America’s sweetheart sparkles


ANNETTE FUNICELLO, 1942 – 2013. Los Angeles Times. April 09, 2013|Dennis McLellan and Elaine Wo. If you were a girl in the 1950s, Annette Funicello was the ideal of feminine goodness, your fantasy best friend forever. If you were a boy, she was your dream date, demure, doe-eyed and just different enough to set hearts pounding. The most adored of Walt Disney’s original 24 Mouseketeers, Funicello later exchanged her mouse ears for a swimsuit in a series of 1960s beach movies, but she remained a reassuring figure, fun-loving yet chaste in an era of rapidly shifting social values. “She had a heart and a soul and a feeling about her that everybody just connected to — male or female — without being pretentious in any way,” Frankie Avalon, her co-star in movies such asBeach Party andBeach Blanket Bingo,” said Monday. “She was just a nice, nice girl next door … America’s sweetheart.”


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