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9 unexpected reasons to love Annette Funicello even more (videos)

Annette Funicello (R) kisses Mickey Mouse 14 Septe

VINCE BUCCI/AFP/Getty Images

Annette Funicello kisses Mickey Mouse 14 September 1993 after she received a star on the famous Hollywood Walk of Fame in California. The U.S. actress and singer is best known as a famous mouseketeer on the popular 1960's television show, 'The Mickey Mouse Club' as well as the beach movies she made with Frankie Avalon.

The Walt Disney Company announced that Annette Funicello, child star Mouseketeer and Frankie Avalon cohort by the sea (and sometimes in a dungeon), died Monday in Bakersfield, Calif., at the age of 70 of complications from multiple sclerosis.  

The often one-named Annette received decades of fan love and was a champion for MS research.  Below are some additional, unexpected reasons to love her even more. 

Watch the Annette Funicello video collection below

  1. Albums and albums of catchy peppy jams. 
  2. Sang the theme song for The Parent Trap. 
  3. Appearances on "The Love Boat," the greatest guest star vehicle ever constructed.
  4. She co-starred in the Monkees freakout film "HEAD" — "The most extraordinary adventure western comedy love story mystery drama musical documentary satire ever filmed," co-written by Jack Nicholson with cameos by Dennis Hopper and Frank Zappa.
  5. She co-starred in "Ski Party" — a film that features a yodeling polar bear that's never really mentioned or explained, and a musical appearance by James Brown, in a ski sweater, singing "I Feel Good."
  6. An original Mousketeer, Annette jumped Drew Barrymore into the Mickey Mouse Club on live TV.
  7. The 1978 big screen version of "Grease" integrated "Annette" into the film with a pair of NSFW song and dialog mentions that required no context. It was simply accepted that Funicello was a cultural reference point; a figure, so to speak, of the time period portrayed.
  8. For a certain generation, she is often credited with the honor of "first crush."
  9. Defining beach babe.

VIDEOS

Annette Funicello: 9 unexpected reasons to love the original beach babe Mouseketeer

Full story at KPCC.org

Storified by Lisa Brenner· Mon, Apr 08 2013 15:02:54

1. Catchy peppy jams. 
Pineapple Princess / Annette Funicello765elwood
Annette Funicello - Pajama Party [Full Album] 1964guitargods2009
Annette Funicello - Muscle Beach Party [Full Album] 1964guitargods2009
2. Sang the theme song for The Parent Trap. 
The Parent Trap - Annette Funicello & Tommy Sandsllaryhi
3. Appearances on The Love Boat, the greatest guest star vehicle ever constructed.
The Love Boat: The Business of Love/Crash Diet Crisis/I’ll Never Fall in Love Again - Bing VideosThe Love Boat - The Business of Love/Crash Diet... Guest stars include Michael Callan, Annette Funicello, Morey Amsterdam, Rose Marie, Ja...
4. She co-starred in The Monkees freakout film HEAD — "The most extraordinary adventure western comedy love story mystery drama musical documentary satire ever filmed," co-written by Jack Nicholson with cameos by Dennis Hopper and Frank Zappa.
Monkees - Head comercialKeepItSmooth
5. She co-starred in Ski Party — a film that features a yodeling polar bear that's never really mentioned or explained, and a musical appearance by James Brown, in a ski sweater, singing "I Feel Good."
James Brown in Ski Partybenitogatocool
6. An original Mousketeer, Annette jumped Drew Barrymore into the Mickey Mouse Club on live TV.
The Mickey Mouse Club - Original Mouseketeersstevethrasher
ANNETTE FUNICELLO+DREW BARRYMORE-Disneyland 30th Celebrationyensidtun
7. Grease integrated "Annette" into the film with a pair of NSFW song and dialog mentions that required no context. It was simply accepted that Funicello was a cultural reference point; a figure, so to speak, of the time period portrayed.
Grease - Look At Me , I'm Sandra Deepillerguri
8. For a certain generation, she is often credited with the honor of "first crush."
@DanaPerino Annette Funicello, an original 'Mouseketeer,'dies at 70 after long MS battle. po.st/eFd6LG pic.twitter.com/TbrJlNYenVMark Weber
9. Defining beach babe.
BEACH BLANKET BINGO (1965) R.I.P. ANETTE FUNICELLOcraigsworld1427
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