The Mickey Mouse Club icons you know—Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake, Ryan Gosling, Christina Aguilera—might not even be around today had it not been for the original cast. The show's initial run aired from 1955 to 1959, and starred Mouseketeer Annette Funicello, who passed away today at the age of 70.
Funicello suffered with multiple sclerosis for many years, no longer able to read or write, and barely able to speak in her final years. Once the brilliant young star on one of television's greatest kid programs, Funicello never left the spotlight, appearing in more than 40 different shows and films. She covered People magazine in 1992, coming out to the public about her battles with MS. She leaves behind her husband, daughter, and two sons.
Watch video of Annette on The Mickey Mouse Club below: