Actor Mickey Rooney Dies at 96

mickey rooney diesMickey Rooney, whose roller-coaster, nine-decade career in show business included vaudeville, silent films, movies, television and Broadway, died Sunday. He was 93.

Rooney died in California, the Los Angeles County Coroner’s office said.

 Rooney’s career spanned almost the entire history of motion pictures. He made his first film, the silent “Not to Be Trusted,” in 1926 and followed it up with several shorts based on the “Mickey McGuire” comic strip. He was still making movies nine decades later, including “Night at the Museum” (2006) and “The Muppets” (2011).

Hollywood has unfortunately become a memory. It’s nothing but a sign on the side of a hill.  QUOTE ˜Mickey Rooney

 At the time of his death, he had three more films in the works, according to the Internet Movie Database, including a version of “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” with Margaret O’Brien.

 Rooney had just completed his last movie role in the next installment of “Night at the Museum” with Ben Stiller.

 “He led a full life but did not have enough time to finish all he had planned to do. He had the time of his life and the utmost respect for the cast and crew,” his son Mark Rooney said in a statement to CNN Monday.

 He separated from his wife, Jan Chamberlin, two years ago and moved in with his son and his wife, Charlene, according to the statement. “With them he finally found happiness, health and a feeling of safety and was able to enjoy life again.”

 “Mickey was finally enjoying life as a bachelor, and the morning of his death, they spoke of all their future plans,” the statement said. “He loved the business he was in and had a great respect for his fellow actors.”  Read full story here

Mickey Rooney Trivia

 

Mickey’s son Teddy Rooney appeared with him in Andy Hardy Comes Home (1958), portraying – who else? – Andy Hardy Jr.

 

Son of Scottish-born vaudevillian/actor Joe Yule and Missouri-born Nell Carter. They divorced in 1923, when Mickey was 3 years old.

 

Loved golf and the ponies.

 

Was considered for the role of Archie Bunker on All in the Family (1971).

 

Father of Tim Rooney and Mickey Rooney Jr., from his marriage to Betty Jane Rase (B.J. Baker).

 

Father of Jonelle Rooney (born January 11, 1970) from his marriage to Carolyn Hockett. He also adopted Carolyn’s son from a previous marriage, Jimmy Rooney (born 1966).

 

Liza Minnelli wanted Rooney to do the eulogy at the funeral for her mother, Judy Garland in June of 1969, but decided against it because she felt that Rooney might not be able to get through it, given his and Garland’s long and close friendship.

 

Was co-owner for many years of the Mickey Rooney Tabas Hotel in Downingtown, Pennsylvania.

 

In his autobiography, he made a passing reference to a brothel called “The T&M Studio,” where the ladies were look-alikes for Hollywood starlets. There were rumors of such a brothel, but before Rooney’s book no one would ever admit to ever having been there, or even verify its existence. He wrote that Groucho Marx had taken him there (only once), and Groucho appeared to be on a first-name basis with many of the ladies.

 

Originally came to Hollywood to audition for “Our Gang” (aka The Little Rascals (1955)), unfortunately Mickey’s mother declined over a dispute over salary.

 

Stepfather of Christopher Aber and Mark Rooney.

 

According to one story, Mickey Mouse was named for Rooney. Walt Disney saw a young Rooney while he was working on the first drawings of what was to become Mickey Mouse. He asked the child actor what he thought of the drawings and also asked what his name was. This later proved to be false.

 

Was nominated for Broadway’s 1980 Tony Award as Best Actor (Musical) for “Sugar Babies.”

 

His third child, Teddy Rooney, was born weighing 7 lb. 3 oz. on April 13, 1950, to Martha Vickers.

 

With movie appearances stretching from 1926 to 2013, totaling 86 years, his is the second longest career in cinema history, surpassing Lillian Gish, whose career spanned the years from 1912 to 1987, or 75 years, but one year less than Carla Laemmle, whose career began in 1925, and has credited roles for 2011 and 2012 at age 103. He has appeared in films in ten consecutive decades: 1920s-2010s.

