Monday, October 24, 2011
Annette hits a Mouseka-milestone
Annette Funicello, who, as the most famous of all the Mouseketeers in the mid-'50s, was one of the biggest stars ever in television.
How famous was Annette? Paul Anka, seen Sunday as guest judge on Cover Me Canada, wrote his hit Put Your Head on My Shoulder about the shy Italian-American teen.
Annette went on to become a Beach Blanket sensation in the '60s and did a string of memorable Skippy peanut butter commercials in the '70s and '80s but has faded from view over the past 25 years as she copes with multiple sclerosis.
I had the good fortune to interview her at her home in the Hollywood Hills shortly after she went public with her debilitating disease. Even then she was not very mobile but was in great spirits and happy to share stories of her early days on the Disney lot (including her big crush on Zorro star Guy Williams).
My ol' mouseka-pal Lorriane Santoli, author of The Official Mickey Mouse Club Book, passes along news that Funicello has launched a new website, The Annette Connection. There are photos of Funicello's old costumes from The Mickey Mouse Club as well as an upcoming 50th anniversary screening in Los Angeles of Funicello's 1961 Disney feature, Babes in Toyland. There's also a link to donate to the Annette Funicello Research Fund for Neurological Diseases.
Everybody neat and pretty? On to the site.