Disney Mouseketeer Annette Funicello Dies at 70; Fought Multiple Sclerosis (CLIPS)

by Anne Thompson
April 8, 2013 1:40 PM
1 Comment
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Annette Funicello

Oscar®-winning composer Richard Sherman, who, with his late brother Robert, wrote many of Annette's biggest song hits, said:

"Annette's sweet, unassuming spirit, her love of people, and her capacity to exude kindness and good feelings to everyone she met was part of her beautiful charisma. Because the songs we wrote for her brought us to the attention of Walt, Bob and I always referred to Annette as our 'lucky star.’  My wife, Elizabeth, joins me in sending a heartfelt aloha with much love to our 'Pineapple Princess.'"

Funicello went on to parody herself in Bob Rafelson’s 1968 film “Head,” opposite the Monkees. Funicello and Avalon returned to the beach in 1987's “Back to the Beach.” She and Avalon played themselves in “A Dream Is a Wish Your Heart Makes: The Annette Funicello Story,” a 1995 telepic based on her memoir. 

She is survived by her second husband, Glen Holt and three children from her marriage to Jack Gilardi: sons Jack Gilardi Jr., a producer, and Jason Gilardi and daughter Gina Portman, and three grandchildren. In lieu of flowers, donations in Annette’s memory can be made to The Annette Funicello Research Fund.

See Variety's obit here.

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1 Comment

  • Brian | April 10, 2013 10:59 AMReply

    Thank you for this tribute and for including the address for the Research Fund. I will be sending a check.
    Annette was my most significant movie star crush as a boy. I watched BEACH PARTY again on Monday night. I loved that movie as a ten-year-old and still love it. I wrote about her on my blog:

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