Annette Funicello, 1942-2013
I was sorry to learn today that Annette Funicello had died. The actress known for being a Mouseketeer in the '50s and a beach bunny in a string of 1960s bikini movies — "Beach Blanket Bingo," "How to Stuff a Wild Bikini" and others — died this morning at 70 of complications from multiple sclerosis.
Annette Funicello in her Mouseketeer days
Being a Disney regular she didn't work much at the Iverson Movie Ranch, as Disney had its own Golden Oak Ranch in Placeritas Canyon, out in the Newhall area. But Funicello did make it to Iverson at least once, for an episode of the Disney miniseries "The Nine Lives of Elfego Baca."
Annette Funicello, right, as Chiquita Bernal in
"Elfego Baca, Attorney at Law" — shot on the Upper Iverson
The episode, "Elfego Baca, Attorney at Law," aired Feb. 6, 1959, as part of the "Disneyland" TV series — also known as "Walt Disney Presents" or "Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color," among various other names over the span of its many decades on television. As it turns out, Funicello's Iverson shoot for "Elfego Baca" produced an important sighting: an adobe on the Upper Iverson, which I have never seen anywhere else.
Annette Funicello, right, with Robert Loggia and Gloria Castillo
in "Elfego Baca, Attorney at Law"
In the above shot and a few others in this post, the familiar hills to the west of Iverson can be seen, pinpointing the location as the Upper Iverson.
Robert Loggia as Elfego Baca
In the above shot, Robert Loggia, playing the title role of real-life Western attorney and gunman Elfego Baca, arrives at the adobe complex, with some important marker rocks visible in the background. Most of those rocks remain in place today on the site of the former Upper Iverson, although the area is now occupied by a gated community of large estates. The rocks — sometimes referred to as the "Rocks Across the Way," in reference to their relatively remote location on the North Rim of the Upper Iverson — are helpful in further narrowing down the location of the adobe, which was just south of this cluster of rocks.
Annette Funicello and frequent co-star Frankie Avalon in the beach movie days
Known for her physical assets and her beach outfits as much as for her acting — OK, let's be honest: Known MORE for her physical assets than for her acting — Funicello wore "bikinis" that these days even Granny would consider too modest.