Annette Funicello, who was one of the first child stars to emerge out of The Mickey Mouse Club, has died, the official Disney Fan Club reports.
Funicello was known as “America’s Sweetheart.” Her acting career started in 1955 when Walt Disney recruited her at 12 years old. She went on to become a successful film star, starring with Frankie Avalon in the Beach Party films.
Funicello had been battling multiple sclerosis for years. By the end of her life, she was unable to walk or talk. The Canadian broadcaster CTV ran a series of reports about Funicello’s struggle.
• Annette Funicello: http://annetteconnection.com