Bonnie Lynn Fields, once a Mouseketeer on “The Mickey Mouse Club,” has died following a two-year battle with throat cancer. She was 68.
Fields, a Mouseketeer on the 1950s Disney children’s show, had suffered from throat cancer for two years when she died in a hospital in Richmond, Ind., according to her cousin, Robin Myers, the Associated Press reported Tuesday. Fields, a heavy smoker, passed away Saturday.
A native of South Carolina, Fields joined “The Mickey Mouse Club” when she was 12 years old for the show’s third season in 1957-58, the Los Angeles Times reported.
While Fields was not considered one of the show’s featured performers, she was best known for her dancing moves.
"Bonnie had a ballet line through everything she did. She was a lithe ballerina type. And she was light," original Mouseketeer Lonnie Burr recalled to the Times.
Fields’ family moved from Indiana to California when she was 9 so she could audition for the popular children’s show, the AP reported.
Fields was born Bonita, which she shortened to Bonnie after makers of the Disney show said it sounded better and fit in with the short names of her fellow Mouseketeers, the Times reported.
She was known as Lynn to family and friends, according to her cousin.
The former Mouseketeer moved on from the Disney show to earn movie and theater roles, including Broadway appearances.
Fields was a part of the New York City ballet production of the “Nutcracker Suite” held at the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles.
Her dancing talents also led Fields to open the Lynn Fields School of Tap and Performing Arts in Santa Monica, Calif., according to the Times.
But Fields never forgot her past on the children’s show. The former Mouseketeer appeared at reunions of “The Mickey Mouse Club” with her castmates in 1980, the paper reported.
"She was a very sweet, good person. Dancing was her life," former Disney publicist Lorraine Santoli said of Fields.
Twitter user @LAFDtalk paid tribute to the former Mouseketeer on the micro-blogging site.
“Thank you for inspiring a generation to put on their dancing shoes,” the message read.