Hello, and welcome again to my thoughts and musings. Recently I’ve moved away from looking at specific Disney shows, movies and park attractions to remember and honor the individuals who played a vital role in making these endeavors successful. Today we remember another Disney Legend, America’s Sweetheart Annette Funicello.
Born on October 22, 1942, Annette was first introduced to the Disney audience in 1955 as one of the original Mouseketeers that debuted during the July 17 Grand Opening ceremonies at Disneyland. She became one of the featured stars of The Mickey Mouse Club when it began its television run on October 3 of the same year.
Following her successful run on Mickey Mouse Club, Funicello appeared in several Disney feature films, including The Love Bug, The Shaggy Dog, The Monkey’s Uncle, and my personal favorite, Babes in Toyland. (I even dressed as Barnaby one year for Halloween. True story).
Annette remained connected to the Disney Company throughout her life, taking part in the grand opening ceremonies of Walt Disney World in 1971. As well, she had a one time appearance as The Blue Fairy in the Main Street Electrical Parade at Disneyland in 1977.
For her contributions to film and television, Annette Funicello was honored as a Disney Legend on October 21, 1992. After a several decade battle with multiple scelorsis, Annette Funicello passed away on April 8, 2013.
Disney recently honored Annette in a way which will ensure her name lives on inside the company. On June 24, 2013, at the Disney Studios in Burbank, Stage 1 was renamed The Annette Funicello Stage. This was a most fitting tribute as this stage is where The Mickey Mouse Club had been filmed in the 1950s.
Happy birthday to one of most missed stars, Annette Funicello.
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