Annette dies at age seventy from complications from Multiple Sclerosis

 

She is one of those entertainers who is instantly  recognized by her first name, but in case you are too young to remember, she was Annette Funicello.

One of my earliest childhood memories goes back to when I was a litlle boy, living in an apartment above Maxine's, our family's children's wear store, on the Danforth. I used to watch the (original) Mickey Mouse club starring Jimmy Dodd and a very young Annette Funicello (not the version with Britney Spears).

I remember someone bringing me a Mousketeers hat with the big ears. I was in heaven.

I remember someone bringing me a Mousketeers hat with the big ears. I was in heaven.

After Mickey Mouse club, Annette went on to appear in Disney T.V. series including "Zorro" and Disney movies such as "The Shaggy Dog" and "Babes in Toyland".

In the 60's, she co-starred with Frankie Avalon in several "Beach" movies which I remember fondly. They still appear regularly on T.V.

In 1987, Annette was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis and went public with her disease in 1992.

Multiple Sclerosis is an auto-immune disease (the body attacks itself) which affects the ability of the nerve cells of the brain and spinal cord communicate with each other. The myelin sheath, which insulates the long axons of the nerves become damaged, This interferes with the transmission of impulses along the nerves. MS can reduce the life expectancy by five to ten years.

Unfortunately, Annette had a particularly severe form of the disease.

Annette established the Annette Funicello Research Fund for Neurological Diseases, which became dedicated to funding research into the cause, treatment, and cure of MS and other neurological diseases and continues to be an active charity. 

In October 2012, W5 on CTV did a story about Annette's struggle. It is very sad, but it is a love story.                    http://www.ctvnews.ca/video?playlistId=1.985726 

For more information on Annette's charity, go to www.annetteconnection.com

Goodbye Annette.