Mickey Rooney Dead at 93
Screen legend Mickey Rooney died Sunday surrounded by his family at his North Hollywood home. He was 93.
Rooney’s acting career began when he was just 17 months old, starring in his parents’ vaudeville show. He went on to star in more than 200 movies, with a career that spanned silent films, the work of Shakespeare, Judy Garland musicals, the Andy Hardy series, television and the Broadway stage. He won two Golden Globes, an Emmy and an Honorary Academy Award.
Rooney was one of the most popular movie stars of the 1930s and 1940s, particularly as the star of the Hardy Family series in films like Andy Hardy Meets a Debutante and Love Laughs at Andy Hardy. He was voted America’s number one box office draw in 1939, 1940 and 1941. Following World War II, the diminutive star—he was 5’2″—had trouble duplicating the success of his days as Andy Hardy and was relegated to minor roles in film and TV.
His personal life also suffered; by the time he turned 40 in 1960, Rooney had burned through $12 million, thanks to an expensive lifestyle, as well as gambling and alcohol addictions.
However, Rooney eventually turned his life around, becoming a born-again Christian and, in 1978, married for the eighth time, to country singer Jan Chamberlin. The following year, Rooney made his Broadway debut in Sugar Babies. In 1982, Rooney was awarded an honorary Oscar and he continued to work until the end of his life. His notable on-screen appearances in the last 10 years include roles in Night at the Museum and The Muppets. According to his IMDb profile, Rooney was currently filming a role in Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and was scheduled to appear in two others.
Rooney is survived by his nine children, as well as his wife, Jan Chamberlin. In all, Rooney starred in more than 300 films and television shows during his 92-year career.