Doreen Tracey, best known as one of the original Mouseketeers on "The Mickey Mouse Club" show, passed away after a two-year battle with pneumonia on Jan. 10. She was 74.
Tracey's life in the entertainment industry preceded and continued after her famous Disney run. According to official Disney fan club D23, Tracey was born in London in 1943 and moved to Hollywood at the age of 4. Once there, her vaudevillian family opened a dance studio and taught her to sing and dance.
Tracey auditioned for "The Mickey Mouse Club" at age 12. The Los Angeles Times reports that she had always considered herself the "black sheep" of the classic children's program, which ran on ABC from 1955 to 1959.
In a 1995 interview, she recalled what Walt Disney had told her at the start of the show four decades earlier.
"Walt Disney said to me, 'This will probably be the greatest thing you’ll ever do in your entire life,'" she told the Los Angeles Times. "That was pretty heavy stuff for a 12-year-old. But he was right."
Tracey was known for her lively personality and show talents. During her time on the program, she appeared in the 1956 Disney film "Westward Ho the Wagons!" She also went on to feature in fellow Mouseketeer Annette Funicello's spinoff, "Annette," according to D23.
In the 1960s, Tracey toured in Vietnam with her rock group, Doreen and the Invaders, the Los Angeles Times reports.
Tracey temporarily damaged her relationship with Disney when she posed for the magazine Gallery wearing nothing but Mickey Mouse ears. She later amended her rapport with the company and went on to regret her decision.
Later in her career, Tracey became a publicist for musician Frank Zappa and an administrator at Warner Bros.
D23 reports that she periodically returned for Mickey Mouse Club reunions in the 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s. She most recently helped celebrate the show's 60th anniversary in 2015.
Disney affiliates and fans have been honoring Tracey since her passing.
"Rest in peace Doreen Tracey... A true original and an original member of the Mouseketeers," said Disney CEO Robert Iger on Twitter. "Your Disney family will miss you."
"Our Dodo, as we lovingly nicknamed her, always had a smile on her face," said Mouseketeer Tommy Cole of Tracey, according to the Los Angeles Times. "She never failed to make us all feel good, and we will miss her."