Thursday, July 11, 2013

Funicello dies

Annetta Funicello died in April apparently she had been in a coma for years.
 



An Active Mother

After appearing in the 1968 rock 'n' roll movie Head with the band The Monkees, Funicello retired from the big screen to raise her family. "She was always there for carpools, Hot Dog Day and the PTA," daughter Gina told InStyle in 1994. "She was a normal mom." Gina and her brothers appeared with Funicello in commercials for Skippy peanut butter in the 1970s.

But Funicello neither lived happily ever after nor faded into the background. Her marriage ended in divorce in 1982; three years later she married racehorse breeder Glen Holt. She also re-ignited her career, reuniting with Avalon for 1987's retro romp Back to the Beach, her first film in nearly two decades. The success of the movie led to a 35-city concert tour with her costar.


Annette Funicello Dies at 70 After Long Battle with MS| Death, Tributes, Annette Funicello
Annette Funicello, in 1992

It was during the filming of Back to the Beach that Funicello experienced the first disturbing symptoms of multiple sclerosis, a chronic, often disabling disease that attacks the central nervous system. "We'd be shooting a scene on the sand, and when I'd try to get up, I couldn't balance," she told PEOPLE in 1992. "We'd laugh about it, and Frankie would say, 'Look at you, you look like you've had too much to drink.' And I'd say, 'Frankie, this is just the weirdest thing.' "

FROM 1992:
For several years after the diagnosis, only her immediate family knew of her illness, but when her equilibrium finally gave out in 1991, causing rumors of alcoholism, Funicello had no choice but to go public. Two years later Disney's Hyperion published her autobiography, A Dream Is a Wish Your Heart Makes, in which she detailed her battle against MS and her relentless search for a cure. A TV movie based on the story aired in October 1995, on Funicello's 53rd birthday, with the former Mouseketeer appearing in a few scenes playing her contemporary self.

No longer able to read or write and speaking only with great difficulty, she spent her final years mostly confined to a wheelchair, specially designed by her husband with a seat from a harness-racing sulky. Her home for the past 40 years was a smoky-blue ranch house in Encino, Calif., with frilly, white wrought iron fencing that she called "my good-luck house."

In her autobiography, Funicello wrote, "It's funny, but sometimes when I feel discouraged or have a problem I can't work out, I find myself thinking, 'If only Mr. Disney were here, he would know what to do.' "

Survivors include her husband, daughter Gina, and sons Jack Jr., and Jason. Donations in her honor can be sent to the Annette Funicello Research Fund for Neurological Disorders.

4 comments:

Sister--Three said...

I remember when i was a girl that I thought she was so beautiful.

Donna said...

She was my favorite mouseketeer.

Winnie Sneed said...

I actually cried the day that was on the news...I loved the Mousketeer Club...I watched it on our little 7 " black and white TV...loved her!!

Winnie Sneed said...

I actually cried the day that was on the news...I loved the Mousketeer Club...I watched it on our little 7 " black and white TV...loved her!!