One of the original ‘Mouseketeers’ Annette Funicello has passed away today. She was 70.
Annette has been in coma due to complications from multiple sclerosis, a disease she has been battling with since 1992. She lost the ability to walk in 2004, could no longer speak by 2009 and required round-the-clock care.
Aside from being the biggest Mickey Mouse Club member, she was also a pop singer and starred in the 1960s beach classics Beach Party, Muscle Beach Party, and Beach Blanket Bingo.
Frank Avallon, who starred with Annette in the beach classics said concerning her death, ‘She was a very courageous gal that fought and fought and fought … I’m devastated. I loved this gal.’ Paul Anka, who once dated her back in the days, also has a glowing tribute: ‘She was a lovely lady. She was a great star. It’s a very very sad ending.’
Below is a video of her back in 1959:
Rest in peace.
[Images via TMZ]