Very sad news, indeed. Not something I wanted to read or hear about today.
A legend, genius, and consummate hollywood star dead at 93. I think he was best paired with Judy Garland in all those MGM backyard films and the Busby Berkley Musicals. At least that’s how I’ll remember him most.
Mickey Rooney, an award-winning actor and Hollywood legend who appeared in more than 300 films and TV programs, died on April 6, Variety reported. Cause of death was not released. He was 93.* He was Mickey McGuire before changing his name to Rooney.
Born Joe Yule Jr. in Brooklyn, N.Y., Rooney was only 17 months old when he took the stage in his parents' vaudeville act. After adopting the stage name of Mickey Rooney* at the age of 7, he appeared in his first film, launching a career that would span nearly his entire life.
Rooney was still a teenager when he played Andy Hardy in the 1937 film "A Family Affair." The popular character, as played by Rooney, would appear in 14 more films and make him a top star at the box office. During Hollywood's golden years, the five-foot-three cherubic-faced actor worked with many of the silver screen's greatest leading ladies, including Elizabeth Taylor in "National Velvet," Judy Garland in "Thoroughbreds Don't Cry" and "Babes In Arms" and Audrey Hepburn in "Breakfast At Tiffany's."
Rooney was the first teenager to be nominated for an Oscar in a leading role and received a special juvenile Academy Award in 1938 after appearing in "Boys Town" with Spencer Tracy. He would earn four additional Oscar nominations for his work in "Babes In Arms," "The Human Comedy," "The Bold and the Brave" and "The Black Stallion," and receive an Academy Honorary Award "in recognition of his 50 years of versatility" in film. More recently, he appeared in "Night At The Museum" (2006) with Ben Stiller, and "The Muppets" (2011) starring Amy Adams and Jason Segel.
Rooney's work in television was no less lauded. He appeared in dozens of programs from 1954 to 2009, received two Golden Globe Awards and won an Emmy for his tender performance as a mentally challenged man in the 1981 TV movie "Bill."
According to USA Today, Laurence Olivier called Rooney "the greatest actor of them all."
There were many critics who thought that bringing Rooney and Ann Miller to Broadway in the musical "Sugar Babies" 25 years ago would be a disaster. Boy, how wrong could they be. The musical was everything the late-70s weary New Yorker wanted (needed) to see. Covered all the bases from vaudeville, slapstick, to dance and Burlesque. It was a huge hit. Brings back fond memories, too.
You done good, Mick. Thanks for everything.
And so it goes.