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

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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.


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