Former Mouseketeer Bonita Lynn Fields Elder, died in Indiana this past Saturday after losing a two-year battle with throat cancer, she was 68.
Elders was a wonderful dancer who was able to showcase her dancing talents on “The Mickey Mouse Club” in the 1950’s. Elders was 12 in 1957 when she won a part on the third season of “The Mickey Mouse Club”. Elder had always gone by her middle name Lynn, but the show’s producers suggested she adopted the stage name “Bonnie” — a nickname of her real first name because there was a boy cast member with the first name Lynn, reported her cousin Robbin Myers.
Elder continued on as a cast member and performing at California’s Disneyland after the original “Mickey Mouse Club” ended. Myers said that she and her sister Diana would often visit Elder at Disneyland. They were chatting with her after one show when they heard someone behind them calling out “Bonnie!”
“We turned around, and it was Walt Disney, so we got to meet Mr. Disney!” she said.
Elder appeared in 1980 on a televised program marking the 25th anniversary of “The Mickey Mouse Club.” From 1981 to 1985, she took part in live Mouseketeer reunion shows at Disneyland.
Elder continued on in the entertainment industry and was able to land small parts in several 1960s movies, including “Kissin’ Cousins” with Elvis Presley and “Bye Bye Birdie” with Ann-Margret. She later appeared as a dancer on television shows and on Broadway before opening a dance studio in Santa Monica, Calif.
- Bonnie Lynn Fields dies at 68; former Mouseketeer (orlandosentinel.com)
- Former Mouseketeer Bonita Lynn Fields Elder dies (goerie.com)