Annette Funicello — the undisputed Queen of the “Mickey Mouse Club” — has passed away from complications due to Multiple Sclerosis after more than 25 years fighting the disease. She was 70.
Pretty, dark-haired Funicello – one of America’s perpetual teenagers – was ‘discovered’ at a dance recital when she was 13 by Walt Disney himself. She was cast to star in The Mickey Mouse Club until 1959, and then roles like with “Babes in Toyland”. As she grew into older roles, she was cast as one half of the popular “Frankie and Annette” billing, captivating teen audiences everywhere until her marriage in 1965. Her grace, her beauty, her clean humor and her figure remained popular despite her shrinking public appearances.
In the early nineties, Funicello announced her battle with MS, quashing long-rumored whispers of alcoholism due to intermittent trouble with walking on set in her reunion with Avalon in “Back to the Beach” in 1987.
Annette Funicello remained steadfastly devoted to Walt Disney throughout her life. Shortly after her announcement of living with MS, she doted on Walt Disney and her days on The Mickey Mouse Club as the happiest of her life. She gladly heeded Disney’s requests to wear a one-piece swimsuit even though many girls began sporting bikinis in beach productions, and she never regretted it.
Many times, Funicello credited the Lord with her tribulations. In her 1994 autobiography, “A Dream Is a Wish Your Heart Makes”, she says, “But I thank God I just didn’t wake up one morning and not be able to walk. You learn to live with it. You learn to live with anything, you really do.” She goes on to say, “I’ve always been religious. This just makes me appreciate the Lord even more because things could always be worse. I know He will see me through this.”
Annette Funicello will live in our hearts, and hearts of all Mouseketeers, forever, and remind us to keep young at heart and inspire us to make the most of the hand we’re dealt.
The History Channel premiered, on March3rd, the first episode of Roma Downey and Mark Burnett’s The Bible. The epic docudrama was received by 14.8 million viewers.
In episode two Joshua conquers Jericho; Delilah betrays Samson as the Israelites battle the Philistines; Samuel anoints David king, a move that could throw the nation into civil war; Saul is consumed with jealousy when David defeats Goliath; King David ushers in a golden age for Israel, but is soon seduced by power and lust for Bathsheba; God forgives David, and his son, Solomon, builds God’s temple in Jerusalem.
Click here to watch a sneak peek of Episode 2 airing Sunday, March 10th.
Photo credit: Harpo, Inc. Photographer George Burns
Oprah Winfrey and Don Miguel Ruiz, New York Times bestselling author of “The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom,” discuss the profound power of each of the agreements in an all-new episode of “Super Soul Sunday,” the award-winning series designed to help viewers awaken to their best selves and discover a deeper connection to the world around them. The episode airs this Sunday, March 3 at 11 a.m. ET/PT on OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network.
Originally introduced to Winfrey and her audience by Ellen DeGeneres in 1999, “The Four Agreements” would eventually be selected as one of Oprah’s Favorite Things and soar to the top of the bestseller’s list. During this candid interview, don Miguel Ruiz shares how his near death experiences opened him to more profound levels of spiritual awareness. Plus, find out how avid readers have been impacted by the lessons of “The Four Agreements.”
All new episodes of “Super Soul Sunday” will continue throughout March and April featuring Oprah Winfrey’s conversations with today’s acclaimed authors and thought leaders about life’s big questions. This season’s line-up will also include Winfrey’s mentor Dr. Maya Angelou. Viewers can join the global conversation online via Oprah.com, Facebook and Twitter using #SuperSoulSunday.
Pastor Rick Warren and Oprah Winfrey
Photo Credit: © 2013 Harpo Studios, Inc.
Los Angeles – Oprah Winfrey and Pastor Rick Warren, author of The Purpose Driven Life, discuss the fundamental concepts explored in his best-selling book in an all-new episode of “Oprah’s Lifeclass,” the popular series where Winfrey engages with thought-leaders in inspiring conversations about principles that guide our lives. The episode airs this Sunday, February 24 at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT on OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network.
In part two of Winfrey’s conversation with Warren, the two help viewers answer life’s biggest questions: ‘What on earth am I here for?’ and ‘What is my purpose?’ They talk about the three levels of existence: survival, success and significance, and how to start living your life with more purpose. Plus, an update from a former guest on “The Oprah Winfrey Show”who survived being held hostage in 2005 by the Atlanta Spree Killer after reading The Purpose Driven Life.
Make sure you tune in and watch as life’s biggest questions are addressed.