Remembering Annette Funicello

Annette on the Mickey Mouse Club.
Frankie & the beach.
She was so popular that she didn't need a last name. If you mentioned Annette, everybody knew who you were talking about. She was the "girl-next-door" type and the most popular of all the original Mouseketeers, getting as many as 6,000 letters a week! In 1955, Annette was 12 years old. She took singing and dancing lessons to get over her shyness. She was one of the few Mouseketeers chosen personally by Walt Disney, himself. She was also one of the last to be recruited.

After the Mickey Mouse Club, she acted in a few Disney movies. We remember her for her work opposite Frankie Avalon in the Beach Movies of the '60s.

As she approached 40, she opened herself up to a new generation as a spokesperson for Skippy Peanut Butter. She made dozens of commercials for Skippy - often with her own sons. I included an early one from 1981. The woman did more for Skippy (and peanut butter, in general) than anyone!

Shortly after the "Skippy Eva" she was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. She died today from complications of the disease. Thanks Annette. You were special, by just being "you."


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