The Mickey Mouse Club


I’ve always been fascinated by TV’s earliest child stars, the kids who gained fame on television nearly 70 years ago as the medium began to spread to millions of homes. Among the most prominent were those associated with The Mickey Mouse Club (1954-57). That popular Disney series made instant stars of the early “Mouseketeers,” but

Johnny Crawford was a kid on a real cowboy set back when millions of other youngsters across North America were faking it at home. Difference was, Crawford was getting paid big bucks to live out his fantasy as a child star on the late ’50s, early ’60s TV western The Rifleman. I met him in

News of Annette Funicello’s passing Monday at age 70 sent me scrambling through a box of old cassette tapes. Thanks to my friend Lorraine Santoli, a former Disney publicity manager who authored a book on the Mouseketeers and who formed a close bond with Funicello, I was able to interview the Disney princess. That memorable

Hey there, hi there, ho there–guess who turned 69 on the weekend?Annette Funicello, who, as the most famous of all the Mouseketeers in the mid-’50s, was one of the biggest stars ever in television.How famous was Annette? Paul Anka, seen Sunday as guest judge on Cover Me Canada, wrote his hit Put Your Head on