Annette Funicello was hot. Very hot. As star of all those beach movies in the '60s, she gave all the other girls at the time a run for their money, and it wasn't hard to see why Frankie Avalon demanded they have plenty of shoots on the sand. Or why millions of young were in love with her.
We found out that she passed away yesterday at the age of 70 after a long battle with multiple sclerosis, which she announced she had back in 1992. Her once bubbly demeanor was slowed down by the disease and she retreated from public life.
Any dialog about the best pin-ups of the '60s includes Funicello, who was the wholesome alternative to Sophia Loren and Ann-Margret, or at least one partially sanctioned by the Disney people. Walt Disney didn't want her in two-piece bathing suits while she was under his thumb even.
Here are a handful of great Funicello pictures to show you what all the fuss was about. Rest in peace, surfer girl.
Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.