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Bonnie Lynn Fields dies at 68; former Mouseketeer

Bonnie Lynn Fields

Bonnie Lynn Fields, who danced and sang her way into pop-culture posterity as one of Walt Disney's Mouseketeers, died Saturday in Richmond, Ind. She was 68.

Fields, a heavy smoker earlier in her life, was diagnosed with throat cancer about two years ago, according to her friend and former student Emily Kay Tillman.

The South Carolina native was 12 when she was offered a prized slot on "The Mickey Mouse Club," the children's variety show that launched the careers of Annette Funicello and others. Fields joined the cast for its third season in 1957-58 after an audition in Burbank that drew thousands of young performers.