It’s with saddened hearts we report the loss of another acting legend, Mickey Rooney, who passed away in his North Hollywood home on Sunday in the presence of his family at the age of 93.
Although he continued to act and appear in movies up until recently, making a cameo in the 2011 movie The Muppets, Rooney began working from the age of six when he appeared in a series of black and white short film comedies as Mickey McGuire, a role he would play for nearly nine years.
He transitioned from that role into that of Andy Hardy in 1937’s A Family Affair and You’re Only Young Once, a character he would play for 14 more movies, including 1937’s Love Finds Andy Hardy, co-starring Judy Garland.
Rooney would once again team with Garland for 1940’s Babes in Arms for which he received an Oscar nomination, and by the age of 24, Rooney was already so known and loved among moviegoers, it led to his casting in National Velvet opposite a 12-year-old Elizabeth Taylor.
Rooney made the transition into television during its early years following a two-year enlistment in the Army during World War II and then continued to be a mainstay at the cinema as a character actor with regular appearances on the screen that helped him bridge the gap between generations.
Some of Rooney’s film appearances that stand out among his hundreds of roles include Breakfast at Tiffanys in 1961 and It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World two years later. He also provided the voice of Santa Claus in 1970’s Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town, a special that would be shown annually around the holidays literally for decades. He also played one of three veteran guards in Ben Stiller’s 2006 family hit Night at the Museum.
After receiving the since-discontinued Juvenile Academy Award in 1939, Rooney would be nominated for four Oscars, the most recent one being in 1980 for The Black Stallion, and he was given an Honorary Oscar a few years later for his fifty years of performing on film.
Rooney was survived by his wife of 35 years, Jan Chamberlin, and eight children through previous marriages.
You can read more about Rooney’s incredible life and career in his New York Times obituary.