"Annette Funicello, long-time Disney and Beach Party star, passed away on Monday April 8 at Mercy Southwest Hospital in Bakersfield, CA, at the age of 70," her rep said in a statement. "She died peacefully from complications due to Multiple Sclerosis, a disease she battled for over 25 years."
Commenting on her passing, Bob Iger, Chairman and CEO of The Walt Disney Company, said, "Annette was and always will be a cherished member of the Disney family, synonymous with the word Mouseketeer, and a true Disney Legend. She will forever hold a place in our hearts as one of Walt Disney's brightest stars, delighting an entire generation of baby boomers with her jubilant personality and endless talent. Annette was well known for being as beautiful inside as she was on the outside, and she faced her physical challenges with dignity, bravery and grace. All of us at Disney join with family, friends, and fans around the world in celebrating her extraordinary life."
Born October 22, 1942, in Utica, New York, Funicello is survived by her husband and three children.