Annette Funicello

  • American actress
  • Born October 22, 1942
  • Died April 8, 2013

Annette Joanne Funicello (October 22, 1942 – April 8, 2013) was an American actress and singer. Funicello began her professional career as a child performer at the age of twelve. She rose to prominence as one of the most popular Mouseketeers on the original Mickey Mouse Club. As a teenager, she transitioned to a successful career as a singer with the pop singles "O Dio Mio", "Tall Paul" and "Pineapple Princess", as well as establishing herself as a film actress, popularizing the successful "Beach Party" genre alongside co-star Frankie Avalon during the mid-1960s.

I have always thought of Walt Disney as my second father.

Watching television in those days was not the same experience as it is today. After years of listening to radio, we found the black-and-white images mesmerizing.

The original Mickey Mouse Club, established in the '30s, was designed to attract children to movie theaters.

Most original viewers of the Mickey Mouse Club didn't face the crush of family and social problems children have today.

In 1993 my birthday present was a star on Hollywood's Walk of Fame.

Mr. Disney and his staff were constantly scouting for great stories to bring to life on film.

As I travel across the country speaking about MS, perhaps I can offer others comfort and hope.

I'm saddened to see that some have been misled into believing that Mr. Disney was something other than a kind, caring man.

For me, the wheelchair symbolizes disability in a way a cane does not.

Of all the roles I've played, none has been as fulfilling as being a mother.

The mere thought of divorce terrified me. To me, divorce symbolized failure.

When you are young and healthy, it never occurs to you that in a single second your whole life could change.

In the United States women develop MS at approximately twice the rate men do, and no one can explain why women are affected most often from the waist down.

Mickey Mouse... is always there-he's part of my life. That really is something not everyone can call their claim to fame.

I was not prepared to live as a single parent.

Whatever ambivalence I felt about my own career, Frankie more than made up for it with his ambition and tenacity.

At the beginning of 1955 only about 60 percent of American homes had TVs.

I still don't know precisely why The Mickey Mouse Club ended when it did.

Of the many guests we welcomed to the Mickey Mouse Club, my absolute favorites were the Lennon Sisters.

I've always found Mr. Disney to be somewhat of a shy person, a kid at heart.

To some, the '50s were a decade marked by the banal, the predictable.

Then, as now, the Disney studio buzzed with activity. You had a strong impression of being at the center of something very exciting.

The Lord has been with me throughout my life. He's never let me down.

Dick Clark really didn't make rock 'n roll safe for America, as many people think.

As I grew older, I came to feel more responsible for any hardship or trouble my career caused my family.

Just learning that you have MS is such a devastating shock.

I always considered myself a dancer before anything else.

Mr. Disney believed everyone was still a child deep inside.

Animation did not become the dominant form of children's television until the '60s.

MS is not really a degenerative illness. It is not fatal, nor is it always progressive.

My dear friend Jimmie Dodd was the heart and the soul of The Mickey Mouse Club.

Whatever dreams I have wished have come true.

Growing up in public is especially hard sometimes.