One of Walt Disney’s original Mouseketeers, Bonni Lou Kern has passed away on Monday, USA Today has learned. Kern was 79. Kern peacefully passed away from natural causes in Wooster, Ohio, Disney historian and author Lorraine Santoli confirmed in a statement to the site.
Lou Kern appeared on the classic The Mickey Mouse Club from 1955 to 1956. She even had an episode named after her, “Save Bonni Lou Kern!” Kern didn’t do much with the Walt Disney Company after her stint as a Mouseketeer, though she did go on to work for the Jim Henson Company, working as a muppeteer working on projects such as The Great Santa Switch, The Muppet Show, The Muppet Movie, and The Great Muppet Caper.
Lou Kern is survived by her three granddaughters, six grandchildren, and thirteen great-grandchildren. Lou Kern’s daughter Allyson shared a tribute on Facebook, writing, “(Love) You Mom. You will be missed by All.”
Chasen Hampton, who was a Mouseketeer on The All-New Mickey Mouse Club revival alongside Ryan Gosling, Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, and Justin Timberlake, honored his predecessor on Twitter.
“Paying respect this morning to one of our MMC older sisters. #BonniLouKern from the Original 50’s #MickeyMouseClub has passed away. She was an incredible talent and will be missed greatly by her fans and #Disney family.”