Annette Funicello Overview

Annette Joanne Funicello (born October 22, 1942) is an American United States singer and actress. She was Walt Disney's most po***r cast member of The Mickey Mouse Club,

 

 

Early life and early stardom

Born in Utica, New York to Italian-Americans Joseph and Virginia Funicello, she took dancing and music lessons as a child to try to overcome shyness. Her family moved to Southern California when she was four years old.

In 1955, the 12-year-old was discovered by Walt Disney as she performed as the Swan Queen in Swan Lake at a dance recital in Burbank, California. On the basis of this appearance, Disney cast her as one of the original "Mouseketeers". She was the last to be selected, and the only one picked by Walt Disney. She soon proved to be very po***r. By the end of the first season of Mickey Mouse Club, she was receiving 6,000 letters a month, according to her Disney Legends biography.

In addition to appearing in many of the Mouseketeers' sketches and dance routines, Funicello starred or co-starred in a number of serial Serial (radio and television) s on The Mickey Mouse Club. These included Adventure in Dairyland, her own self-titled serial, Walt Disney Presents: Annette (which co-starred Richard Deacon Richard Deacon (actor) ), and the second and third Spin and Marty serials,The Further Adventures of Spin and Marty and The New Adventures of Spin and Marty. It was in a hayride scene in the Annette serial that she performed the song that was to launch her singing career. The studio received so much fan mail about "How Will I Know My Love," written by the Sherman Brothers, that Walt Disney decided to issue it as a single, and to give Funicello, somewhat unwillingly, a recording contract.After the Mickey Mouse Club she remained under contract with Disney for a time, with television roles in Zorro Zorro (1957 TV series) , Elfego Baca and The Horsemasters. For Zorro she played Anita Cabrillo in a three-episode storyline about a teen-aged girl who arrives in Los Angeles to visit a father who does not seem to exist. This role was reportedly a birthday present from Walt Disney, and the first of two different characters played opposite Guy Williams as Zorro. Annette also co-starred in Disney-produced movies such as The Shaggy Dog The Shaggy Dog (1959 film) , Babes in Toyland Babes in Toyland (1961 film) , The Misadventures of Merlin Jones, and The Monkey's Uncle.

Although uncomfortable being thought of as a singer, Annette had a number of pop record pop music hits in the late 1950s and early 1960s, mostly written by the Sherman Brothers and including: "Tall Paul," "First Name Initial," "O Dio Mio," "Train of Love" (written by Paul Anka) and "Pineapple Princess." They were released by Disney's Buena Vista Disney Music Group label. Annette also recorded "It's Really Love" in 1959, a reworking of an earlier Paul Anka song called "Toot Sweet"; Anka reworked the song for a third time in 1962 as "Johnny's Theme" and it opened The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson on television for the next three decades. In an episode of the Disney anthology television series titled "Disneyland After Dark," Annette can be seen singing live at Disneyland. Walt Disney was reportedly a fan of 1950s pop star Teresa Brewer and tried to pattern Annette's singing in the same style. However, Funicello credits "the Annette sound" to her record producer, Tutti Camarata, who worked for Disney in that era. Camarata had her double-track her vocals, matching her first track as closely as possible on the second recording to achieve a fuller sound than her voice would otherwise produce. Early in her career, she appeared on the NBC interview program Here's Hollywood.

She and Avalon became so iconic as "beach picture" stars that they were re-united in 1987 for the Paramount Paramount Pictures film Back to the Beach, parodying their own surf-and-sand films of two decades earlier. They then toured the country as a singing act.

In 1979, Funicello began starring in a series of television commercials for Skippy peanut butter.Funicello was married to her first husband, Jack Gilardi, from 1965 until 1981. They had three children together, Gina (b. 1966), Jack, Jr. (b. 1970) and Jason (b. 1974). In 1986, she married California harness racing horse breeder/trainer Glen Holt. She had kept her condition a secret for many years, but felt it necessary to go public to combat rumors that her impaired ability to walk was the result of alcoholism. That same year, she was inducted as a Disney Legend. In 1993, she opened the Annette Funicello Fund for Neurological Disorders at the California Community Foundation.

Funicello's best friend is Shelley Fabares. She and Fabares have been friends since they were young teenagers, and Fabares was a bridesmaid at Funicello's first wedding. She is also very close to fellow Mouseketeer Sharon Baird and her "Beach" movies co-star, Frankie Avalon.

