLAND, and THE MISADVENTURES OF MERLIN JONES, as well as THE SHAGGY DOG.
Ack! My apologies, I forgot she was in Babes in Toyland and don't remember her in The Shaggy Dog.
But Spin & Marty and Zorro were on TV, not feature films. And sorry, I've never heard of The Misadventures of Merlin Jones.
[quote] And sorry, I've never heard of The Misadventures of Merlin Jones.
Annette and her co-star from BABES IN TOYLAND, Tommy Sands perform the title number in THE PARENT TRAP. Annette also sang "Let's Get Together" (which Hayley Mills later sings in a duet with herself.) Annette's version is heard on the record player during the dance scene at Camp Inch.
R81, I loved that one too.
It's true, she wasn't a standout talent. None of the original Mouseketeers were. But she was pretty and nice, and more mature than the others. Her popularity was already established before the breasts came along, and all of that was perfect timing for first wave of the baby boomers. I don't know how many of you remember, but her breasts were a real phenomenon. We didn't know ANYTHING about them before Annette, well, except for Marilyn.
[quote]Her popularity was already established before the breasts came along, and all of that was perfect timing for first wave of the baby boomers. I don't know how many of you remember, but her breasts were a real phenomenon. We didn't know ANYTHING about them before Annette, well, except for Marilyn.
Some of us had mothers, aunts, grandmothers and sisters and other women in our lives who had breasts, so they may not have seemed quite as phenomenal to us.
Its Sara or Sarita Montiel who is number 3 - she was in Hollywood movies in the 50s and remained a big star in Spain, like a more flamboyant Jane Russell. Almodovar paid tribute to her in his Bad Education, with the drag queen Zahara.
Sarita was in Serenade with Mario Lanza in '56 (its director Anthony Mann was one of her 4 husbands), she was also in a western Run of the Arrow, and Vera Cruz, where no doubt Burt and Gary Cooper admired her assets ....
She was 85. I trust Gina Lollobrigida, also 85, is feeling ok.
R78 beat me to it. I love how her Disney films always just credited her as "Annette," à la Cher.
They just showed Frankie Avalon talking about Annette. Wow, he doesn't look so good. Very puffy face (not fat but more like steroids) and an eye that appears not to blink. Is he sick?
Paul Anka was interviewed today on Leonard Lopate's show but I imagine it was taped at least a few dayas ago. He has a memoir coming out. I couldn't listen to the entire thing....did Annette's name come up?
MeTV is doing a tribute to Annette by showing four of her "Danny Thomas" episodes this Sunday at 1:00 PM.
She used "Annette" for her recording career and mostly used her full name Annette Funicello for her acting, though she is credited as Annette in "The Monkey's Uncle."
You might notice, too, that around 1958 her billing for most products was "Walt Disney's Annette." Unless she was working for him, she couldn't even use her own name...it belonged to Disney.
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