Karen Pendleton, former Mouseketeer on Disney's 'The Mickey Mouse Club,' dead at 73

Former Mouseketeer Karen Pendleton, who starred in the original run of "The Mickey Mouse Club" in the 1950s, has died at age 73, multiple news outlets are reporting.

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According to Variety, Pendleton suffered a heart attack before her death Sunday in Fresno, California. She leaves behind a daughter, Staci Bletscher, as well as two grandchildren, the outlet reported.

Pendleton was just 8 when the iconic Disney series first aired in 1955, Entertainment Weekly reported. The blonde, curly-haired child actress was a cast member until the show ended four years later.

After her role on "The Mickey Mouse Club," Pendleton reportedly left the entertainment industry and completed high school. She and her husband welcomed their daughter in 1973 before they eventually divorced, according to EW.

Variety reported that Pendleton was seriously injured in a 1983 car wreck, which left her paralyzed below the waist. She later became a board member for the California Association of the Physically Handicapped.

After her accident, Pendleton also studied psychology, attaining her bachelor's and master's degrees, EW reported. She was a high school counselor and worked with battered women at a shelter, according to Variety and EW.

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