Rest in peace sweetheart. We all love you and will miss you.
Annette Funicello, one of the best-known members of the original 1950s "Mickey Mouse Club" and a star of numerous 1960s "beach party" films, died Monday at a California hospital, the Walt Disney Co. said.
Funicello, who was 70, "died peacefully from complications due to multiple sclerosis, a disease she battled for over 25 years," the Disney statement said."We are so sorry to lose Mother," her three children said in a statement. "She is no longer suffering anymore and is now dancing in heaven. We love and will miss her terribly."
Funicello was just 13 when she was selected by Walt Disney himself to be one of the original Mouseketeers of the "Mickey Mouse Club," the 1950s television variety show aimed at children.Funicello, who had a background in dance, quickly became one of the most popular Mouseketeers.She "was and always will be a cherished member of the Disney family, synonymous with the word Mouseketeer, and a true Disney Legend," Disney chairman and CEO Bob Iger said.She remained with Disney after leaving the "Mickey Mouse Club," appearing in TV shows including "Zorro" (1957), "The Nine Lives of Elfego Baca" (1958) and starring in the Disney feature films "The Shaggy Dog" (1959), "Babes in Toyland" (1961), "The Misadventures of Merlin Jones" (1964) and "The Monkey's Uncle" (1965).