Annette Funicello Annette Funicello

Annette Funicello, the Beach Party star, singer and former teen icon who rose to fame on the original Mickey Mouse Club, died Monday. She was 70.

Funicello died from complications of multiple sclerosis and was taken off life support after being in a coma for years, her family told Extra. She was diagnosed with the disease in 1987.

Her death was first announced by the official Disney fan club Twitter page.

Born in upstate New York and raised in California, Funicello was discovered in 1955 by Walt Disney when she performed as the Swan Queen in a Swan Lake dance recital in Burbank. He cast her as a Mouseketeer on The Mickey Mouse Club and she remains the only cast member to be selected by Disney himself. Funicello became one of the most popular stars of MMC, appearing in numerous sketches and serials, including Spin and Marty and Walt Disney Presents: Annette.

After leaving the show in 1959, Funicello continued to work closely with Disney, starring in the films The Shaggy Dog and Babes in Toyland, before launching a successful singing career. Billed as Annette, Funicello scored a number of hits, including "Tall Paul" and "Puppy Love."

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