She was a Mouseketeer. She was the girl on Spin and Marty. She was a young teenager visiting Los Angeles who met Senor Zorro. And she was a beach bunny who was always the sensible girlfriend of Frankie Avalon. There were songs like "Pineapple Princess", and "Tall Paul".
The "Iron Lady", Margaret Thatcher, may have passed away earlier today, but she only ruled a country in an era when it was a boy's club (and still is for the most part). Her polices did much to harm her country, and the people of her country, and the countries which followed the lead she and Ronnie provided.
Annette ruled our hearts. She partied on the beach like every teenager since wanted to do, following the lead she and Frankie provided. She solved all of the gang's problems, and triumphed over bullies and her often thick headed boyfriend. And she had a sense of humor about it all, even appearing as herself with Frankie on Pee Wee's Playhouse, and in a "Back to the Beach" movie.
In the late 1990's there were rumors that she had a problem with alcohol. Usually a private person, she went public and announced that she had MS. She took it on in typical Annette fashion, and started The Annette Funicello Fund for Neurological Diseases . My Uncle had MS. When it's in the family, one tends to notice things like this.
I hope the youth of today discover her now, and follow the lead she provided. It's a much better path than the other woman who passed on today.
Rest in Peace, Lady. Rest in Peace.