 

Underwent double heart bypass surgery in 2000.

 

Was number 7 on the World Poker Tour Invitational even though he had never played Texas Hold ‘Em poker before.

 

Is portrayed by Moosie Drier in Rainbow (1978) and by Dwayne Adams in Life with Judy Garland: Me and My Shadows (2001)

 

Father of Kelly Ann Rooney (born September 13, 1959), Kerry Yule Rooney (born December 30, 1960), Michael Rooney (VI) (born April 2, 1962) and Kimmy Sue Rooney (born September 13, 1963), from his marriage to Carolyn Mitchell.

 

At age nineteen became the first teenager to be Oscar-nominated in a leading role for Babes in Arms (1939).

 

Former roommate of Blake Edwards.

 

His first of eight marriages was to Ava Gardner but has been married to current wife Jan Rooney longer than all of the other seven wives combined.

 

Has two grandchildren (Shannon Rooney and Dominique Rooney) and two great-grandchildren (Kaitlyn Rooney and Hunter Rooney).

 

He is most proud of his film The Black Stallion (1979).

 

Attended the 2006 Twilight Zone Convention at the Hilton Hasbrouck Heights, Hasbrouck Heights, New Jersey, August 12-13, 2006.

 

As of 2007, he is the only surviving screen actor to appear in silent films and still continue to act in movies into the 21st century. His film debut was in the movie Not to Be Trusted (1926) in 1926 at the age of four.

 

Attended the state funeral of former President Ronald Reagan. (11 June 2004).

 

Is of Scottish and Irish ancestry.

 

In 1938, he was severely reprimanded by MGM studio head Louis B. Mayer for having a torrid affair with Norma Shearer. The affair was causing quite a commotion on the set of her film Marie Antoinette (1938), where the two would hole up in her trailer. Mickey was 18 at the time. Shearer was 38 and her husband, MGM studio exec Irving Thalberg, had recently died. Mayer managed to keep the story from going public and it was not revealed until many years later, when Rooney gave the explicit details in his autobiography.

 

Has four (4) Stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame including a star for Motion Pictures at 1718 Vine Street, a star for Television at 6541 Hollywood Boulevard, a star for Radio at 6372 Hollywood Boulevard, and shared with wife Jan Rooney a star for Live Theater at 6801 Hollywood Boulevard.

 

During World War II he served 22 months in the U.S. Army, five of them with the Third Army of Gen. George S. Patton. Rooney attained the rank of Sergeant, and won a Bronze Star, among other decorations.

 

With the death of James Stewart on July 2, 1997, he is the last surviving entertainer of the forty-six caricatured in Hollywood Steps Out (1941).

 

Friends with actors: Shirley Jones, Marla Gibbs, Bea Arthur, Angela Lansbury, Carol Channing, Danny Thomas, Julie London, Telly Savalas, Buddy Ebsen, Liza Minnelli, Gene Kelly, John Forsythe, Jane Wyman, Bob Hope, Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., Dean Martin, Jonathan Harris, Charles Nelson Reilly, Gavin MacLeod, Michael Landon, Regis Philbin, Al Pacino, Betty Grable, Judy Garland, Ava Gardner, James Stewart, Ronald Reagan, Dick Van Dyke, Lana Turner, Gloria DeHaven, Linda Darnell, Tony Bennett, Martin Short, Regis Philbin, Bob Barker, Jean Arthur and Norma Shearer.

 

Friends with former child stars: Bill Mumy, Johnny Crawford, Butch Patrick, Susan Olsen, Angela Cartwright, Kathy Garver, Lauren Chapin, Ron Howard, Stanley Livingston, Melissa Gilbert, Patty Duke, Elinor Donahue, Jay North, Adam Rich, Tony Dow, Jerry Mathers, Larry Mathews, Richard Ian Cox, Jill Whelan and David Cassidy.

