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Original Mouseketeer Doreen Tracey Dead At 74 (Photos)

Original Mouseketeer Doreen Tracey Dead At 74 (Photos) Promo Image

One of the original Mouseketeers has died. Doreen Tracey was 74.

A Disney publicist confirmed that Tracey died on Jan. 10, two years after being diagnosed with cancer, reports ABC News.

The immediate cause of death was pneumonia, the Daily Mail noted.

"Our Dodo, as we lovingly nicknamed her, always had a smile on her face," fellow Mouseketeer Tommy Cole said. "She never failed to make us all feel good and we will miss her." 

Tracey was born in London, but as a child she moved to the U.S., where her father opened a dance studio in Hollywood. 

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Having trained as a dancer at her father's studio, she successfully auditioned for a position on "The Mickey Mouse Club" when she was 12. 

Among the highlights of her career as Mouseketeer was her appearance in the Disney film "Westward Ho, the Wagons!" 

She was one of the most popular Mouseketeers, according to Jennifer Keishin Armstrong, author of the book "Why? Because We Still Like You: An Oral History of the Mickey Mouse Club."

"I was 16 years old, I had flaming red hair, and Britney Spears had nothing on me," she said in an interview with Armstrong, who reports that Tracey was a sex symbol among boys.

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In 1968, Tracey entertained U.S. troops in Vietnam as part of a rock group called Doreen and the Invaders, with the backing band comprised of Filipino musicians.

"I wanted to identify as an entertainer on my own," she told Armstrong. "But I couldn't escape my past." 

She ended up working for Warner Brothers Records, where she did promotional work for musician Frank Zappa, among others.

In 1976, she grabbed headlines by posing nude in the men's magazine Gallery, wearing nothing but her Mouseketeer ears.

"You get caught up in your own ego, not paying attention, not seeing the full repercussions," she said of the experience. "You don't really look objectively, you get yourself in a lot of hot water. And so I lost a lot of shows at Disney. They used to call me two, three times a year for appearances before I did Gallery, and now they wouldn't touch me." 

In 1979, she again posed for Gallery, this time semi-nude, wearing a trench coat outside Disney Studios. But by the 1990s, she had reconciled with Disney, and appeared regularly at official Mouseketeer reunions thereafter.

She had recently retired from Warner Brothers Records, and at the time of her death she was writing a memoir and considering putting together a nightclub act.

Tracey is survived by her son, Bradley, and two grandchildren, Gavin and Autumn.

Sources: ABC News, Daily Mail, / Featured Image: TV Radio Mirror/Wikimedia Commons / Embedded Images: Jennifer Keishin Armstrong

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