Edit
Mickey Rooney Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (5) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (8) | Trade Mark (3) | Trivia (75) | Personal Quotes (31) | Salary (60)

Overview (5)

Date of Birth 23 September 1920Brooklyn, New York City, New York, USA
Date of Death 6 April 2014North Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, USA
Birth NameNinian Joseph Yule Jr.
Nicknames The Mick
The Mickster
Height 5' 2" (1.57 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Mickey Rooney was born Joe Yule Jr. on September 23, 1920 in Brooklyn, New York. He first took the stage as a toddler in his parents vaudeville act at 17 months old. He made his first film appearance in 1926. The following year, he played the lead character in the first Mickey McGuire short film. It was in this popular film series that he took the stage name Mickey Rooney. Rooney reached new heights in 1937 with A Family Affair, the film that introduced the country to Andy Hardy, the popular all-American teenager. This beloved character appeared in nearly 20 films and helped make Rooney the top star at the box office in 1939, 1940 and 1941. Rooney also proved himself an excellent dramatic actor as a delinquent in Boys Town (1938) starring Spencer Tracy. In 1938, he was awarded a Juvenile Academy Award.

Teaming up with Judy Garland, Rooney also appeared in a string of musicals, including Babes in Arms (1939) the first teenager to be nominated for an Oscar for Best Actor in a leading role, Strike Up the Band (1940), Babes on Broadway (1941), and Girl Crazy (1943). He and Garland immediately became best of friends. "We weren't just a team, we were magic," Rooney once said. During that time he also appeared with Elizabeth Taylor in the now classic National Velvet (1944). Rooney joined the service that same year, where he helped to entertain the troops and worked on the American Armed Forces Network. He returned to Hollywood after 21 months in Love Laughs at Andy Hardy (1946), did a remake of a Robert Taylor film, The Crowd Roars (1932) called Killer McCoy (1947) and portrayed composer Lorenz Hart in Words and Music (1948). He also appeared in Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961), starring Audrey Hepburn and George Peppard. Rooney played Hepburn's Japanese neighbor, Mr. Yunioshi. A sign of the times, Rooney played the part for comic relief which he later regretted feeling the role was offensive. He once again showed his incredible range in the dramatic role of a boxing trainer with Anthony Quinn and Jackie Gleason in Requiem for a Heavyweight (1962). In the late 1960s and 1970s Rooney showed audiences and critics alike why he was one of Hollywood's most enduring stars. He gave an impressive performance in Francis Ford Coppola's 1979 film The Black Stallion (1979), which brought him an Academy Award nomination as Best Actor in a Supporting Role. He also turned to the stage in 1979 in Sugar Babies with Ann Miller, and was nominated for a Tony Award. During that time he also portrayed the Wizard in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz with Eartha Kitt at New York's Madison Square Garden, which also had a successful run nationally.

Rooney appeared in four television series': The Mickey Rooney Show (1954) (1954-1955), a comedy sit-com in 1964 with Sammee Tong called Mickey, One of the Boys in 1982 with Dana Carvey and Nathan Lane, and The New Adventures of the Black Stallion (1990) from 1990-1993. In 1981, Rooney won an Emmy Award for his portrayal of a mentally challenged man in Bill (1981). The critical acclaim continued to flow for the veteran performer, with Rooney receiving an honorary Academy Award "in recognition of his 60 years of versatility in a variety of memorable film performances". More recently he has appeared in such films as Night at the Museum (2006) with Ben Stiller and The Muppets (2011) with Amy Adams and Jason Segel.

Rooney's personal life, including his frequent trips to the altar, has proved to be just as epic as his on-screen performances. His first wife was one of the most beautiful women in Hollywood, actress Ava Gardner. Mickey permanently separated from his eighth wife Jan in June of 2012. In 2011 Rooney filed elder abuse and fraud charges against stepson Christopher Aber and Aber's wife. At Rooney's request, the Superior Court issued a restraining order against the Aber's demanding they stay 100 yards from Rooney, as well as Mickey's other son Mark Rooney and Mark's wife Charlene. Just prior, Rooney mustered the strength to break his silence and appeared before the Senate in Washington D.C. telling of his own heartbreaking story of abuse in an effort to live a peaceful, full life and help others who may be similarly suffering in silence.