 

Hobbies: listening to music, football, horse racing, painting, getting together with old friends and watching classic movies.

 

Moved with his mother to Hollywood, California, in 1925, when he was five. This was one year after his parents’ separation.

 

Graduated from Hollywood High School in Hollywood, California, in 1938.

 

Went to the same high school as Jason Robards, Ann Miller, Nanette Fabray, Lana Turner, Alan Hale Jr., Marge Champion, Alexis Smith and Joseph A. Wapner.

 

His future The New Adventures of the Black Stallion (1990) co-star, Richard Ian Cox, was a childhood movie hero of his.

 

Began his career as a contract player for MGM in 1934.

 

May have been the only actor in history to appear in at least one film in ten consecutive decades.

 

Best known by the public for his starring role as Henry Dailey on The New Adventures of the Black Stallion (1990).

 

Ranked first in front of Barbara Stanwyck, Bette Davis, Jane Wyman, Eddie Albert and Ernest Borgnine, in the number of movies; he appeared in over 100 films.

 

In Guinness book of world records for longest movie career of 86 years (1925-2011).

 

Began performing at the age of 17-months, as part of his parents’ routine, wearing a specially tailored tuxedo.

 

Was an animal rights activist.

 

His mother, Nellie W. Carter, hailed from Kansas City, Missouri.

 

Overcame his drug addiction in the 1970s.

 

On his 85th birthday, he and wife Jan Rooney both appeared in the variety show “Let’s Put On A Show.”.

 

Attended the funeral of Liza Minnelli’s former stepfather, Sidney Luft, just days before he had his 85th birthday.

 

Donald Trump, Tony Bennett and Regis Philbin were amongst the people to attend his 90th birthday party.

 

Rooney broke his leg while filming “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” and was doubled in many scenes by George Breakston.

 

Between Angela Lansbury, Norman Lloyd, Dick Van Dyke, Ernest Borgnine and Betty White, Rooney is one of the oldest actors in Hollywood never to retire.

 

He reunited with friend and former co star Judy Garland, as her singing and dancing partner, on an episode of “The Judy Garland Show” (1963 TV). On that show, he displayed his music versatility by performing a drum solo.

 

Was a pallbearer at Errol Flynn’s funeral along with Raoul Walsh, Quinn “Big Boy” Williams, Jack Oakie, Mike Romanoff, and Otto Reichow October 19, 1959 at the Church of the Recessional at Forest Lawn, Glendale, CA.

 

Mickey chose to permanently reside with stepson Mark Rooney and Mark’s wife Charlene Rooney. They moved to the Hollywood Hills in June of 2012 when he permanently and legally separated from his 8th wife.

 

Permanently separated from his 8th wife, Jan Rooney, in June 2012.

 

Veteran stuntman Jesse Wayne was Mickey Rooney’s stunt double from 1959 to 1986.

 

Mickey’s stunt double was Jesse Wayne for 27 years beginning in 1959.

 

Release of his book, “The Search for Sonny Skies: A Novel”.

 

Together with his wife he toured the UK, appearing in selected theaters performing songs and telling stories about his career. [September 2007]

 

Appearing in the UK at the Bristol Hippodrome on stage as Baron Hardup in Cinderella – the pantomime since December 2008 up to January 11 2009. [January 2009]

 

Mickey has chosen to reside with his step-son Mark Rooney and Mark’s wife Charlene. Mickey, Mark and Charlene moved from Westlake to the Hollywood Hills in June of 2012, where they currently reside. [June 2012]

 

26 November 1999: Undergoes surgery in Sydney, Australia, for perforated colon.

 

Mickey moved from his Westlake home in June of 2012 and chose to reside in the Hollywood Hills with his step-son Mark Rooney and Mark’s wife Charlene. He continues to work and recently returned from an appearance on the Turner Classics Cruise with Debbie Reynolds. [January 2013]

 

Attended Michael Jackson’s memorial service at the Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles with son, Mark Rooney, daughter-in-law, Charlene Rooney, and wife Jan, on Tuesday, July 7, 2009. [July 2009]

 

Release of his autobiography, “Life is too Short”.

