Karen Pendleton, Original Mouseketeer Who Became Advocate for Disabled People, Dies at 73

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Mouseketeer Karen Pendleton is seen in a promotional image provided by Disney.
Mouseketeer Karen Pendleton is seen in a promotional image provided by Disney.

It was the height of the baby boomer era when Karen Pendleton and the rest of the Mouseketeers came bounding into living rooms across American, a troupe of bubbly, overly exuberant teens and pre-teens who danced and sang and reminded viewers to make good choices in life.

“The Mickey Mouse Club” was must-watch TV in the 1950s with the after-school set, led along by host Jimmie Dodd and the rock star of Mouseketeers, Annette Funicello — 60 minutes of wholesomeness that parents trusted implicitly.

But the show was canceled in 1959 and Pendleton’s career as an actress was done before she was even a teen, though life would take her off in unexpected directions.

Active with Disney through the decades at reunions and fan fests, Pendleton died of a heart attack Oct. 7 at her home in Fresno, where she had lived for years. She was 73.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.

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