Rooney requested through the Superior Court to permanently reside with his son Mark Rooney, who is a musician and Marks wife Charlene, an artist, in the Hollywood Hills. He legally separated from his eighth wife in June of 2012. Ironically, after eight failed marriages he never looked or felt better and finally found happiness and peace in the single life. Mickey, Mark and Charlene focused on health, happiness and creative endeavors and it showed. Mickey Rooney had once again landed on his feet reminding us that he was a survivor. Rooney died on April 6th 2014. He was taking his afternoon nap and never woke. One week before his death Mark and Charlene surprised him by reunited him with a long lost love, the racetrack. He was ecstatic to be back after decades and ran into his old friends Mel Brooks and Dick Van Patten.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Anonymous

Spouse (8)

Jan Rooney (28 July 1978 - 6 April 2014) (his death)
Carolyn Hockett (27 May 1969 - 24 January 1975) (divorced) (2 children)
Margaret Lane (10 September 1966 - 14 December 1967) (divorced)
Carolyn Mitchell (1 December 1958 - 31 January 1966) (her death) (4 children)
Elaine Devry (18 November 1952 - 18 May 1958) (divorced)
Martha Vickers (3 June 1949 - 25 September 1952) (divorced) (1 child)
B.J. Baker (30 September 1944 - 3 June 1949) (divorced) (2 children)
Ava Gardner (10 January 1942 - 21 May 1943) (divorced)

Trade Mark (3)

Best known in his youth for playing Andy Hardy with Judy Garland as the female lead in cheerfully naive musicals that usually ended with the characters putting on an impromptu musical show. In his senior years, he often played an cheerful old mentor with a youthful spirit.
Short stature
Raspy voice

Trivia (75)

