R.I.P., Annette Funicello, the teen star who kept it clean

April 9, 2013
Annette with co-star Frankie Avalon in 1963. (AP)
Annette with co-star Frankie Avalon in 1963. (AP)

 

“Mr. Disney said to me one day, ‘Annette, I have a favor to ask of you. I know all the girls are wearing bikinis, but you have an image to uphold. I would appreciate it if you would wear a one-piece suit.’ I did, and I never regretted it.”

 

Annette Funicello recalling the advice from original mentor Walt Disney, reports AP, when she graduated from the “Mickey Mouse Club” to the beach movies. Annette Funicello died Monday at 70, and her obituary by Emily Langer is a nice piece of cultural history that delicately nails the starlet’s magical allure. (“With the word ‘ANNETTE’ emblazoned across the chest of her white turtleneck — just high enough not to lure the eye astray — she won the hearts of armies of American boys who had yet to win their first kiss.”) . . . Some nice quotes, too, in this AP obituary, including Paul Anka’s revelation that they dated back in the day — and doesn’t he just have all the juicy stories this month. (Earlier: Frank Sinatra wanted a hit on Kitty Kelley, says Paul Anka)

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Amy Argetsinger | April 9, 2013