Mickey Rooney, the diminutive triple-threat entertainer who was a major film and TV star from the time he was a teen — and whose showbiz career spanned every decade of his long life going back to the 1920s — has died, according to multiple media reports. He was 93.
Rooney packed more talent into his 5’2” frame than most of his contemporaries, even at a time when singing and dancing were a regular part of the acting life. He also played instruments, switched seamlessly between comedy and drama and was nominated for four Academy Awards, taking home two honorary Oscars –- a “Juvenile” award in 1939 and another for his body of work in 1983.
Despite being a highly successful child actor, Rooney managed to avoid the kind of personal tragedy that comes along with it … mostly . He was married eight times, filed for bankruptcy in 1962, and struggled to shake off his boyish persona after serving in the Army from 1944 to 1946, a tour he spent primarily traveling the world and entertaining the troops abroad.
Rooney’s final years saw their share of familial strife, too. He accused stepson Chris Aber of elder abuse and stealing money, winning a $2.8 million judgment against him just last year.
Read more: http://www.tmz.com/2014/04/06/mickey-rooney-dead/#ixzz2yArJkmuq
Rooney was part of his family’s Vaudeville stage act from the time he was a toddler, and scored his first Hollywood roles as a young child in short films . But his first real break came when MGM cast him as the comic relief character Andy Hardy in A Family Affair , which was supposed to be a B-movie one-off.
It was a hit -– and Rooney was the reason. He and the studio made 13 more Andy Hardy films between then and 1946, with a final film in 1958.
Rooney was the first teen Oscar nominee for his lead role in 1940’s Strike Up the Band , the same year he starred alongside Elizabeth Taylor in National Velvet — her breakout role. Rooney appeared with nearly every iconic leading lady of his era; he was a close friend to Judy Garland, starred with Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s and was once married to Ava Gardner.
Rooney was a major part of MGM’s talent stable in the ‘30s and ‘40s, and after his Army service the studio tried to refashion his image as a leading man — but it never quite worked on post-war audiences.
Still, Rooney never struggled to find work. He appeared in several films, television series and made-for-TV movies, winning an Emmy for his touching portrayal of a mentally challenged man attempting to strike out on his own in 1981’s Bill .
Rooney continued to work well into his advanced age –- he was in post-production on a movie version of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde at the time of his death, and made a cameo in Disney’s 2011 reboot of The Muppets .
Mashable’s calls and emails to Rooney’s professional representation were not immediately returned Sunday night. His death was first reported by TMZ .
He is survived by nine children and 19 grandchildren.
Read more: http://www.tmz.com/2014/04/06/mickey-rooney-dead/#ixzz2yAmreQTa