Sad news this morning, first learned from Disney's D23 announcement on Twitter: Annette Funicello has passed on at the age of 70.
A more detailed post from Disney soon followed, with quotes from Disney CEO and Chairman Bob Iger, Walt Disney's daughter Diane Disney Miller, composer Richard Sherman, and Annette's fellow Mousketeer Sharon Baird.
The beloved Mouseketeer and "Beach Party" star had suffered from multiple sclerosis for decades.
I find this album cover of the "Pineapple Princess" especially delightful:
The ANNETTE serial, which I saw in reruns as a child, was a favorite of mine.
Annette also starred in in other Disney TV shows and films, including THE SHAGGY DOG (1959) and BABES IN TOYLAND (1961).
The Los Angeles Times has published an obituary.
Farewell to a sweet, brave lady loved by all.
Update: D23 has posted a gorgeous photo gallery, and Leonard Maltin has written a tribute.
The theme from THE MONKEY'S UNCLE (1965) is on YouTube, along with a lot of other Annette songs, and here is the New York Times obituary.
Susan King of the L.A. Times has also posted a tribute.