Mickey Rooney life and biography

Mickey Rooney picture, image, poster

Mickey Rooney biography

Date of birth : 1920-09-23
Date of death : -
Birthplace : Brooklyn, New York, U.S.
Nationality : American
Category : Arts and Entertainment
Last modified : 2010-12-10
Credited as : Actor and entertainer, Breakfast at Tiffany's, Bill

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Mickey Rooney is an American film actor and entertainer whose film, television, and stage appearances span nearly his entire lifetime. During his career he has won multiple awards, including an Honorary Academy Award, a Golden Globe and an Emmy Award. Working as a performer since he was a small child, he was a superstar as a teenager for the films in which he played Andy Hardy, and he has had one of the longest careers of any actor.

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.


1927 Orchids and Ermine
1932 The Beast of the City ; Sin's Pay Day ; High Speed ; Fast Companions
My Pal, the King ; Officer Thirteen
1933 The Big Cage ; The Life of Jimmy Dolan ; The Big Chance ; Broadway to Hollywood ; The Chief ; The World Changes
1934 Beloved ; The Lost Jungle ; I Like It That Way ; Manhattan Melodrama
Love Birds ; Half a Sinner ; Hide-Out ; Chained ; Blind Date ; Death on the Diamond
1935 The County Chairman ; Reckless ; The Healer ; A Midsummer Night's Dream ; Rendezvous ; Ah, Wilderness!
1936 Riffraff ; Little Lord Fauntleroy ; Down the Stretch ; The Devil is a Sissy
1937 A Family Affair ; Captains Courageous ; Slave Ship ; Hoosier Schoolboy
Live, Love and Learn ; Thoroughbreds Don't Cry ; You're Only Young Once
1938 Love Is a Headache ; Judge Hardy's Children ; Hold That Kiss ; Lord Jeff
Love Finds Andy Hardy ; Boys Town ; Stablemates ; Out West with the Hardys
1939 The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn ; The Hardys Ride High ; Andy Hardy Gets Spring Fever ; Babes in Arms ; Judge Hardy and Son
1940 Young Tom Edison ; Andy Hardy Meets Debutante ; Strike Up the Band
1941 Andy Hardy's Private Secretary ; Men of Boys Town ; Life Begins for Andy Hardy ; Babes on Broadway
1942 The Courtship of Andy Hardy ; A Yank at Eton ; Andy Hardy's Double Life
1943 The Human Comedy ; Thousands Cheer ; Girl Crazy
1944 Andy Hardy's Blonde Trouble ; National Velvet
1946 Love Laughs at Andy Hardy
1947 Killer McCoy
1948 Summer Holiday ; Words and Music
1949 The Big Wheel
1950 Quicksand ; The Fireball ; He's a Cockeyed Wonder
1951 My Outlaw Brother ; The Strip
1952 Sound Off
1953 Off Limits ; All Ashore ; A Slight Case of Larceny
1954 Drive a Crooked Road ; The Atomic Kid
1955 The Bridges at Toko-Ri ; The Twinkle in God's Eye
1956 The Bold and the Brave ; Francis in the Haunted House ; Magnificent Roughnecks
1957 Operation Mad Ball ; Baby Face Nelson
1958 A Nice Little Bank That Should Be Robbed ; Andy Hardy Comes Home
1959 The Big Operator ; The Last Mile
1960 Platinum High School ; The Private Lives of Adam and Eve
1961 King of the Roaring 20's – The Story of Arnold Rothstein ; Breakfast at Tiffany's ; Everything's Ducky
1962 Requiem for a Heavyweight
1963 It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World
1964 The Secret Invasion
1965 Twenty-Four Hours to Kill ; How to Stuff a Wild Bikini
1966 The Devil In Love ; Ambush Bay
1968 Skidoo
1969 The Extraordinary Seaman ; The Comic ; 80 Steps to Jonah
1970 Cockeyed Cowboys of Calico County
1971 Mooch Goes to Hollywood ; The Manipulator
1972 Evil Roy Slade ; Richard ; Pulp
1973 The Godmothers
1974 Thunder County ; Rachel's Man ; The Year Without a Santa Claus
1975 Ace of Hearts ; From Hong Kong with Love
1976 Find the Lady
1977 The Domino Principle ; Pete's Dragon
1978 The Magic of Lassie
1979 The Black Stallion ; Arabian Adventure
1981 The Fox and the Hound (voice) ; Odyssey of the Pacific
1982 The Emperor of Peru
1983 Bill: On his own
1984 It Came Upon the Midnight Clear
1985 The Care Bears Movie (voice)
1986 Lightning, the White Stallion
1988 Bluegrass
1989 Erik the Viking
1991 My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys
1992 "Little Nemo"
1992 The Milky Life ; Sweet Justice ; Silent Night, Deadly Night 5: The Toy Maker ; Little Nemo: Adventures In Slumberland ; Maximum Force
1993 The Legend of Wolf Mountain
1994 Revenge of the Red Baron ; The Outlaws: The Legend of O.B. Taggart ; Making Waves
1997 Killing Midnight
1998 The Face on the Barroom Floor ; Animals and the Tollkeeper ; Michael Kael vs. the World News Company ; Sinbad: The Battle of the Dark Knights ; Babe: Pig in the City
1999 Holy Hollywood ; The First of May
2000 Internet Love ; Phantom of the Megaplex
2001 Lady and the Tramp II: Scamp's Adventure (voice)
2002 Topa Topa Bluffs
2003 Paradise
2005 Strike the Tent ;A Christmas Too Many
2006 The Thirsting ; To Kill a Mockumentary ; Night at the Museum
2007 The Yesterday Pool ; Bamboo Shark
2008 Lost Stallions: The Journey Home ; Driving Me Crazy

Television :

1954–1955 The Mickey Rooney Show: Hey Mulligan
1957 The Comedian (on Playhouse 90)
1964–1965 Mickey
1981 Bill (won Emmy, Golden Globe, and Peabody Award for role of Bill)
1982 One of the Boys (canceled after 13 episodes)
1983 Bill: On His Own (sequel to 1981's "Bill" nominated for Emmy)
1990–1993 The Adventures of the Black Stallion

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