 

Made personal appearances November 5 and 6 with wife Jan at American Visions Art Galleries — in Folsom and Granite Bay, California. [November 2010]

 

http://www.tcmcruise.com/talent/view/id/615 Mickey Rooney continues to work and recently returned from the Turner Classics Cruise featuring Mickey and Debbie Reynolds. Mickey left his home in Westlake Village in June 2012 and has chosen to reside with his stepson/caregiver son Mark Rooney and Mark’s wife Charlene. The Westlake Village home was on the market since December 2012 and is currently in escrow. [January 2013]

 

Sold his modest Westlake home in May 2013.

 

Was a staunch conservative Republican for many years. In later life, though, he supported the man and not the party. He has been quoted as saying he was proud of President Obama and his policies.

In November of 2013 Mickey Rooney attended the memorial service for his longtime friend A.C. Lyles aka Mr. Paramount. Also in attendance was Mickey’s son Mark Rooney, Mark’s wife Charlene and Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Mickey Rooney’s Salary

Not to Be Trusted (1926) $200
Mickey’s Circus (1927) $250/week
Mickey’s Pals (1927) $250/week
Mickey’s Eleven (1927) $250/week
Mickey’s Battle (1927) $250/week
Mickey’s Parade (1928) $250/week
Mickey’s Nine (1928) $250/week
Mickey’s Wild West (1928) $250/week
Mickey’s Triumph (1928) $250/week
Mickey’s Movies (1928) $250/week
Mickey’s Rivals (1928) $250/week
Mickey the Detective (1928) $250/week
Mickey’s Wildcats (1931) $250/week
A Midsummer Night’s Dream (1935) $500/week
Ah, Wilderness! (1935) $500/week
Little Lord Fauntleroy (1936) $500/week
The Devil Is a Sissy (1936) $500/week
Captains Courageous (1937) $500/week
Slave Ship (1937) $500/week
Hoosier Schoolboy (1937) $500/week
Live, Love and Learn (1937) $500/week
Thoroughbreds Don’t Cry (1937) $500/week
You’re Only Young Once (1937) $5,000
Love Is a Headache (1938) $5,000
Judge Hardy’s Children (1938) $5,000
Hold That Kiss (1938) $5,000
Lord Jeff (1938) $5,000
Love Finds Andy Hardy (1938) $5,000
Boys Town (1938) $5,000
Stablemates (1938) $5,000
Out West with the Hardys (1938) $5,000
Babes in Arms (1939) $23,000
Babes on Broadway (1941) $53,333a week plus $25,000 bonus
The Courtship of Andy Hardy (1942) $2,500/week
A Yank at Eton (1942) $2,500
Andy Hardy’s Double Life (1942) $2,500/week
The Human Comedy (1943) $2,500/week
Thousands Cheer (1943) $2,500/week
Girl Crazy (1943) $68,000
Andy Hardy’s Blonde Trouble (1944) $2,500/week
National Velvet (1944) $2,500/week
The Big Wheel (1949) $25,000
Quicksand (1950) $25,000
Sound Off (1952) $75,000
All Ashore (1953) $75,000
A Slight Case of Larceny (1953) $75,000
Drive a Crooked Road (1954) $75,000
The Mickey Rooney Show (1954) $3,500/week
The Comedian (1957) $10,000
Baby Face Nelson (1957) $35,000
Andy Hardy Comes Home (1958) $35,000
Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961) $25,000
It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World (1963) $100,000
Funny Man with a Monkey (1964) $10,000
Mickey (1964) $5,000/episode
The Secret Invasion (1964) $50,000
How to Stuff a Wild Bikini (1965) $5,000
The Black Stallion (1979) $75,000
Babe: Pig in the City (1998) $175,000
Night at the Museum (2006) $250,000

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