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Mouseketeer Annette Funicello dies at 70 of complications from Ms

Former child star was hand-picked by Walt Disney and spoke openly about the degenerative effects of multiple sclerosis

Annette Funicello, who became a child star as a perky, cute-as-a-button Mouseketeer on The Mickey Mouse Club in the 1950s, then teamed up with Frankie Avalon on a string of 1960s fun-in-the-sun movies with names like Beach Blanket Bingo and Bikini Beach, died Monday. She was 70.

She died at Mercy Southwest Hospital in Bakersfield, California, of complications from multiple sclerosis, the Walt Disney Co said.

Funicello stunned fans and friends in 1992 with the announcement about her ailment. Yet she was cheerful and upbeat, grappling with the disease with a courage that contrasted with her lightweight teen image of old.

"She will forever hold a place in our hearts as one of Walt Disney's brightest stars, delighting an entire generation of baby boomers with her jubilant personality and endless talent," said Bob Iger,

See full article on The Guardian - Film News