Mickey's son Teddy Rooney appeared with him in Andy Hardy Comes Home (1958), portraying - who else? - Andy Hardy Jr.
Son of Scottish-born vaudevillian/actor Joe Yule and Missouri-born Nell Carter. They divorced in 1923, when Mickey was 3 years old.
Loved golf and the 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 (B.J. Baker).
Father of Jonelle Rooney (born January 11, 1970) from his marriage to Carolyn Hockett. He also adopted Carolyn's son from a previous marriage, Jimmy Rooney (born 1966).
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, Pennsylvania.
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 been 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 (1955)), unfortunately Mickey's mother declined over a dispute over salary.
Stepfather of Christopher Aber and Mark 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. This later proved to be false.
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. in April 1950, to Martha Vickers.
With movie appearances stretching from 1926 to 2015, totaling 89 years, his is jointly the longest career in cinema history, surpassing Lillian Gish, whose career spanned the years from 1912 to 1987, or 75 years. Carla Laemmle, whose career began in 1925, and has completed roles for 2014, the year of her death. Rooney's 339 film credits span ten consecutive decades: 1920s-2010s. Laemmle's 17 film credits include a break from 1939 to 2010 (except for a video short in 2001).
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) and by Dwayne Adams in Life with Judy Garland: Me and My Shadows (2001)
Father of Kelly Ann Rooney (born September 13, 1959), Kerry Yule Rooney (born December 30, 1960), Michael Rooney (VI) (born April 2, 1962) and Kimmy Sue Rooney (born September 13, 1963), 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 (1939).
Former roommate of Blake Edwards.
His first of eight marriages was to Ava Gardner but his marriage to Jan Rooney was longer than those of all his other seven wives combined.
Had nineteen grandchildren, including Shannon Rooney and Dominique Rooney by his son Tim, and several great-grandchildren among whom Kaitlyn Rooney and Hunter Rooney.
He was most proud of his film The Black Stallion (1979).
Attended the 2006 Twilight Zone Convention at the Hilton Hasbrouck Heights, Hasbrouck Heights, New Jersey, August 12-13, 2006.
As of 2007, he was the only surviving screen actor to appear in silent films and still continue to act in movies into the 21st century. His film debut was in the movie Not to Be Trusted (1926), in 1926 when he was 4 years old.
Attended the state funeral of former President Ronald Reagan. (11 June 2004).
His father was a Scottish immigrant. His mother, who was from Missouri, had English ancestry.
In 1938, he was severely reprimanded by MGM studio head Louis B. Mayer for having a torrid affair with Norma Shearer. The affair was causing quite a commotion on the set of her film Marie Antoinette (1938), where the two would hole up in her trailer. Mickey was 18 at the time. Shearer was 38 and her husband, MGM studio exec Irving Thalberg, had recently died. Mayer managed to keep the story from going public and it was not revealed until many years later, when Rooney gave the explicit details in his autobiography.
Has four (4) Stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame including a star for Motion Pictures at 1718 Vine Street, a star for Television at 6541 Hollywood Boulevard, a star for Radio at 6372 Hollywood Boulevard, and shared with wife Jan Rooney a star for Live Theater at 6801 Hollywood Boulevard.
During World War II he served 22 months in the U.S. Army, five of them with the Third Army of Gen. George S. Patton. Rooney attained the rank of Sergeant, and won a Bronze Star, among other decorations.
With the death of James Stewart on July 2, 1997, Mickey Rooney was the last surviving entertainer of the forty-six caricatured in Hollywood Steps Out (1941).
Hobbies: listening to music, football, horse racing, painting, getting together with old friends and watching classic movies.
Moved with his mother to Hollywood, California, in 1925, when he was five. This was one year after his parents' separation.
Graduated from Hollywood High School in Hollywood, California, in 1938.
His future The New Adventures of the Black Stallion (1990) co-star, Richard Ian Cox, was a childhood movie hero of his.
Began his career as a contract player for MGM in 1934.
May have been the only actor in history to appear in at least one film in ten consecutive decades.
Best known by the public for his starring role as Henry Dailey on The New Adventures of the Black Stallion (1990).
Ranked first in front of Barbara Stanwyck, Bette Davis, Jane Wyman, Eddie Albert and Ernest Borgnine, in the number of movies; he appeared in over 100 films.
In Guinness book of world records for longest movie career of 86 years (1925-2011).
Began performing at the age of 17-months, as part of his parents' routine, wearing a specially tailored tuxedo.
Was an animal rights activist.
His mother, Nellie W. Carter, hailed from Kansas City, Missouri.
Overcame his drug addiction in the 1970s.
On his 85th birthday, he and wife Jan Rooney both appeared in the variety show "Let's Put On A Show.".
Attended the funeral of Liza Minnelli's former stepfather, Sidney Luft, just days before he had his 85th birthday.
Donald Trump, Tony Bennett and Regis Philbin were amongst the people to attend his 90th birthday party.
Rooney broke his leg while filming "A Midsummer Night's Dream" and was doubled in many scenes by George Breakston.
Between Angela Lansbury, Norman Lloyd, Dick Van Dyke, Ernest Borgnine and Betty White, Rooney is one of the oldest actors in Hollywood never to retire.
He reunited with friend and former co star Judy Garland, as her singing and dancing partner, on an episode of "The Judy Garland Show" (1963 TV). On that show, he displayed his music versatility by performing a drum solo.
Was a pallbearer at Errol Flynn's funeral along with Raoul Walsh, Quinn "Big Boy" Williams, Jack Oakie, Mike Romanoff, and Otto Reichow October 19, 1959 at the Church of the Recessional at Forest Lawn, Glendale, CA.
Mickey chose to permanently reside with stepson Mark Rooney and Mark's wife Charlene Rooney. They moved to the Hollywood Hills in June of 2012 when he permanently and legally separated from his 8th wife.
Permanently separated from his 8th wife, Jan Rooney, in June 2012.
Veteran stuntman Jesse Wayne was Mickey Rooney's stunt double from 1959 to 1986.
Mickey's stunt double was Jesse Wayne for 27 years beginning in 1959.
Release of his book, "The Search for Sonny Skies: A Novel".
Together with his wife he toured the UK, appearing in selected theatres performing songs and telling stories about his career. [September 2007]
Appearing in the UK at the Bristol Hippodrome on stage as Baron Hardup in Cinderella - the pantomime since December 2008 up to January 11 2009. [January 2009]
Mickey has chosen to reside with his step-son Mark Rooney and Mark's wife Charlene. Mickey, Mark and Charlene moved from Westlake to the Hollywood Hills in June of 2012, where they currently reside. [June 2012]
26 November 1999: Undergoes surgery in Sydney, Australia, for perforated colon.
Mickey moved from his Westlake home in June of 2012 and chose to reside in the Hollywood Hills with his step-son Mark Rooney and Mark's wife Charlene. He continues to work and recently returned from an appearance on the Turner Classics Cruise with Debbie Reynolds. [January 2013]
Attended Michael Jackson's memorial service at the Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles with son, Mark Rooney, daughter-in-law, Charlene Rooney, and wife Jan, on Tuesday, July 7, 2009. [July 2009]
Release of his autobiography, "Life is too Short".
Made personal appearances November 5 and 6 with wife Jan at American Visions Art Galleries -- in Folsom and Granite Bay, California. [November 2010]
http://www.tcmcruise.com/talent/view/id/615 Mickey Rooney continues to work and recently returned from the Turner Classics Cruise featuring Mickey and Debbie Reynolds. Mickey left his home in Westlake Village in June 2012 and has chosen to reside with his stepson/caregiver son Mark Rooney and Mark's wife Charlene. The Westlake Village home was on the market since December 2012 and is currently in escrow. [January 2013]
Sold his modest Westlake home in May 2013.
Was a staunch conservative Republican for many years. In later life, though, he supported the man and not the party. He has been quoted as saying he was proud of President Obama and his policies.
In November of 2013 Mickey Rooney attended the memorial service for his longtime friend A.C. Lyles aka Mr. Paramount. Also in attendance was Mickey's son Mark Rooney, Mark's wife Charlene and Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Like fellow actor Julie London, his parents were Vaudeville performers.
On news of his passing, numerous television newscasters nationwide mixed up his name on-air with that of Andrew Rooney's (aka Andy Rooney), humorist and writer for CBS, who died two and a half years previous.
Had a son who attended Walter Reed Jr. High School in North Hollywood, Ca., in the 1960s.

