Annette Funicello, who was the epitome of the "girl next door" to baby boomers everywhere and one of the stars on the original 1955-'59 incarnation of The Mickey Mouse Club – died Monday after a long battle with multiple sclerosis. She was 70.

Her family reports that she passed away from complications stemming from her illness.

It is being reported that for the last several years, Funicello was unable to read or write, and could only speak with great difficulty. She was confined to a wheelchair and was designed by her husband.

She is survived by her husband, daughter Gina, and sons Jack Jr., and Jason. Donations in her honor can be sent to the Annette Funicello Research Fund for Neurological Disorders.

[People]