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Former 'Mickey Mouse Club' star Annette Funicello dead at 70

April 8, 2013 at 2:24 PM   |   Comments

BAKERSFIELD, Calif., April 8 (UPI) -- Pop-culture icon Annette Funicello died of complications from multiple sclerosis Monday at Mercy Southwest Hospital in Bakersfield, Calif., her family said.

She was 70.

Funicello was known for her roles on the 1950s TV series "The Mickey Mouse Club" and in several 1960s teen beach movies co-starring Frankie Avalon. She also sang the hit songs "Tall Paul" and "Pineapple Princess."

"She's on her toes dancing in heaven... no more MS. My brothers and I were there, holding her sweet hands when she left us," Funicello's daughter, Gina Gilardi, said in a statement to TV's "Extra" entertainment news program.

Funicello had been in a coma and was taken off of life support Monday, "Extra" said.

The actress confirmed in 1992 she had been suffering from MS for years. She lost the ability to walk in 2004 and to speak in 2009.

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