- Entertainment and Media
Whatever Happened To Annette Funicello
America's sweetheart of the late 50's and 60's Annette Funicello was born October 22,1942 in Utica, New York. She was the all-time favorite on the hit TV show 'The Mickey Mouse Club which first aired in 1955. The only original mouseketeer selected by Walt Disney himself, Annette went on to act in many beach party movies also starring Frankie Avalon she also starred in the famous Skippy Peanut Butter commercials. The Disney studio received so much fan mail about the song, " How will you know my love" that Walt Disney decided to have her record the single 45 with a little bit of uneasiness gave her a recording contract.
Annette Funicello was very shy and although she went on to record more hit singles such as Tall Paul, Pineapple Princess and Train of Love amongst others she felt uncomfortable being known as a singer. Annette credited her record producer Tutti Camarata for double tracking her vocals making it match as closely to her original sound a possible creating " The Annette Sound," this would produce a more fuller sound then her voice would normally produce.
Annette Funicello was married from 1965-1981 to husband Jack Gilardi in the years they were together they had 3 children, the marriage ended up in Divorce and in 1986 she married Glen Holt, shortly after there marriage Annette kept claiming of dizzy spells while he and Frankie Avalon where promoting there film "Back To The Beach." She kept these issue quite and away from her family, in 1992 she had been diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis which is a debilitating disease which your body's immune system eats away at the protective sheathe that covers your nerves. She felt it was necessary to go public due to tabloids and rumors stating that the reason should could not walk was due to alcoholism which was clearly not true. In that same year she had been inducted as a Disney Legend and in 1993 she opened the Annette Funicello Fund for Neurological Disorders at the California Community Foundation to assist others who had debilitating diseases. Her autobiography was published in 1994 titled "A Dream is A Wish Your Heart Makes: The Annette Funicello Story." It is a wonderfully written autobiography which gives glimpses into her life from a young age through adulthood. Annette continued on to create her own line of teddy bears which were produced from 1994-2004 called Annette Funicello Collectible Bear Company and a perfume called "Cello." by Annette.
Virginia Funicello past away on September 2,2007 a month after her 86th birthday due to pneumonia and her father Joe Funicello recently past away on May 21,2009 of natural causes.
Annette although beating the odds with having multiple sclerosis is a very private woman who is love still today by millions who watch the re-runs on you-tube of the Mickey Mouse club or anticipate the beach movies when they are ran on satellite or cable. Many grew up with her, while others learned of her through family and friends. She was a America's sweetheart with a wholesome image, character and grace. Honored to write about her, so you ask yourself again , " Whatever happened to Annette? She is alive, well and working with others that battle diseases, all of us hope that there is a cure found for this debilitating disease.
copyright © 2010
Annette Funicello Episode Seven Mickey Mouse Club
Annette Funicello And Frankie Avalon
Annette Funicello (The Annette Sound)
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