Disney legend Annette Funicello has died at age 70, The Walt Disney Company confirmed in a statement Monday. Funicello "died peacefully from complications due to multiple sclerosis, a disease she battled for over 25 years," the company said. Funicello died at Mercy Southwest Hospital in Bakersfield, Calif.
"Annette was and always will be a cherished member of the Disney family, synonymous with the word Mouseketeer, and a true Disney legend," said Disney chairman and CEO Bob Iger in a statement. "She will forever hold a place in our hearts as one of Walt Disney's brightest stars, delighting an entire generation of baby boomers with her jubilant personality and endless talent.
She was arguably the most famous member of the Mickey Mouse Club ever. She also starred in numerous TV shows and movies over her career. The “Beach” series of films she starred in could be credited as starting their own category of Americana.
As a one of the biggest Disney legends of all time references to her can be found throughout the Disney Parks. One of the most famous (and humorous) is the “Net Full of Jello” found at the Muppet 3D movie at Disney Hollywood Studios.