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Karen Anita Pendleton (August 1, 1946 – October 6, 2019) was an original Mickey Mouse Club Mouseketeer on ABC television from 1955–1959. She was one of only nine Mouseketeers who were on the show during its entire original run.
Karen Pendleton as a Mouseketeer on The Mickey Mouse Club in circa 1956
Karen Anita Pendleton
August 1, 1946
Glendale, California, U.S.
|Died||October 6, 2019 (aged 73)|
Fresno, California, U.S.
Pendleton was recruited to audition for the Mickey Mouse Club when Disney producers visited a Los Angeles dance studio seeking young talent. She toured Australia in 1959 and 1960 with a number of other Mouseketeers and Jimmie Dodd. She was often coupled with Carl "Cubby" O'Brien in the television series and in live performances, as they were the youngest members of the cast.
After the show's run, she left show business and finished school. She married in 1970, had a daughter in 1973, but divorced in 1985. Following an automobile accident in 1983, in which she was paralyzed from the waist down, she returned to college and earned a bachelor's degree in psychology. She worked at a shelter for battered women and served on the board for the California Association of the Physically Handicapped.
Pendleton died of a heart attack at the age of 73 on October 6, 2019.
- Harris, LaTesha (October 7, 2019). "Karen Pendleton, 'Mickey Mouse Club' Star, Dies at 73". Variety. Retrieved October 8, 2019.
- Karen Pendleton, One of the Original Mouseketeers, Dies at 73