Celebrating a Disney Legend: Annette Funicello

“Today we’re celebrating the life and legacy of the incomparable Annette Funicello.”

Those were the words Disney Chairman and CEO Bob Iger used to kick off the special ceremony to rededicate Soundstage 1 at The Walt Disney Studios Lot as the “Annette Funicello Stage,” showcased in her own handwriting.

As I wrote in my post a few months back, The Mickey Mouse Club is an integral part of our Disney fabric. Soundstage 1 is also the place where The Mickey Mouse Club was filmed from 1955 to 1958 — which makes this event extra special.

Present at the dedication were friends, family and some of the original Mousketeers that once shared the stage with Annette, such as Darlene Gillespie, Sharon Baird, Cubby O’Brien, Tommy Cole, Bobby Burgess, Doreen Tracey, and Sherry Alberoni.  How many of these names do you remember?

Annette’s son summed the ceremony up best when he said, “This is the perfect final honor for my mom. It’s just the best sendoff and the best place for it. She would be happy to know that The Walt Disney Studios is, in a way, her final resting place.”