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Doreen Tracey, Original Disney Mouseketeer, Dies at Age 74

Doreen Tracey, Original Disney Mouseketeer, Dies at Age 74
From TIME - January 12, 2018

(NEW YORK)Doreen Tracey, a former child star who played one of the original cute-as-a-button Mouseketeers on The Mickey Mouse Club in the 1950s, has died, according to Disney publicist Howard Green. She was 74.

Tracey died from pneumonia Wednesday at a hospital in Thousand Oaks, California, following a two-year battle with cancer.

Tracey maintained ties to Disney and show business throughout her life, appearing in the film Westward Ho the Wagons! and touring with the Mouseketeers. She later served as a publicist to musician Frank Zappa and worked at Warner Bros.

It was the pig-tailed Tracey and her talented co-starsincluding Annette Funicellowho appeared on television in black hats with ears following the anthem M-I-C, K-E-Y, M-O-U-S-Eon ABCs The Mickey Mouse Club. Millions of kids raced home from school to watch in wonder as the bouncy Mouseketeers announced themselves at the top of the show.

The Mickey Mouse Club was the brainchild of Walt Disney during the flowering of his companys fortunes in the mid-1950s. To help finance the Disneyland park, he agreed to supply ABC with TV shows. One was designed for children in the pre-dinner hour.

The hour-long show proved a sensation with its Oct. 3, 1955, debut. It flourished for two seasons, then was reduced to a half-hour for two more. Tracey stayed for its four-year run.

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