38 Facts About Annette Funicello


Annette Joanne Funicello was an American actress and singer.


Annette Funicello was one of the most popular Mouseketeers on the original Mickey Mouse Club.


In 1992, Annette Funicello announced that she had been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1987.


Annette Funicello died of complications from the disease on April 8,2013.


Annette Joanne Funicello was born in Utica, New York, to Italian Americans Virginia Jeanne and Joseph Edward Funicello.


Annette Funicello's family moved to Southern California when she was four years old.


Annette Funicello took dancing and music lessons when she was a child in order to overcome her shyness.


Annette Funicello was the last to be selected, and one of the few cast members to be personally selected by Walt Disney himself.


Annette Funicello had a crush on fellow Mouseketeer Lonnie Burr.


The studio received so much mail about "How Will I Know My Love", that Walt Disney issued it as a single, and gave Annette Funicello a recording contract.


Annette Funicello had a role on the Disney television series Zorro, playing Anita Cabrillo in a three-episode storyline about a teen-aged girl arriving in Los Angeles to visit a father who does not seem to exist.


Annette Funicello had a multiple-episode guest arc on Make Room for Daddy as an Italian exchange student.


Annette Funicello made her feature film debut in the Disney-produced comedy The Shaggy Dog with Fred MacMurray and Tommy Kirk.


Walt Disney was reportedly a fan of 1950s pop star Teresa Brewer and tried to pattern Annette Funicello's singing on the same style.


In December 1959, Annette Funicello attempted to have her contract with Disney set aside, claiming that it was unequitable and that she was without an agent or legal counsel when she signed it.


In 1961, Annette Funicello returned to Zorro playing a different role.


Annette Funicello starred in a big budget musical for Disney, Babes in Toyland, alongside Tommy Sands and Kirk.


Annette Funicello appeared in two television movies filmed in Europe for Disney alongside Kirk, both of which were released theatrically in some markets: The Horsemasters, shot in England, and Escapade in Florence, filmed in Italy.


Annette Funicello moved on from Disney to become a teen idol, starring in a series of "Beach Party" movies with Frankie Avalon for American International Pictures.


Annette Funicello guest-starred on episodes of Wagon Train, Burke's Law and The Greatest Show on Earth, then starred in another two-part Disney telemovie with Kirk, The Misadventures of Merlin Jones.


Annette Funicello made Pajama Party for AIP with Kirk, not Avalon, though it was an unofficial Beach Party movie and Avalon made a cameo.


The Monkey's Uncle featured Annette Funicello singing with The Beach Boys and was another huge hit.


Annette Funicello made a cameo in two AIP comedies starring Avalon, Ski Party and Dr Goldfoot and the Bikini Machine, then she did How to Stuff a Wild Bikini with Dwayne Hickman.


Box office receipts for the series were in decline, and neither Avalon nor Annette Funicello appeared in the final installment, The Ghost in the Invisible Bikini.


Annette Funicello guest starred on Hondo and had a short role in Head, opposite The Monkees.


In 1979, Annette Funicello began starring in a series of television commercials for Skippy peanut butter.


Annette Funicello starred in a TV movie for Disney, Lots of Luck, then was reunited with Avalon in Back to the Beach.


Annette Funicello's autobiography, dictated to Patricia Romanowski and published in 1994, was A Dream Is a Wish Your Heart Makes: My Story.


Annette Funicello had her own fragrance called "Cello, by Annette".


Annette Funicello made her final public appearance on September 13,1998, at California's Multiple Sclerosis Society, along with Frankie Avalon.


Annette Funicello was very close to fellow Mouseketeers Lonnie Burr, Sharon Baird, Doreen Tracey, Cheryl Holdridge, Disney co-star Tommy Kirk and beach-movie co-star Frankie Avalon.


In early 1987, at around 45 years old, Annette Funicello reunited with Frankie Avalon for a series of promotional concerts to promote their film Back to the Beach.


Annette Funicello began to experience dizziness, headaches, and balance issues and was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.


On October 6,2012, the Canadian program W5 profiled Annette Funicello following her 15 years away from the public eye, revealing that her disease had severely damaged her nervous system.


Annette Funicello had lost the ability to walk in 2004, had lost the ability to speak in 2009 and required a feeding tube, needing round-the-clock care in order to survive.


Annette Funicello was and always will be a cherished member of the Disney family, synonymous with the word Mouseketeer, and a true Disney Legend.


Annette Funicello was well known for being as beautiful inside as she was on the outside, and she faced her physical challenges with dignity, bravery and grace.


Annette Funicello received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for motion pictures on September 14,1993; it is located at 6834 Hollywood Blvd.