The Norman Transcript

Headlines

April 9, 2013

Annette Funicello dies

NEW YORK — She was the first crush for a generation of boys, the perfect playmate for a generation of girls.

Annette Funicello, who became a child star as a Mouseketeer on “The Mickey Mouse Club” in the 1950s, ruled among baby boomers, who tuned in every weekday afternoon to watch her on their black-and-white TV sets.

Then they shed their mouse ears, as Annette did when she teamed up with Frankie Avalon during the ’60s in a string of fun-in-the-sun movies with titles like “Beach Blanket Bingo” and “How to Stuff a Wild Bikini.”

Decades later, she endeared herself to baby boomers again after she announced in 1992 that she had multiple sclerosis and began grappling with the slow, degenerative effects with good cheer and faith.

Funicello died on Monday at Mercy Southwest Hospital in Bakersfield, Calif., of complications from MS, the Walt Disney Co. said. She was 70 and had dropped from public view years ago.

“She really had a tough existence,” Avalon said. “It’s like losing a family member. I’m devastated, but I’m not surprised.”

Avalon said that when they were working together, she never realized how beloved she was. “She would say, ‘Really?’ She was so bashful about it. She was an amazing girl,” he recalled.

The pretty, dark-haired Funicello was 13 when she gained fame on “The Mickey Mouse Club,” a kids’ variety show that consisted of stories, songs and dance routines.

For local news and more, subscribe to The Norman Transcript Smart Edition, or our print edition.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Headlines
  • Chamber Banquet During annual banquet, Chamber of Commerce promotes moving Norman forward

    Amidst the backdrop of music, dancing, dinner and fellowship, business leader Mike Fowler announced that the time for a quality-of-life initiative in Norman has come. As incoming Norman Chamber of Commerce board chairman, Fowler and ...

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Symposium speaker Paul Polik: Commerce can help and bring millions out of poverty

    How to harness the power of commerce to address social and environmental challenges in sustainable ways was the topic of discussion at the University of Oklahoma Center for the Creation of Economic Wealth’s fourth annual Social ...

    April 18, 2014

  • Amber waves turn gray as farms lose younger generation

    OKLAHOMA CITY — Jerry Pfeiffer was thrilled when his son, Kelsey, 25, announced plans to return to the family’s farm in Orlando....

    April 18, 2014

  • Postal retiree luncheon set

    A postal retiree luncheon will be 11:30 a.m. Monday at Golden Corral Buffet and Grill, 123 N. Interstate Drive in Norman. Diners will meet in the lobby. For more information, call Joyce Carle at 872-5157....

    April 18, 2014

  • Flapjack fundraiser set

    The Apple Gold Group, a franchisee of Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill and Bar, will partner with the Global Outreach Team at Go Church to host a Flapjack Fundraiser on April 26. Proceeds raised will be used by team members to purchase ...

    April 18, 2014

  • OU Hornsemble goes to the movies

    The OU Hornsemble will present a concert of music from the cinema at 6 p.m. April 27 in the Paul F. Sharp Concert Hall. Billed as “Movie-Time Music,” the ensemble will present a wide variety of cinematic music from the 1940s to the ...

    April 18, 2014

  • Judge asks pointed questions in gay marriage case

    DENVER — A judge in Colorado who will play a pivotal role deciding whether gays should be allowed to wed in the United States asked pointed questions Thursday about whether Oklahoma can legally ban the unions....

    April 18, 2014

  • Fallin disappointed SBAdenied loans

    OKLAHOMA CITY — Gov. Mary Fallin said Thursday she is disappointed that a federal agency denied a request for loans to businesses in two Oklahoma towns affected by an emergency bridge closure....

    April 18, 2014

  • Sudan: 12 die after mob attacks UN base

    JUBA, South Sudan — An angry mob of South Sudanese youths attacked a U.N. base on Thursday to harm members of an ethnic minority sheltering inside. Peacekeepers were forced to open fire, amid rampaging violence that killed at least 12 ...

    April 18, 2014

  • Woman bound over for trial

    A Slaughterville woman facing a manslaughter charge after the death of an 8-year-old child was bound over for trial this week after a preliminary hearing in Cleveland County District Court. Kimberly Dawn Wenthold, 29, was charged in ...

    April 18, 2014