[UPDATED with More Pic and Tweet Tributes:] Annette Funicello R.I.P.: Photos and Videos of the Best-Known Mouseketeer at Disneyland

Categories: Dishney, Film, TV
See the update at the end of page 3 about a local blogger's pictorial tribute to Annette and funnymen busting out tweets.

ORIGINAL POST, APRIL 8, 1:51 P.M.: Annette Funicello today "died peacefully from complications due to multiple sclerosis, a disease she battled for over 25 years," according to a statement from Disney. She was 70. Her rise to national prominence, which began with TV's The Mickey Mouse Club in the 1950s and continued with her Beach Blanket Bingo movies with Frankie Avalon in the 1960s, coincided with the opening of Anaheim's Disneyland, which is where she made one of her last public appearances.

Let's look back at the visits to the park over the years by the girl/woman described as "America's Sweetheart," the best-known Mouseketeer and Walt Disney's muse.

In 1961, she joins some fellows on Main Street USA to promote Win a Date With Annette, a Disney-proposed TV show. The park's grand opening was six years before:

In 1962, Funicello appeared with the Golden Horseshoe Revue:

A "Disneyland After Dark" segment featuring Funicello was part of the April 15, 1962, TV broadcast of Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color. Here's a promo card:

disneyland-after-dark-promo-card_Walt-Disneys- Wonderful-World-of -Color_ 4-15-62.jpg

Sponsor Content

My Voice Nation Help

Hey Matt, thanks for plugging my blog post "REMEMBERING ANNETTE." 

As with your readers' comments - I've received several messages from men stating similar sentiments regarding teenage Annettes' 'nubility,' i.e.:

"My first memory [of Annette] was one of puppy love, total infatuation, and bewilderment.  It was a first encounter with such insanity." 

Another friend wrote, "SHE WAS MY FIRST CRUSH!" [yes, in all caps] 

Another, "I am one day older than her.  She was always special to me and part of the reason I am living the California lifestyle . . thank you!" 

And another, "I still dislike Paul Anka for stealing her from me!" 

Apparently I owe Greg Topper a big 'thank you.'   Greg and I have shared a love affair (not with each other . . I've repeatedly spurned his advances!) with early rock & roll ever since we met years ago at The Village Inn.  He's always been a great friend & encouragement to me.

Thanks again, Matt



Mitchell_Young topcommenter

"Princess Sophia of Greece--and a chaperone:"

That's the future queen of Spain -- and Eleanor Roosevelt (I think).

Steve Lanzi
Steve Lanzi

Wow, first the fine piece by Gustavo re the Warren family and now this. Don't tell me OCW is finally turning into a RESPECTABLE publication... ;-)

MatthewTCoker topcommenter

@Steve Lanzi They're painting in our building; must be the fumes.

Mitchell_Young topcommenter

@MatthewTCoker @Mitchell_Young  Oh, should have been clearer.   I wasn't correcting you -- and you're right,  she would have been Princess Sophia  at that point. Just adding a bit of Hispanophile info. 

And I was joking about Eleanor Roosevelt. 

n2bigmuscle topcommenter

I think your AQMD story had more info then LATimes.

Now Trending

Anaheim Concert Tickets

From the Vault