Legendary Mouseketeer Annette Funicello Has Died - FOX 10 News | myfoxphoenix.com

Legendary Mouseketeer Annette Funicello Has Died

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AP image Frankie Avalon & Annette Funicello AP image Frankie Avalon & Annette Funicello

Beloved Mouseketeer and iconic teen star Annette Funicello has died.

According to the official Disney Fan Club Twitter account, the long-time Disney and beach party star passed away at Mercy Southwest Hospital in California.

She was 70-years-old.

Funicello was the consummate girl next door known to millions of fans as Annette.

She was thrust into the national spotlight in 1955 as the founding member of the decades' most popular clique, "The Mickey Mouse Club."

Her success was immediate and overwhelming. And during the very first week, Funicello received a lions' share of both camera time and fan mail.

Following her tenure as a Mouseketeer, Funicello appeared as a regular on such landmark television series such as "The Danny Thomas Show" and "Zorro." And she played the girl next door in Disney's "The Shaggy Dog."

In the 60s, a whole different Funicello and teen idol Frankie Avalon showed America how to strut the wild bikini six times, including the 1987 revival mix "Back to the Beach."

While Annette and Frankie became the rage on the wave the beach blanket film became all too familiar.

"I got to the point and she got to the point where I would say to her, 'Didn't we say that in the last picture?'" Avalon said. "She would say, 'Did we say that in the last picture?"

After the tide went out for beach films, Funicello kept working in film and television, best known to the younger generation as the pitch mom for Skippy Peanut Butter.

Funicello's storybook life took a serious turn in 1992, when she disclosed that she had been battling with Multiple Sclerosis.

"Every facet of my life being associated with Annette Funicello is nothing but a thousand, a million percent of joy," Avalon said.

Fox News correspondent Molly Line takes a look at this legendary Disney Mouseketeer's career in the video report above.

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