'Mickey Mouse Club' original Annette Funicello dies

(CNN) -- Annette Funicello, one of the best-known members of the original 1950s "Mickey Mouse Club" and a star of numerous 1960s "beach party" films, has died, the Annette Funicello Research Fund for Neurological Diseases Inc. posted on Facebook.

She was 70.

Funicello was just 12 when she was selected by Walt Disney himself to be one of the original Mouseketeers of the "Mickey Mouse Club," the 1950s television variety show aimed at children. Funicello, who had a background in dance, quickly became one of the most popular Mouseketeers.


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