Annette Funicello (1942-2013)

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Annette Funicello (1942-2013)

Annette Joanne Funicello

"I never will forget... Annette Funicello.
Just to think of her, it gives my heart a pang...."

(With apologies to Gus Kahn and Judy Garland.)

Actually, Funicello, who passed away yesterday fol­lowing a 26-year battle with multiple sclerosis, wasn't even my favorite Mouseketeer... that honor fell to Doreen Tracey more for her later exploits than her years with the ears... but her ethnic looks never appealed to me.

But the original Mickey Mouse Club member was so famous that just saying the name "Annette" and everyone knew it wasn't O'Toole or Bening being referenced.

With the blessing of Walt Disney himself (and the proviso that she not appear in a bikini), Funicello was loaned out to schlock studio American International Pictures for a series of genre films which came to be known as "beach party" flicks in which she was commonly paired with teen' 'throb Frankie Avalon.

Still, Annette Funicello is not only an original Mouseketeer, but an original all by herself... with all due respect to the late Sandra Dee.

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