Brown - Dark
Brown - Dark
Utica, New York
Claim to Fame
Walt Disney's Mouseketeer
Summery, Amiable/Good-Natured, Fun, Innocent, Earnest, Sweet
Actor/Actress, Soundtrack, Writer
Has Detailed Data (New)
Profile Bio Text
Annette Joanne Funicello (October 22, 1942 – April 8, 2013) was an American actress and singer.
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 popular. 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 serials on The Mickey Mouse Club. These included Adventure in Dairyland, her own self-titled serial, Walt Disney Presents: Annette (which co-starred Richard Deacon), 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, 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, Babes in Toyland, 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 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". 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
After maturing, she moved on from Disney and became a teen idol, starring in a series of "Beach Party" movies with Frankie Avalon for American International Pictures. These included Beach Party, Muscle Beach Party, Bikini Beach and Beach Blanket Bingo.
When she was cast in her first beach movie, Walt Disney himself -- for the sake of her virginal image -- asked her not to appear in any provocative scenes or wear any attire that showed her navel. She (perhaps unintentionally) did not fully comply with the latter request. She is seen wearing a two piece fishnet suit in the second film (Muscle Beach Party) and a blue and white bikini in the third (Bikini Beach). Both swimsuits showed her navel, particularly in Bikini Beach, where it is visible extensively during close up shots in a sequence early in the film when she meets Frankie Avalon`s "Potato Bug" character outside his tent.
She and Avalon became so iconic as "beach picture" stars that they were re-united in 1987 for Back to the Beach, parodying their own 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. 1965), Jack, Jr. (b. 1970) and Jason (b. 1974). In 1986 she married Glen Holt.
Funicello announced in 1992 that she suffers from multiple sclerosis. She had kept her condition a secret for many years, but felt it necessary to go pub
Couple Profile Source
Full Name at Birth
Annette Joanne Funicello
Gina Portman, Virginia Funicello
Michael Funicello, Joey Funicello
Shelley Fabares, Frankie Avalon, Sharon Baird, Doreen Tracey, Cheryl Holdridge
Jetet (Dog - Jetet was a gray poodle Annette owned in her teens)
A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes: My Story 
A Dream Is a Wish Your Heart Makes My Story  (Annette Funicello, Patricia Romanowski)
A Dream Is a Wish Your Heart Makes: The Annette Funicello Story 
A Dream Is a Wish Your Heart Makes: The Annette Funicello Story 
Annette Joanne Funicello (October 22, 1942 – April 8, 2013) was an Italian American actress and singer. Funicello began her professional career as a child performer at the age of twelve. She rose to prominence as one of the most popular Mouseketeers on the original Mickey Mouse Club. As a teenager, she transitioned to a successful career as a singer with the pop singles "O Dio Mio", "Tall Paul" and "Pineapple Princess", as well as establishing herself as a film actress, popularizing the successful "Beach Party" genre alongside co-star Frankie Avalon during the mid-1960s.
Has Detailed Data (105)
Has Detailed Data (76)
Music Profile Complete
Place of Death
Cause of Death
Jack Gilardi Jr. (son), Jason Gilardi (son)
Actress, Singer, Writer
Wiki Bio Text
Born in Utica, New York, on October 22, 1942, actress and singer Annette Funicello's family relocated to southern California following the end of World War II. After several years of music and dance lessons, Annette was spotted by Walt Disney and asked to audition for a new show, The Mickey Mouse Club. She was hired, and the show made its debut in 1955. She stayed with Disney for about ten years, making many films, TV appearances, and records.
By the early 1960s, Annette had embarked on the second leg of her career, acting in American International beach party films along with Frankie Avalon. In 1965, during her beach party run, she married her agent, Jack Gilardi.
Annette Funicello's marriage to Gilardi ended in 1981 after sixteen years and three children. Her film appearances had become more sporadic after she started a family. By the early 1970s, she had become a commercial spokesperson for a variety of products and remained closely tied to Disney. In 1986, Annette married her second husband, Glen Holt, and started making plans for a new film in which she would act and produce alongside Frankie Avalon. Sadly, while making this film, Back to the Beach, in 1987, she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. She waited five years before publicly disclosing her condition. Illness aside, she started two different businesses focusing on collectable bears and perfume. Her line of stuffed bears has been particularly successful, and some of the retired designs now fetch high prices. Toward the end of her life, Annette Funicello could no longer walk or speak, due to the ravages of her illness. Sadly, she passed away on April 8, 2013, at the age of 70. She is survived by her husband Glen Holt, daughter Gina, and sons Jason and Jack.
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