IN TWEET: ANNETTE FUNICELLO, ONE OF THE ORIGINAL MOUSKETEERS AND STAR OF CAMP CLASSICS LIKE “BEACH BLANKET BINGO,” DIED TODAY AT AGE 70.
America watched Annette Funicello grow up on television as one of the original Mousketeers on the wildly popular MICKEY MOUSE CLUB. Unlike many of her peers, she made a successful transition from child actor to teen icon to box office star. Funicello defined the “beach party” genre that also defined a good chunk of the early to mid 1960’s.
Funicello was a triple threat who could sing, dance and act. Perhaps because of the roles she played in films and on television, she never got the respect she deserved. Still, that’s not what her career was really all about and that’s not a bad thing. Annette Funicello symbolized youth, fun and the free spirit that lives in all of us. She was also a kind and decent person who did more than age gracefully. She made us laugh and smile and, even when battling her own MS, exuded an infectious air of warmth and dignity.
Bob Iger, Chairman and CEO of the Walt Disney Company, said it best today: “Annette was and always will be a cherished member of the Disney family, synonymous with the word Mousketeer, and a true Disney legend. She will forever hold a place in our hearts as one of Walt Disney’s brightest stars, delighting an entire generation of baby boomers with her jubilant personality and endless talent. Annette was well known for being as beautiful inside as she was on the outside, and she faced her physical challenges with dignity, bravery and grace. All of us at Disney join with family, friends, and fans around the world in celebrating her extraordinary life.”
CLICK HERE for a tribute to Annette Funicello from the Los Angeles Times.
Annette Funicello was a fan favorite her entire life, something very few celebrities experience or deserve. She certainly was more than worthy of our adoration. Perhaps the most fitting tribute to Funicello is a celebration of the fun that symbolized her career. So, put on your virtual bikini or board shorts and take a trip BACK TO THE BEACH with the title sequence from one of my favorite guilty pleasures: BEACH BLANKET BINGO.
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