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Disney Child Star Annette Funicello Dies at 70

Annette Funicello , who became hugely popular as a child actress in Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse Club television show, has died at age 70.

The Walt Disney Company said she died Monday at a California hospital from complications of multiple sclerosis.

As a teenager in the 1950s Funicello starred as one of the original "Mousketeers," receiving 10 times more fan letters than any of the other 23 young performers.

She went on to star in a number of beach-based movies in the 1960s such as Beach Party, Bikini Beach and Beach Blanket Bingo.

Funicello was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in the late 1980s. The disease causes degeneration of the brain and spinal cord leading to muscle weakness, and loss of the ability to walk and speak clearly.

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