Stars Launched by The Mickey Mouse Club
On this day in 1955, The Mickey Mouse Club premiered to the delight of kids all across the country. Originally created to help fund the construction of Disneyland’s theme park in California, the show helped launch the careers of several stars in the nearly six decades that have followed.
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And while performers such as Candice Bergen, Paul Williams, Courtney Love, Jessica Simpson, Ben Affleck, Kirsten Dunst, Brittany Murphy and Matt Damon didn’t prove to be Mouseketeer material during their auditions over the years, others memorably made the grade. DYR looks back at some of our favorites.
Discovered at age 12 by Walt Disney himself while performing Swan Lake, Funicello was practically the face of the original Mickey Mouse Club in the 1950s. She would go on to star in several “beach party” flicks in the 1960s, including Beach Blanket Bingo, Muscle Beach Party and How to Stuff a Wild Bikini.
Another of the original Mickey Mouse Club Mouseketeers, Don Grady would go on to find success during his teen years as Robbie Douglas on the hit series My Three Sons.
Before she played bitchy brat Blair Warner on TV’s The Facts of Life, earned a Grammy nomination for her faith-based music, or (more recently) reached the finale on Survivor: Philippines, Lisa Whelchel appeared as a Mouseketeer in 1977 on The New Mickey Mouse Club.
Before the Louisiana-born singer became an edgy, sexy, scandal-surviving MILF who has dominated music charts and tabloid headlines around the globe for the past 13 years, Britney was a Mouseketeer. From ages 11 to 13 she was a breakout star on the revamped All New Mickey Mouse Club in the mid 1990s.
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