Green Room

Annette Funicello, RIP

posted at 1:38 pm on April 8, 2013 by

A sad day indeed for her fans, but Annette Funicello’s family gives us all a lift with their faith:

Actress Annette Funicello, best known as a child performer on the original “Mickey Mouse Club” and for her beach movies with Frankie Avalon, died on Monday. She was 70.

Her family confirmed to “Extra” that Funicello died from complications of multiple sclerosis. They were by her side at a Bakersfield hospital when she was taken off life support. Funicello had been in an MS coma for years.

Funicello’s only daughter, Gina Gilardi, said in a statement, “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.”

May it be so, especially for one who gave so much of herself to provide such gentle and uplifting entertainment.  Godspeed and thank you, Annette.

Her family and friends will be in our prayers.

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I still think the language is misleading. To simply say that she died from complications due to MS is not fully true. A half truth, perhaps. She needed life support due to those complications. But had she continued to receive the life support, she would not have died today. The decision to remove life support was the thing that caused her today specifically today.

Shump on April 8, 2013 at 2:19 PM

That is not necessarily true. One of my own immediate family members died from complications of MS, after having been bed-ridden for years because of the disease. She was on life support prior to her death, and we did not remove her from the life support, but she died anyway. I will not go into the specifics of what killed her, but people who are bed-ridden for years are subject to many types of infections and other health issues which can (and often do) kill them, despite the presence of feeding tubes, IV’s, ventilators, etc.

Anyway, my condolences to Ms. Funicello’s family. I know all too well what you have been through, and my thoughts and prayers are with you. I have no doubt that lovely Annette is dancing in heaven today. May God bless her soul.

AZCoyote on April 8, 2013 at 8:09 PM

Annette was a class act and queen of the 1960s beach movies. RIP.

bw222 on April 8, 2013 at 8:13 PM

RIP Annette..Outstanding Lady..:)

Dire Straits on April 8, 2013 at 8:28 PM

She seemed to be a sweet lady. She was already a young adult by the time I was born, but how could I not have a little crush on her.

Rest in peace, Annette. Thank you for the joy you brought us.

SagebrushPuppet on April 8, 2013 at 10:05 PM

RIP Annette. Thx for everything. Your class and grace are worthy of emulation from today’s actresses…

Khun Joe on April 9, 2013 at 8:57 AM

Shump on April 8, 2013 at 3:28 PM

From the number of comments you have made you obviously enjoy being a sadist. I watched my parents have to make this decision in 1966. My mother never really recovered. Go crawl back into the sewer you came out of.

CW20 on April 9, 2013 at 9:41 AM

RIP from the T-Birds: nobody’s jugs were bigger than yours.

The Schaef on April 9, 2013 at 10:02 AM

Annette Funicello was an inspiration to many MS sufferers when she “came out” 20 years ago about her condition. When my daughter was diagnosed 11 years ago, at 15, an interview Annette did was very inspirational to her. What struck us the most was her hope, though she had the more chronic form of MS. More recently, when she became totally incapacitated, her husband, Glen Holt, fought hard to get a controversial treatment for her. Not only that, he has been raising money for research, so that others might be helped.

Do me a favor and read this:

Then donate here, in her memory:

As far as this drummed up controvery by one fool here, my family could not get any more Catholic, father was educated for 9 years in the seminary, left before final vows and certainly guided us on views about life. All of adults now also have the benefit of the catechism teachings of John Paul II, (buy his family catechism book, wonderful gift from my father). There is no comparison to removing food and water with making a decision about other forms of life support.

I actually had to decide on such twice, for my parents, much too young, each at 69.
It really is on the individual case; for my Dad, conscious but unable to tolerate dialysis anymore, on ventilation and having a heart attack each morning while they attempted it, I went with his decision. When not sedated, he indicated or wrote to keep fighting, just as he had written on the form to make me health care proxy. He eventualy succumbed.

My mother, on the other hand, was very healthy and we were cought unawares when she broke her hip. Thank God we had the family talk, night before her hip operation, and that she signed the proxy form, in which she indicated she never wanted to linger brain dead in a coma, as her mother and sister had. A few days after surgery had a massive stroke, from a blood clot which moved to block her jugular. 80% of her brain was destroyed and she never responded again. We kept her on life support for a week, 2 ICU beds down from where her beloved husband died. After many consultations, when convinced she had no hope of recovering, we had the ventilation removed. She lived another week (able to breathe on her own, having not fallen so far into dependency on the machine), being medicated for pain, possible pnumonia and of course, fed and hydrated.

I know I made the right decision in both cases and am utterly guilt free and still 100% pro-life. I pray I never have to make such a decision again.

Madisonian on April 9, 2013 at 11:31 AM

Rest in peace, Annette.

dogsoldier on April 9, 2013 at 11:47 AM

Her passing should be frontpage-worthy at HA.

May God richly reward her for all the sweet memories that she brought to America & the world.

She was a little too mature for me in my Mouseketeer Wonder Years, my crush was on Karen. But Annette’s goodness made the MMC special. A big part of precious Americana has left us with her passing.

whatcat on April 9, 2013 at 1:10 PM

Annette was the first girl I fell for. As a seven-year-old kid I watched the Mickey Mouse Club just to see her on the show. She was always magnificent, but it’s too bad she never had the chops to become a movie star. RIP in Annette.

HiJack on April 9, 2013 at 1:20 PM

Madisonian on April 9, 2013 at 11:31 AM

bless your heart…and I really mean it

DanMan on April 9, 2013 at 3:44 PM

Annette was the first girl I fell for. As a seven-year-old kid I watched the Mickey Mouse Club just to see her on the show. She was always magnificent, but it’s too bad she never had the chops to become a movie star. RIP in Annette.

HiJack on April 9, 2013 at 1:20 PM

Same here.
I was in 1st grade when the Mickey Mouse Club started and Annette was every guys first TV and “Can Never Be” love.
But as far as not having the chops for movies? Not the case.
She decided she wanted to have a family and that was to be her career.
A class act throughout her life.
As I read “an honest if exaggerated reflection of an America that, sadly, has faded into history.”
And with much sadness, I agree.

Amendment X on April 10, 2013 at 5:18 PM