Annette Funicello photograph courtesy of E.T. Online
Long before Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, or Lindsay Lohan, Annette Funicello showed a young woman could graduate from Disney roles into grown-up stardom. And Funicello proved you could do it with your reputation and charm fully intact.
Annette Funicello, the star of "The Mickey Mouse Club" TV series from 1955 to 1957 who later went on to appear in several successful films for Disney and then hit the surf with Frankie Avalon in the popular "Beach Party" movies, died Monday after a long struggle with multiple sclerosis. Funicello was 70.