The Original Mickey Mouse Club Show


Linda Hughes       (Oct 22, 1946)

Linda

Linda was the youngest of the four new mouseketeers hired for the show's third season. Although she did not continue with a professional career, she did perform in many high school and dance productions.





Background

Linda Lu Hughes was born on October 22, 1946 in San Diego, California, to Richard Everett Hughes and Mary Augusta Ward. Although Linda's parents met in California, they were originally from the Midwest--- her father from Missouri and her mother from Iowa. Linda's father was an electrician and a 72 year member of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. Linda's older brother Douglas was born in 1943. Her younger sister Kimberley was born in 1962.

Linda's talents included tap dancing, ballet, and singing. However it was her accomplishment at baton twirling that set her apart, not only for her skill, but for her experience at live performances. From 1955-56, she had performed in about 100 USO shows in San Diego, appearing with military bands that greeted returning Navy and Marine personnel. Linda told author Lorraine Santoli (The Official Mickey Mouse Club Book) that

"There weren't too many of us that were Mouseketeers, but an awful lot of us wanted to be".

Linda got her opportunity to be a mouseketeer when in 1957 Disney began auditioning prospective mice outside of the Los Angeles area. Linda auditioned in her home town of San Diego. When she was hired, the family moved to Burbank so she could appear on the show. Disney publicity at that time stated that she was a better than average student in the fifth grade.

Performance

Because the third season episodes of the Mickey Mouse Club had been reduced to one half hour, the mouseketeers did not appear as frequently as on the first two seasons. Nevertheless, Linda received a lot of screen time. Some of this was background work. She could be seen applauding Talent Show winners, singing with the Lennon Sisters, and appearing in many ensembles. However, Linda had several opportunities to be the lead. She was a Talent Show guest where she showcased many of her skills - ballet, singing, and baton twirling. She had the lead in Mousekaturntoentertain, a short bit in Summer Camp, recited the Doddism Everything is Fun, and was paired with Don Agrati for Picnic Time and The Library Show. Both of these episodes utilized her singing talent. She sang a duet with Don in the first, and S' Marvelous to Don in the second.

She was also featured with Bonnie and Karen in an ongoing bit that introduced old episodes from the first season. Linda was a confident and energetic performer - fun to watch.

With the other mouseketeers Linda made personal appearances at Disneyland - performing her special baton twirling routines and signing autographs. Linda was also used in some of the Disney merchandising including a paper doll set.
       

Aftermath

After leaving the Mickey Mouse Club, Linda returned to public school. She was a popular student at John Burroughs High School where she continued entertaining through school activities. She danced in the school's annual Spring Vocal Concert, was in the chorus of South Pacific and had a lead in Bye Bye Birdie. She was also a member of the Junior Tournament of Roses Association. Linda was in the Cecchetti Junior Ballet Company, and had the lead role in several of their productions.

Linda's high school prom, held on June 17, 1963, made the national news. The students had booked the ballroom of the Beverly Hilton in 1961. However, in May 1963, just a few weeks before the prom, the hotel bumped the students from the ballroom to accommodate a Democratic fundraiser featuring President John F. Kennedy. When President Kennedy learned about this, he told the hotel that he would take a smaller venue leaving the ballroom for the prom. The students thanked him and invited him to the prom. He accepted the invitation and made an appearance there along with comedian Jack Benny.

Based on this event the city of Burbank entered a float in the 1964 Tournament of Roses parade. Linda and two other coeds represented the school on this float which was entitled The President Goes to the Prom.

In 1966, Linda married Myron Vaughan, an elementary school teacher. The couple has two children and several grandchildren. In 1975, Linda appeared with other mouseketeers at the 20th celebration of Disneyland, and in 1980 she performed on television in The Mouseketeer Reunion. Linda has continued to be interested in the entertainment field and has supported her granddaughters' activities in local summer theatre.

- - - Profile by Marcia Eaton

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