Her autobiography, published in 1994 1994 in literature , is A Dream Is a Wish Your Heart Makes: My Story. The title is taken from a song A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes from the Disney movie Cinderella Cinderella (1950 film) . A made-for-TV movie based on the book, A Dream Is a Wish Your Heart Makes: The Annette Funicello Story, was made in 1995. In the final scene, the actress portraying Funicello (Eva LaRue), riding in a wheelchair, is turned away from the camera — turning back, it is Funicello herself, who delivers a message to a group of children. During this period she also produced her own line of teddy bears for the Annette Funicello Collectible Bear Company.
Her parents died within two years of each other. On September 2, 2007, Annette mother's, Virginia Funicello, died of pneumonia, a month after her 86th birthday. On May 21, 2009, Annette's father, Joe Funicello, died of natural causes at the age of 93. The only on-screen appearance her parents made was in the above-mentioned A Dream Is a Wish Your Heart Makes: The Annette Funicello Story.artAlbumMoreContainer

Albums

*Annette, released 1959
*Annette Sings Anka, released 1960
*Hawaiiannette, released 1960
*Italiannette, released 1960
*Dance Annette, released 1961
*Annette Funicello, released 1962
*The Story of My Teens, released 1962
*Annette's Beach Party, released 1963
*Muscle Beach Party, released 1964
*Annette At Bikini Beach, released 1964
*Annette On Campus, released 1964
*Pajama Party, released 1964
*Something Borrowed Something Blue, released 1964
*Annette Sings Golden Surfin' Hits, released 1965
*Annette Funicello Country Album, released 1984
*A Dream Is a Wish Your Heart Makes, released April 16, 1995


Positions in Billboard

*"Tall Paul" #7 (1959)
*"Jo Jo the Dog Faced Boy" #73 (1959)
*"Lonely Guitar" #50 (1959)
*"My Heart Became of Age" #74 (1959)
*"First Name Initial" #20 (1959)
*"O Dio Mio" #10 (1960)
*"Train of Love" #36 (1960)
*"Pineapple Princess" #11 (1960)
*"Talk to Me Baby" #92 (1960)
*"Dream Boy" #87 (1961)*The Shaggy Dog The Shaggy Dog (1959 film) (1959)
*Babes in Toyland Babes in Toyland (1961 film) (1961)
*Elfego Baca: Six Gun Law (1962) (compilation of episodes from Wonderful World of Color serial)
*The Horsemasters (1962) (compilation of episodes from Wonderful World of Color serial)
*Beach Party (1963)
*The Misadventures of Merlin Jones (1964) (compilation of episodes from Wonderful World of Color serial)
*Muscle Beach Party (1964)
*Bikini Beach (1964)
*Pajama Party Pajama Party (film) (1964)
*Beach Blanket Bingo (1965)
*The Monkey's Uncle (1965) (compilation of episodes from Wonderful World of Color serial)
*Ski Party (1965) (Cameo)
*How to Stuff a Wild Bikini (1965)
*Dr. Goldfoot and the Bikini Machine (1965) (Cameo)
*Fireball 500 (1966)
*Thunder Alley (1967)
*Head Head (film) (1968)
*Back to the Beach (1987)
*Troop Beverly Hills (1989) (Cameo)*Mickey Mouse Club (1955-1959)
*Zorro Zorro (1957 TV series) (as Anita Cabrillo in Season 2)
*The Danny Thomas Show (cast member in 1959)
*Walt Disney anthology television series (in 1961 as Constancia in the second hour-long Zorro episode, " ," on the Disney anthology series, during the hiatus of Zorro Zorro (1957 TV series) due to a legal dispute with ABC)
*The Horsemasters (1961)
*Escapade in Florence (1962)
* "Rosetta", The Greatest Show on Earth The Greatest Show on Earth (TV series) (1964)
*Easy Does It... Starring Frankie Avalon (1976) (canceled after four episodes)
*Frankie and Annette: The Second Time Around (1978) (unsold pilot)
*The Mouseketeer Reunion (November 23, 1980)
*Lots of Luck (1985; made-for-TV movie)
*Growing Pains episode "The Seavers and the Cleavers" (guest star, 1985)
*Pee-wee's Playhouse Christmas Special (guest star, 1988)
*Full House episode "Joey Goes Hollywood Full House episodes (Season 4)#Joey Goes Hollywood " (guest star with Frankie Avalon, March 29, 1991)
*A Dream Is a Wish Your Heart Makes: The Annette Funicello Story (1995; made-for-TV movie)* Funicello, Annette and Patricia Romanowski. A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes: My Story 1994, ISBN 0-7868-8092-9
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Annette Funicello

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