Vale Bonnie Elder
Bonita Lynn Fields Elder, an original Mouseketeer in the 1950s, passed away on Saturday, November 17, 2012, following her 2-year battle with throat cancer at a Richmond, Indiana hospice. She was 68. Even though she was “Bonnie” on “The Mickey Mouse Club”, she’s listed on the Internet Movie Database as “Lynn Fields.” The story is told that “Bonita” (being three syllables long), was changed by her to “Bonnie,” after Walt Disney asked for her permission to do that.
She showed a penchant for dancing almost as soon as she learned to walk, being tutored by former burlesque performer Marcella Newland in Richmond. After moving to California at age 9, she successfully auditioned (at age 12) for a guest appearance on the Disney program, which in turn led to her being offered a regular spot during the second and third seasons of the daily series, as well as making multiple in-person appearances at Disneyland, even after she outgrew her role on the show.
She was known for acting in several live theatre productions as well as some movies and in her later years, she was a dance instructor in both California and her native Indiana.
We’ll miss this very talented lady who was taken from us much too soon. We offer our sympathies to those who knew her best and who will join with us in fondly remembering her many contributions to the entertainment world.
Contributed by Fred T. Beeman
Bonnie Lynn Fields (July 18, 1944 – November 17, 2012) was an American actress and Mouseketeer on The Mickey Mouse Club, beginning with the show’s third season. Her film credits included roles in Angel in My Pocket, Bye Bye Birdie, and Funny Girl.