Make us your home page

Annette Funicello dies at age 70



Annette Funicello and Margaret Thatcher in the same day? Wow. It's true. Mickey Mouse Club star Annette Funicello died Monday at age 70, according to media reports.

The L.A. Times says the actress, who was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1987, died at Mercy Southwest Hospital in Bakersfield, according to a statement by Walt Disney Co. spokesman Howard Green said.

If you're wondering about Funicello's connection with the '80s, there isn't much. Except that she co-starred in 1987's Back to the Beach, which would become her final role. I was dragged to the flick by my parents, who grew up on her beach-blanket movies of the 1960s. I remember being aggravated, unentertained and possibly full of vengeful angst by the time that dreadful movie was over.

As it turns out, I was just too young to get it. Even the late Roger Ebert loved the movie, giving it a near-perfect rating and saying: "Now comes Back to the Beach, a wicked satire that pokes fun at Frankie, Annette and the whole genre, but does it with a lot of good humor and with the full cooperation of the victims. Avalon and Funicello do a better job of satirizing themselves than anyone else possibly could."

Maybe kids today are "too young" to get the '80s. Nahh.....

[Last modified: Monday, April 8, 2013 2:30pm]


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours