Former Mouseketeer and my very first crush, Cheryl Holdridge died at age 64 January 6, 2009, from a two year battle with lung cancer.
Born Cheryl Lynn Phelps on June 20, 1944, in New Orleans, Holdridge moved to Los Angeles when she was 2. She became a Mouseketeer in 1956 at the start of the second season of "The Mickey Mouse Club," which featured 24 young singers and dancers.
"She certainly was a very pretty blonde and just had a very winning personality," said Lorraine Santoli, author of "The Official Mickey Mouse Club Book" and a former Disney publicist.
"Cheryl was the most joyous person, is the best way I can put it," Santoli said. "She saw the positive side of everything."
Tommy Cole, another former Mouseketeer, said Holdridge was "one of the prettiest girls on the set," and he "always considered her Miss Sunshine."
"She'd walk into the room and this ray of sunshine would happen every time she smiled," he said.
Holdridge had no immediate surviving family members.