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Annette Funicello - Teen Idol - Star

Updated on January 27, 2015

American Idol and Sweetheart - Annette Funicello

I grew up watching anything and everything Disney created, including The Mickey Mouse Club. I adored Annette. She was so pretty, could sing, dance and got to be with all the cute boys. Her story is truly a part of the American Dream! I hope you will enjoy a look into the life of Annette Funicello.

ANNETTE FUNICELLO was born October 22, 1942 in Utica, New York, which later her family relocated in southern California. As a child, to overcome shyness, Annette took dancing and music lessons.

At the age of 12 (1955), Annette was performing in a dance recital of Swan Lake, when she was discovered by Walt Disney. Based on this appearance, she was cast an one of the original "Mouseketeers".

Annette appeared in many episodes (1955 to 1959) of the Mickey Mouse Club program, including: sketches and dance routines; several series such as Spin and Marty serials, The Further Adventures of Spin and Marty, and The New Adventures of Spin and Marty; as well as several Walt Disney Presents specials. After the Mickey Mouse Club, Annette went on to do several episodes in the Zorro series.

Latest News - How Sad

Annette Funicello at age 70

American's dearest Mouseketeer will be missed.

I was so saddened to hear that we lost Annette Funicello, yesterday, April 8, 2013. I have fond memories of seeing her perform as a Mouseketeer during the 50s. We were only three years apart in age. I remember day dreaming what it must have been like to be able to dance and sing and participate in the many performances that she did at the Disney studios.

I just wanted to say thank you for all those wonderful performances that you gave, Annette - I tip my Mouseketeer hat to you. Now you may rest in peace.

CNN News

Recent News of Annette


Thought it would be fun to check out current new (12/2009 update) from fans. As many know, Annette is suffering from MS, however, is being cared for well.

Fans Speak Out About Annette

Send Annette a card:

Annette Funicello

16102 Sandy Lane

Encino, CA




Annette Funicello Foundation

Flames engulf Annette's LA home

Update March 11, 2011

Former Disney Mouseketeer Annette Funicello was rushed to hospital earlier today after a fire broke out at her California home. The wheelchair-bound actress has been in declining health since being diagnosed more than 20 years ago with multiple sclerosis. She was being treated for smoke inhalation following the 7.21 am blaze at her house in Encino.

The 68-year-old is best known for her years on ‘The Mickey Mouse Club’ and later as Frankie Avalon’s bikini-clad co-star in a spate of beach movies in the early 1960s.

Read more: Annette - hospital

Annette Ok After Fire

Annette Funicello, a former Disney Mouseketeer, suffered smoke inhalation from a recent fire that damaged her Los Angeles home in Encino, California, which is in the Los Angeles area.

The fire was put out in less than half an hour. Funicello, who is 68 and has multiple sclerosis, was at home at the time with her husband and nurse, the Associated Press quoted her ex-husband Jack Gilardi as saying. No one was seriously injured.

Continue Annette Ok After Fire

Annette Discovered

Annette Funicello was 13 years old when she was discovered by studio head Walt Disney dancing in an amateur production of Swan Lake in Fullerton, CA.


Annette first noticed her MS symptoms in l987 when she was making the movie Back to the Beach, a friendly spoof of her early sand-and-surf films that received both public and critical acclaim. In l989, Annette did a year-long concert tour to cheering crowds with Frankie Avalon, her long time friend and movie co-star. Annette resides in California with her second husband Glen Holt, a race horse breeder.

In l992, when rumors and gossip began to surface in the press after Annett's symptoms became increasingly pronounced, she decided to go public with her condition.


Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a disease that affects the central nervous system (CNS): the brain, spinal cord, and optic nerves. The damage caused by MS creates lesions or "scars" that can be seen on your brain and spinal cord. The process of developing lesions is called "sclerosis." So, MS actually means "many scars."

Credit: Understand MS

Teddy Bears to Hug

Annette Funicellos's TEDDY BEARS

Annette has partnered with some of the world's most talented teddy bear artists to create these precious pieces exclusively for her company. Seriously ill with multiple sclerosis (MS), Annette donates a portion of the profits from the sale of her bears to MS research.

Songs and Movies


"Chalk on the sidewalk (chalk on the sidewalk)

'nitials on a tree ('nitials on a tree)

Ev'rybody knows it (ev'rybody knows it)

Paul loves me"


Annette Funicello




Her fan mail (by the end of the first season) had ballooned to 6,000 letters a month.

Who Is Your Favorite Mouseketeer?

What Mouseketeer did you like the best?

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Feedback from My Readers

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    • profile image

      ConvenientCalendar 4 years ago

      Great actress!

    • Jerzimom profile image

      Cheryl Fay Mikesell 4 years ago from Ladysmith, WI

      She was amazing. I'm glad to see there is a lens on here. How sad that she is now gone. RIP Annette Funicello.

    • MartieG profile image

      MartieG aka 'survivoryea' 5 years ago from Jersey Shore

      I loved the MM Club mainly because of Annette. My older sister and I would race to the TV after school-if she got there first I had to watch American Bandstand and if I got there first it was MM Club! This lens brought back memories and my prayers are with Annette.

    • AgingIntoDisabi profile image

      AgingIntoDisabi 5 years ago

      I watched the old Mickey Mouse Club just to see Annette. My mother got me interested in the show, and I got hooked too. Wish her all the best.

