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Annette Funicello: From Mouseketeer to Teen Idol

TBDMIMO EC055In a sense, Annette Funicello created the template for Britney Spears, Lindsay Lohan and Miley Cyrus. Funicello, who passed away on April 8 at age 70 in Bakersfield, Calif., proved the possibility of evolving from a cute child star in the Disney firmament into a sexy teen idol.

But when Funicello accomplished that feat in the 1950s and 1960s, she did it without the personal drama that has plagued her recent successors. The closest that Annette came to a scandal was in her “beach party” movies for American International Pictures in the early 1960s, when she wore a two-piece swimsuit, against the wishes of her former employer and mentor Walt Disney.

Here are some highlights from the career of the “Queen of Teen,” America’s prototypical girl-next-door:


Photo: Everett Collection


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