Skip to comments.Mickey Rooney: A long and remarkable career in film, TV (RIP, age 93)
Posted on 04/07/2014 7:37:52 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
One of the last remaining stars of Hollywood's golden era, Mickey Rooney was born to vaudeville parents, and appeared with them onstage by the age of 1. He became a star when he was signed to play the part of comic book hero Mickey McGuire in a series of successful shorts that began in 1927 with "Mickey's Circus" and ended with "Mickey's Derby Day" in 1936. But it was at MGM in the 1930s that the diminutive dynamo hit real fame, particularly with the "Andy Hardy" movie series that launched in 1937.
While at MGM he earned Oscar nominations for best actor for 1939's "Babes in Arms" and 1943's "The Human Comedy." He also shared a juvenile 1939 Academy Award with Deanna Durbin.
His career declined after World War II, but he kept working, earning another Oscar nomination in 1956's "The Bold and the Brave" and again in 1979's "The Black Stallion." Rooney also found success on live TV in the 1950s and earned an Emmy in 1981 for the TV movie "Bill." Here's a look at some of Rooney's most memorable work in film and TV.
'A Midsummer Night's Dream'
Rooney played Puck in Warner Bros. 1935 all-star production of Shakespeare's comedy, directed by famed European-born directors Max Reinhardt and William Dieterle. Midway through the production, Rooney had a tobogganing accident and broke his leg. His cast was disguised by foliage and even holes in the floor.
'A Family Affair'
MGM's popular franchise of "Andy Hardy" family comedies, which began with this film, proved a perfect match for the tireless Rooney. Shot on a shoestring budget in just 15 days, the film was a smash,
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I do recommend the 1935 version of A Midsummer Night’s Dream although I didn’t particularly like Rooney’s version of Puck. But then I don’t think we’re supposed to like Puke. I did love James Cagney as Bottom. And the special affects were amazing for the time. So if you are like me and a bit OCD about Shakespeare, watch it. It’s as good as anything else that comes later.
Comedian John Pinette also died over the weekend. Malden boy. Too young.
I know I don't.
This is sad news. Another link to a saner world gone.
I have a buddy who wrote GERALD, which starred Rooney. He said that each day, at the end of the shoot, Mickey would have him go to the Wendy’s drive through for ice cream. The teen girl working got to know Rooney through his charm and down to earth demeanor. She, of course, had no idea who this little old man was but fell in love with him. After the film wrapped, my buddy went back and gave her his autograph with a thank you note to her. I know that his heart must be hurting today.
He was brilliant in “Bill.” I actually knew the real Bill in Iowa City and Rooney nailed that character.
I still remember the first movie I ever saw him in. 1957.
FRANCIS IN THE HAUNTED HOUSE.
Double feature with MA AND PA KETTLE ON OLD MCDONALD’S FARM.
Noel, MO movie house, years before it burned.
Bill is the role I will most remember Rooney for.
Mickey Rooney was a big fan and friend of Ronald Reagan.
That episode of Twilight Zone where he played the disgraced jockey is a good one.
Maybe the last one of the old time Hollywood movie stars, I can’t imagine there’s many more left.
Me and my wife met him when he came to a dragoncon a few years back for a few minutes at his table. Seemed like a nice fellow and was apparently enjoying himself.
BTW my brother was a professor at U of I, and knew Bill quite well too.
I’ll give the guy credit for his talent, but he was an arrogant prick.
Humility wasn’t part of his personality.
Sometimes there’s a reason why someone’s been married 8 times.
I met him in a hotel lobby in Philadelphia. He was sitting on a couch as I walked by on my way to the office. I did a double-take and then approached him with my hand out to shake.
Maybe he was in a bad mood or maybe I approached with a little too much enthusiasm, but he waved me away and said “I’m waiting for someone.” It seemed rude and dismissive to me, but I’m sure celebrities get tired of dunces approaching them in public and intruding on their privacy.
Still, I would have expected a bit more grace.
In any case, that was the Mickey Rooney I knew, however briefly.
The reason he gave as to why Rooney entered acting was so that he could provide for his mom.
That thinking might be why he was married 8 times.
That’s great! Sounds like he was a really cool guy. I’ll have to try and watch NATIONAL VELVET. Never have seen it.
Well it probably explains his longevity in the business...perhaps to survive you have to be an arrogrant rick-with-a-p, because everyone else in the business is as well.
To each his own. I had to shut off the movie when that character appeared. I couldn't believe that there was a time when smart people apparently didn't think twice about that type of casting and portrayal.
But I don't want to speak ill of Mr. Rooney in general. He was a great actor.
I think Rooney made a pretty good elf!
I loved the Andy Hardy movies.
And of course he was a huge radio star back when radio was it. He was great in the Andy Hardy radio dramas because he could act through his voice alone. Of course with film his moves and mugs were great.
For me, it will always be Sugar Babies with Ann Miller.
RIP, Mr. Rooney. I remember seeing that he attended President Reagan’s funeral. I think Rooney was a supporter of his.
There’s only a handful of people that was in “It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World” left. RIP MR. You were great.