Personal Quotes (31)

[at 58 years old] I'm in pretty good shape for the shape I'm in.
[asked if he would marry all of his eight wives again] Absolutely. I loved every one of them.
My partners weren't what we call in horse racing parlance "routers". They were sprinters; they went out of the gate, but then they stopped. They couldn't go the distance.
People say, "How can you be married eight times?" But I played the hand dealt me the way I was supposed to. I was friendly with most of my ex-wives. My God, there's a Mickey Rooney's Former Wives Marching Band!
[on his marriages] When I say "I do", the Justice of the Peace replies, "I know, I know". I'm the only man in the world whose marriage license reads, "To Whom it May Concern". But to have been married eight times is not normal. That's only halfway intelligent.
You've got to recognize, there will never be another you. It has nothing to do with ego; it happens to be the truth. There will never be another person the same. There'll never be another you. There'll never be another me . . . And there'll never be another show like this!
The audience and I are friends. They allowed me to grow up with them. I've let them down several times. They've let me down several times. But we're all family.
Had I been brighter, the ladies been gentler, the Scotch weaker, the gods kinder, the dice hotter - it might have all ended up in a one-sentence story.
Love wears off too quickly.
I don't regret anything I've ever done. I only wish I could have done more.
I was a 14-year-old boy for 30 years.
[upon winning his lifetime achievement Oscar, 1983] Tonight, I could even kiss Louis B. Mayer!.
[on his lifelong friend and frequent co-star, Judy Garland] Judy turned to drugs because she was in pain and because drugs made her feel good. As one of the MGM kids, she'd been treated for most of her life to magical, instant, solutions to everything . . . She could never accept herself so she was always on the run.
I didn't ask to be short. I didn't want to be short. I've tried to pretend that being a short guy didn't matter.
The guys with the power in Hollywood today, the guys with their names above the title, are thieves. They don't make movies, they make deals. Their major function is to cut themselves in for ten per cent of the gross - off the top, of course - which is why they make movies that cost fifty million dollars.
[Bill Clinton] was a Rhodes Scholar. Do you know who the scholars were? Marxists!
I just want to be a professional. I couldn't live without acting.
There may be a little snow on the mountain, but there's a lot of fire in the furnace.
All the muddy waters of my life cleared up when I gave myself to Christ.
I've been through four publics. I've been coming back like a rubber ball for years.
[on his feud with Ernest Borgnine] All the Oscars in the world can't buy him dignity, class and talent. I don't know why he is famous and why he is a star. Talk about a lucky jerk.
If it's immorally wrong, it's not normal. Jesus Christ said, "The effeminate are an abomination to me". Are you aware of that? I don't watch the [Ellen DeGeneres] show. I wish her all kinds of luck. Except that I'm not a fan. But there are a lot of people who aren't fans of Mickey Rooney and you can't please everyone.
[in 2007] I think the family pictures are what people really want to see - and musicals, of course.
I don't get caught between lesbians and gays. If you can't say something nice about someone, just shut your mouth.
I never knew anything about anyone being gay in Hollywood when I was working in the studios. Did you know that? They weren't in closets, they were in safes.
I lost $2 at Santa Anita and I've spent $3 million trying to get it back.
Sure, I love the chicks. I love 'em all. But when you're nuts about too many, how can a guy settle down to one?
Hollywood has unfortunately become a memory. It's nothing but a sign on the side of a hill.
When I was nineteen years old I was the number-one star for two years. When I was forty, nobody wanted me. I couldn't get a job.
There was, in fact, a standard studio recipe. Take one young actress, pluck her eyebrows, cap her teeth, shape her hairline, pad as required and throw her into the ring with Andy Hardy. Then wait and see. If the public responded, the starlet became a star.
I was aware, even at age three, that my father had a penchant for going out by himself after a show, then returning at dawn with a nervous grin on his face. I could only guess, from my mother's angry reactions that he was doing something that hurt her very much. She kept talking about my dad's "floozies" - which I took to be another name for "bartender." You see, I thought my dad had a problem with Punch, not with Judy.

