BAKERSFIELD, CA (CBS SF/AP) – Annette Funicello, who became a child star as a cute-as-a-button Mouseketeer on “The Mickey Mouse Club” in the 1950s, then teamed up with Frankie Avalon on a string of ’60s fun-in-the-sun movies with names like “Beach Party Bingo” and “Bikini Beach,” died Monday. She was 70.
She died at Mercy Southwest Hospital in Bakersfield of complications from multiple sclerosis, the Walt Disney Co. said.
Funicello stunned fans and friends in 1992 with the announcement about her ailment. Yet she was cheerful and upbeat, grappling with the disease with a courage that contrasted with her lightweight teen image of old.