Actress Annette Funicello has died at the age of 70.
The former Mickey Mouse Club star, who became a national treasure in America thanks to a string of 1960s cult beach movies, including Beach Blanket Bingo and Muscle Beach Party, passed away at a Bakersfield, California hospital.
Funicello battled multiple sclerosis during her final years and reports suggest she slipped into a coma and never regained consciousness.
The actress went public with her condition 20 years ago. Multiple sclerosis robbed her of her ability to walk and talk.
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The actor plays the titular hero in the forthcoming adaptation.