Monday, April 8, 2013

R.I.P. Annette Funicello.

Loved by millions, Disney icon and former Mouseketeer, Annette Funicello passed away today (April 08, 2013) at the age of 70!

The ever-lovely Annette is pictured here in an unusual venue, the cover of WALT DISNEY’S COMICS AND STORIES # 289 (October, 1964) with Carl Barks’ Donald Duck and Neighbor Jones – and a very cute little dog!


Anonymous said...

She will be remembered for a long time by fans for her work at Disney, the Beach Party movies, and finally, for her brave battle with MS. And also for her (with Frankie Avalon and other 1960's stars) winning self-parody in "Back to the Beach."

Joe Torcivia said...

Yes indeed, Anon!

And, thank you for expanding this tribute beyond Ms. Funicello’s Disney star and Mouseketeer status. I appreciate that!

Comicbookrehab said...

I remember her from the commercials for Jif peanut butter...or was it Skippy?

Um...she's also popular for how she fit into her wardrobe ... though maybe because of my introduction to her through those commercials, whenever "MMC" was rerun on The Disney Channel, I tended to be more attracted to Cheryl.

Joe Torcivia said...

It is amazing how certain things can be universal – yet generational, ‘Rehab!

You saw the Mickey Mouse Club on The Disney Channel, and I saw it during its 1964-1965 syndicated reruns. (Mickey Mouse comic books of the time even had the MMC seal on their covers!) …As opposed to the original ‘50s run that started it all.

Beyond losing a beloved performer in Annette Funicello, there’s also another aspect to this that’s difficult to wrap our heads around… and that’s the notion of Mouseketeers being 70, much less gone.

If ever there was a group of folks to whom we tend to mentally apply terms like “forever young”, or “eternal youth”, it would be The Mouseketeers! And, even if you saw them in the sixties (like me) or the eighties or nineties (presumably, like you), the very concept speaks “youthful fifties fun”.

…And it always will.

Come back tomorrow, when we’ll have one more bit of business on this topic… We’ll turn the comic (WDC&S # 289) over, and look at the back cover – and some of the unusual things about it.

scarecrow33 said...

I confess, this one's hitting me hard, even though she was in poor health for many years prior to her passing, and it does not come unexpectedly.

Annette represents a generation--the Baby Boomers--ever youthful, ever full of hope and full of promise. It's almost like a whole generation is passing before our eyes.

I never saw her in person, but I never needed to--just seeing her and knowing her through her films and TV appearances, I felt as though I knew her, and that she would be just as warm and delightful in real life as she was in her many appearances on stage and screen. She was a friend. I'm sure many people feel the same way.

While her acting talent was not necessarily of the highest caliber--she did not do well in roles that required her to 'stretch' very far--and her singing voice was augmented by acoustic enhancements--still, I could never make a disparaging remark about her, because she had something undefinably magical about her--so bouncy, so perky, so right--that it didn't matter about her talent. It was how she used her talent, how she projected that sweet, kindly, loving image that really counted. And unlike many performers, she never tried to stray too far from her "good girl" image. She also always spoke lovingly and fondly of "those ears" and seemed to cherish her catapult to fame that started with the Mickey Mouse Club. She was not ashamed of her past, or of her "Disney" image.

She was definitely unique, for these and many more reasons too numerous to list. No one will ever take the place in the hearts of a generation the way Annette did.

Joe Torcivia said...

I think you just used the perfect words, Scarecrow… “Undefinably Magical”!

Perhaps, the most fascinating “magic” of all is that which you cannot define, but know full well when you see it.

…And, for anyone who was young – or young at heart – over the last 5-6 decades, she was always there, working that “magic” in so many different ways that we just took for granted that it would never end.

Comicbookrehab said...

Mickey Mouse comics from the 70s also had that symbol to promote the 70s incarnation, along with the "Happy Birthday Mickey!" gift box emblem.

the 90s incarnation of the show gets a lot of attention these days, but it's never in reruns like the original was.