Birthday: September 23, 1920 Birth
Place: Brooklyn, New York, USA Height: 5' 3"
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A versatile American screen actor and former juvenile star who made up in energy what he lacked in height, Mickey Rooney was born Joe Yule Jr. on September 23, 1920, in Brooklyn, NY. The son of vaudevillians, Rooney first became a part of the family act when he was 15-months-old, and was eventually on-stage singing, dancing, mimicking, and telling jokes. He debuted onscreen at the age of six in the silent short Not to Be Trusted (1926), playing a cigar-smoking midget. His next film was the feature-length Orchids and Ermine (1927). Over the next six years, he starred in more than 50 two-reel comedies as Mickey McGuire (a name he legally adopted), a series based upon a popular comic strip, "Toonerville Folks." In 1932, he changed his name to "Mickey" Rooney when he began to appear in small roles in feature films. He was signed by MGM in 1934 and gave one of the most memorable juvenile performances in film history as Puck in A Midsummer Night's Dream (1935). A turning point in Rooney's career came with his 1937 appearance as Andy Hardy, the wise-cracking son of a small-town judge, in the B-movie A Family Affair. The film proved to be such a success that it led to a string of 15 more Andy Hardy pictures over the next twenty years. The films were sentimental light comedies that celebrated small-town domestic contentment and simple pleasures, and the character became the one with which the actor became most identified. Rooney went on to a memorable role in Boys Town (1938) and several high-energy musicals with Judy Garland. Added to his Andy Hardy work, these performances caused his popularity to skyrocket, and, by 1939, he was America's biggest box-office attraction. Rooney was awarded a special Oscar (along with Deanna Durbin) in 1939 for his "significant contribution in bringing to the screen the spirit and personification of youth, and, as a juvenile player, setting a high standard of ability and achievement." His popularity peaked in the early '40s with his appearances in such films as The Human Comedy (1943) and National Velvet (1944), the latter with a young Elizabeth Taylor. After his World War II service and subsequent military discharge, however, his drawing power as a star decreased dramatically, and was never recovered; suddenly he seemed only acceptable as a juvenile, not a grown man. In the late '40s Rooney formed his own production company, but it was a financial disaster and he went broke. To pay off his debts, he was obliged to take a number of low-quality roles. By the mid-'50s, though, he had reinvented himself as an adult character actor, starring in a number of good films, including the title role in Baby Face Nelson (1957). Rooney continued to perform in both film, television, stage, and even dinner theater productions over the next four decades, and debuted on Broadway in 1979 with Sugar Babies. Although his screen work was relatively erratic during the '90s, he managed to lend his talents to diverse fare, appearing in both Babe: Pig in the City (1998) and the independent Animals (And the Tollkeeper) (1997).During the course of his career, Rooney received two Best Actor and two Best Supporting Actor Oscar nominations, the last of which for his work in 1979's The Black Stallion. He also won a Golden Globe for the 1981 TV movie Bill. In 1983, while undergoing a well-publicized conversion to Christianity, he was awarded a special Lifetime Achievement Oscar "in recognition of his 60 years of versatility in a variety of memorable film performances." Rooney published his autobiography, Life Is Too Short, in 1991. His eight wives included actresses Ava Gardner and Martha Vickers.
Mickey's son Teddy Rooney appeared with him in Andy Hardy Comes Home (1958), portraying - who else? - Andy Hardy Jr.
Son of Scottish-born vaudevillain/actor Joe Yule.
Loves golf and 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.
Father of Jimmy Rooney and Jonelle Rooney, from his marriage to Carolyn Hockett.
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, Pa.
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 being 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"), but didn't get in.
Stepfather of Christopher Aber and Mark Aber 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.
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 2005, totaling 79 years, his is the longest career in cinema history, surpassing that of Lillian Gish.
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) (TV) and by Dwayne Adams in Life with Judy Garland: Me and My Shadows (2001) (TV)
Father of Kelly Ann Rooney, Kerry Yule Rooney, Michael Joseph Kyle Rooney and Kimmy Sue Rooney, 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 (1930)_
Former roommate of Blake Edwards
His first of eight marriages was to Ava Garner but has been married to current wife Jan Chamberlin 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."
Attended the 2006 Twilight Zone Convention at the Hilton Hasbrouck Heights, Hasbrouck Heights, New Jersey, August 12-13, 2006.
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