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Annette Funicello dead

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Movie star Annette Funicello at the 15th annual Italian American Foundation dinner in Washington, D.C. on Oct. 20, 1990. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite) Movie star Annette Funicello at the 15th annual Italian American Foundation dinner in Washington, D.C. on Oct. 20, 1990. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
NEW YORK (MYFOXNY) -

Actress and Disney legend Annette Funicello has died, according to the official Disney fan club Twitter account.

@DisneyD23 Tweeted: "We're sorry to report beloved Disney Mouseketeer and iconic teen star Annette Funicello has passed away at age 70."

The brunette beauty rose to fame as a Mousketeer.

Funicello stunned fans and friends in 1992 with the announcement she was suffering from multiple sclerosis. Yet she was cheerful and upbeat, grappling with the disease with a courage that contrasted with her lightweight teen image of old.

The pretty, dark-haired Funicello was just 13 when she gained fame on Walt Disney's television kiddie "club," an amalgam of stories, songs and dance routines that ran from 1955 to 1959.

Cast after Disney saw her at a dance recital, she soon began receiving 8,000 fan letters a month, 10 times more than any of the 23 other young performers.

 

Copyright 2013 MyFoxNY.com/The Associated Press.

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