Salary (60)

Not to Be Trusted (1926) $200
Mickey's Circus (1927) $250 /week
Mickey's Pals (1927) $250 /week
Mickey's Eleven (1927) $250 /week
Mickey's Battle (1927) $250 /week
Mickey's Parade (1928) $250 /week
Mickey's Nine (1928) $250 /week
Mickey's Wild West (1928) $250 /week
Mickey's Triumph (1928) $250 /week
Mickey's Movies (1928) $250 /week
Mickey's Rivals (1928) $250 /week
Mickey the Detective (1928) $250 /week
Mickey's Wildcats (1931) $250 /week
A Midsummer Night's Dream (1935) $500 /week
Ah, Wilderness! (1935) $500 /week
Little Lord Fauntleroy (1936) $500 /week
The Devil Is a Sissy (1936) $500 /week
Captains Courageous (1937) $500 /week
Slave Ship (1937) $500 /week
Hoosier Schoolboy (1937) $500 /week
Live, Love and Learn (1937) $500 /week
Thoroughbreds Don't Cry (1937) $500 /week
You're Only Young Once (1937) $5,000
Love Is a Headache (1938) $5,000
Judge Hardy's Children (1938) $5,000
Hold That Kiss (1938) $5,000
Lord Jeff (1938) $5,000
Love Finds Andy Hardy (1938) $5,000
Boys Town (1938) $5,000
Stablemates (1938) $5,000
Out West with the Hardys (1938) $5,000
Babes in Arms (1939) $23,000
Babes on Broadway (1941) $53,333 a week plus $25,000 bonus
The Courtship of Andy Hardy (1942) $2,500 /week
A Yank at Eton (1942) $2,500
Andy Hardy's Double Life (1942) $2,500 /week
The Human Comedy (1943) $2,500 /week
Thousands Cheer (1943) $2,500 /week
Girl Crazy (1943) $68,000
Andy Hardy's Blonde Trouble (1944) $2,500 /week
National Velvet (1944) $2,500 /week
The Big Wheel (1949) $25,000
Quicksand (1950) $25,000
Sound Off (1952) $75,000
All Ashore (1953) $75,000
A Slight Case of Larceny (1953) $75,000
Drive a Crooked Road (1954) $75,000
The Mickey Rooney Show (1954) $3,500 /week
The Comedian (1957) $10,000
Baby Face Nelson (1957) $35,000
Andy Hardy Comes Home (1958) $35,000
Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961) $25,000
It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World (1963) $100,000
Funny Man with a Monkey (1964) $10,000
Mickey (1964) $5,000 /episode
The Secret Invasion (1964) $50,000
How to Stuff a Wild Bikini (1965) $5,000
The Black Stallion (1979) $75,000
Babe: Pig in the City (1998) $175,000
Night at the Museum (2006) $250,000

See also

Other Works | Publicity Listings | Official Sites | Contact Info

Contribute to This Page