50’s Mouseketeer Cheryl Holdridge dies of cancer
50’s Mouseketeer Cheryl Holdridge died Tuesday at her home in Santa Monica after a two-year battle with lung cancer, the L.A. Times reported. She was 64.
She joined The Mickey Mouse Club in the spring of 1956 as part of the club’s “Red Team“–the most and popular of the Mouseketeers.
Annette Funicello, Cubby O’Brien, Sharon Baird, Bobby Burgess, Karen Pendleton, Lonnie Burr and Darlene Gillespie were among the original Mouseketeers.
“She was a good technical dancer, but I think she was picked mostly because she had this angelic look and a great smile; she’s known for her smile,” Doreen Tracey, another former Mouseketeer told the newspaper. “We used to try to keep her quiet when she started singing because she sang off-key.”
Born in New Orleans, she and her family moved to Los Angeles when she was 2 years old. At the age of 9, she was selected by George Balanchine to perform for “The Nutcracker Suite.” She also had a small role in the 1956 film “Carousel.”
Holdridge’s television career went into high gear starting in 1960. She went on to play Wally Cleaver’s girlfriend, Julie Foster, for two seasons on “Leave It to Beaver.” And she had guest roles on shows such as “The Rifleman,” “Bachelor Father,” “My Three Sons,” “Bewitched” and “The Dick Van Dyke Show.” While still on the peak of her profession, Holdridge left acting in1964 to get married.
After the death of her second husband, Holdridge made a cameo appearance in the 2000 feature film, The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas. In 2005 she appeared at Disneyland for 50th anniversary celebrations of both the opening of the park and The Mickey Mouse Club. More recently, she appeared in televised documentary specials about Cary Grant (2005) and Barbara Hutton (2006), and has also done a special feature interview for a Disney DVD. Wikipedia