    • profile image

      sellhousefastusa 5 years ago

      Wow...I also grew up watching her and the mickey mouse club brings me back - thanks for taking me back M I C K E Y M O U S E - I just sang it in my head :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I remember watching Annette on The Mickey Mouse Club. If she appeared on the show from 1955 to 1959, the shows I watched must have been reruns. I was born in 1956 and watched the show in the 1960s. I didn't know about her recent house fire. I'm glad she's okay. Thanks for sharing this lens with us.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      I grew up watching Annette as a Mouseketeer, too. I think she was what every little girl wanted to be. Thanks for the memories! So nice of you to include an address for well wishers to send Annette a card. It's so sad for anyone to be stricken with MS. Beautiful lens!

    • Cop-Speak profile image

      Smitty 6 years ago from Arizona

      I had such a crush on her when I was a teenager...

    • KimGiancaterino profile image

      KimGiancaterino 6 years ago

      I've seen Annette Funicello at Costco of all places. She is very gracious to her fans and still looks beautiful.

    • Lady Lorelei profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 6 years ago from Canada

      I remember when the news broke about her MS. I think the whole world grew with her. She was an, and still is, and fascinating person.

    • Lady Lorelei profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 6 years ago from Canada

      I remember when the news broke about her MS. I think the whole world grew with her. She was an, and still is, and fascinating person.

    • Philippians468 profile image

      Philippians468 6 years ago

      i have a friend who suffers from MS too. thank you for sharing this lens.

    • TonyPayne profile image

      Tony Payne 6 years ago from Southampton, UK

      It's so tragic that Annette is suffering from MS. So pleased she is ok after the house fire, I didn't hear this reported in the news.

    • jvsper63 profile image

      jvsper63 6 years ago

      Hi, You did a great job explaining your information on Annette Funicello. This is a nice lens. Thanks for sharing:) Joni

    • Cop-Speak profile image

      Smitty 6 years ago from Arizona

      I love this lens; I had a crush on Annette when she was on the Micky Mouse Club. Thanks for the memories! And a Valentine's Day Cupid Kiss for you, as well.

    • blue22d profile image

      blue22d 7 years ago

      Yep, Fridays was one of my favorites as well!

    • SusannaDuffy profile image

      Susanna Duffy 7 years ago from Melbourne Australia

      Oh my oh my, what memories came back then. I LOVED the Mouseketeers and I can still sing the songs (my favourite was the Friday night talent rodeo).

    • allinfoisfree profile image

      allinfoisfree 7 years ago

      She was just a little before my time, but I still remember her on TV. What a great lens!

    • jolou profile image

      jolou 7 years ago

      She's always seemed like such a nice, down to earth woman. Sorry to hear about her health struggles. Nice lens you have done for her.

    • ZablonMukuba profile image

      ZablonMukuba 7 years ago

      i miss seeing her

    • missbat profile image

      missbat 7 years ago

      I remember watching Mickey Mouse Club reruns and seeing Annette when I was little. What a remarkable woman, and a wonderful tribute lens you've made!

    • ClassyGals profile image

      Cynthia Davis 7 years ago from Pittsburgh

      I wondered whatever happened to Annette Funicello, thanks for the update!

    • mbgphoto profile image

      Mary Beth Granger 7 years ago from O'Fallon, Missouri, USA

      wonderful tribute for Annette.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      Thank you for this lens of appreciation for one of the finest young women who represented the epitome of love, strength, and kindness to so many young people. May God continue to bless her -- and you for remembering her so graciously.

    • Laniann profile image

      Laniann 7 years ago

      A lovely tribute to a beautiful and special woman. 5*s

    • AppalachianCoun profile image

      AppalachianCoun 8 years ago

      Wonderful lens. We have an album of hers. She has a great voice. 5 stars*****

    • blue22d profile image

      blue22d 8 years ago

      [in reply to Margo_Arrowsmith] Cool. Thanks Margo. I think that would be fun to see.

    • MargoPArrowsmith profile image

      MargoPArrowsmith 8 years ago

      I loved Annette as a kid! She was older than I but I still grew up with her. 5* lens. Oh, and did you know that there was a TV bio movie of her? Eva the actress from one of the CSI's played Annette as a young woman, and the later scenes with her with MS were played by Annette. There was a scene at the end with the real Annette having lunch with the real Shelley Fabre. I loved it and I bet you would also!

    • Faye Rutledge profile image

      Faye Rutledge 8 years ago from Concord VA

      I remember Annette on the Mickey Mouse Club (she was my favorite) and in the Beach Movies! I've been a fan of hers for years. Great lens!

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      Well, I'm old enough to actually remember her on The Mickey Mouse Club. This is a lovely tribute to a lovely actress. Thank you for making it!

    • blue22d profile image

      blue22d 8 years ago

      I understand. Not a problem. Thanks for stopping by. One thing about Squidoo; we can use it to share about things others may not know about.

    • papawu profile image

      papawu 8 years ago

      Wonderful lens, but I've got to say that her heyday was a little before my time. I did love "Back To The Beach" but know very little of her Disney and Frankie and Anette days. I think I will always equate her to peanut butter before anything else. I know that sucks, but that's all I know of her.