Disney renames Mouseketeer stage for Funicello

BURBANK, Calif. (AP) — The stage at Walt Disney Studios where “The Mickey Mouse Club” was filmed is now officially the Annette Funicello Stage.

Disney chief Bob Iger led a ceremony Monday dedicating the soundstage to Funicello, the Mouseketeer-turned-movie star who died in April at age 70.

Iger confessed to having a crush on Funicello when he was growing up, as many who watched the perky brunette on TV did.

Former Mouseketeers, Funicello’s family and colleagues and Mickey Mouse himself also participated in Monday’s dedication. Frankie Avalon, Richard Sherman and Leonard Maltin were among those honoring the late actress.

Julie Andrews is the only other entertainer to have a namesake stage at Disney studios.

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