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Mickey Rooney

Mickey RooneyAKA Joseph Yule, Jr.

Born: 23-Sep-1920
Birthplace: Brooklyn, NY
Died: 6-Apr-2014
Location of death: North Hollywood, CA
Cause of death: unspecified
Remains: Buried, Hollywood Forever Cemetery, Hollywood, CA

Gender: Male
Religion: Born-Again Christian
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Actor

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Actor in Andy Hardy comedies, musicals

Military service: US Army (PFC, served in "entertainment unit")

Mickey Rooney's father, Joe Yule, was a vaudeville comic and actor, and Joe Jr. was part of his parents' stage act starting at about 18 months of age. The act ended, along with his parents' marriage, after Junior walked in on his father with another woman.

He made his motion picture debut at the age of five, playing an adult midget in the 1926 silent short Not to Be Trusted. Beginning at age 6, he starred in dozens of silent-era comedy shorts, playing (and billed as) "Mickey McGuire". At 12 he became "Mickey Rooney", when his agent decided he needed a new name to land any roles beyond the McGuire shorts. "He never bothered to ask me whether I liked it", Rooney wrote in his autobiography. "This is the kind of world I was born in, one in which I had only one reason for existence: pleasing others".

As an adolescent, Rooney co-starred with Judy Garland in a series of squeaky-clean MGM musicals, often revolving around the urgent need to put on a show in somebody's barn. Rooney starred in fifteen "Andy Hardy" movies, and made more than 200 other movies and half a dozen TV series. "I was a 14-year-old boy for 30 years", he says.

Among Rooney's more famous movies, he played a gangster in Manhattan Melodrama (1934), a goodhearted crewman in Spencer Tracy's Captains Courageous (1937), a juvenile delinquent in Tracy's Boys Town (1939), the cynical jockey and trainer in National Velvet (1944) with 12-year-old Elizabeth Taylor, a caricature of a Japanese landlord in Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961) with Audrey Hepburn, a bitter boxing trainer in Requiem for a Heavyweight (1962) with Anthony Quinn and Jackie Gleason, a panicked man in a pilotless plane in It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World (1963) opposite Buddy Hackett, and another horse trainer in The Black Stallion (1979) with Teri Garr. Rooney continued making movies well into his 80s, although they were usually low-budget direct-to-video atrocities.

He was one of Hollywood's most married men. Barbara Ann Thomason, the fifth of his eight wives and mother of four of his ten children, was murdered in 1966. The following year he married and divorced her good friend, Marge Lane.

When he appeared on talk shows in the 1990s and 2000s, Rooney almost invariably reminded audiences that he was the number one box office star of 1939, 1940 and 1941. "I was the number one star in the world, you hear me? The world!" He then regaled the host with tales from his Hollywood history. He also said he came up with the stage name "Marilyn Monroe" for blonde innocent Norma Jean Baker, and lost his virginity in a brothel where the tab was paid by show-biz pal Milton Berle. He claimed to have "discovered" Sammy Davis, Jr., and said he turned down the Archie Bunker role in All in the Family. He said that he became a born-again Christian in the early 1970s, when an angel appeared to him in a diner. And he fondly remembered being called "the best actor America ever produced" by Laurence Olivier. At some point, credulity snaps.

In 2005, Rooney filmed a commercial for a cold remedy, in which Rooney's towel slipped off in a sauna, exposing his 84-year-old buttocks for about two seconds. The ad, scheduled to premiere during the Super Bowl, was rejected by network censors. Rooney angrily described the commercial as "a fun spot", and said "the public deserves to see it". He died in 2014.

Father: Joseph Ewell ("Joe Yule", vaudeville comic and actor)
Mother: Nell Carter (chorus girl, vaudeville comic, b. circa 1899)
Father: Fred D. Pankey (stepfather; restaurateur)
Girlfriend: Lana Turner (actress, dated 1938-39)
Wife: Ava Gardner (actress, m. 10-Jan-1942, div. 21-May-1943)
Wife: Betty Jane Rase (Miss Alabama 1944; m. 30-Sep-1944, div. 3-Jun-1949, two children)
Wife: Martha Vickers (actress, m. 3-Jun-1949, div. 25-Sep-1951, one child)
Wife: Elaine Devry (actress, m. 1952, div. May-1959)
Wife: Barbara Ann Thomason (actress, m. 1-Dec-1958, d. 31-Jan-1966, four children)
Wife: Marge Lane (m. 1967, div. 1967)
Wife: Carolyn Hockett (m. 1969, div. 1974)
Wife: Jan Chamberlin (country singer, m. 18-Jul-1978)
Daughter: Kimmy Rooney, Kelly Rooney, Kerry Rooney, Jonelle Rooney
Son: Tim Rooney, Teddy Rooney, Mickey Rooney Jr., Kyle Rooney, Jimmy Rooney
Son: Christopher Aber (stepson)

    High School: Fairfax High School, Los Angeles, CA (1938)

    March of Dimes
    Endorsement of Airborne dietary supplement (2004-05)
    Golden Globe 1964 for Best Male TV Star
    Emmy 1982 for Bill
    Golden Globe 1982 for Bill
    Hollywood Walk of Fame 1718 Vine Street. (motion picture)
    Hollywood Walk of Fame 6541 Hollywood Blvd. (television)
    Draft Deferment: World War II
    Bankruptcy $1.75 million IRS debt, 1996
    Wedding: David Gest and Liza Minnelli (2002)
    Visited Disneyland Candlelight Procession (Dec-2002)

    Kleo the Misfit Unicorn Talbut (1997)
    The Adventures of the Black Stallion Henry Dailey (1990-93)
    Mickey Mickey Grady (1964-65)
    The Mickey Rooney Show Mickey Mulligan (1954-55)

    The Private Lives of Adam and Eve (Dec-1960)
    My True Story (8-Mar-1951)

    Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb (17-Dec-2014)
    The Muppets (4-Nov-2011)
    Night at the Museum (21-Dec-2006)
    The Happy Elf (6-Dec-2005) [VOICE]
    A Christmas Too Many (28-Nov-2005) · Grandpa
    Lady and the Tramp II: Scamp's Adventure (18-Feb-2001) [VOICE]
    Phantom of the Megaplex (10-Nov-2000)
    The First of May (20-Mar-1999)
    Babe: Pig in the City (25-Nov-1998) · Fugly Floom
    Animals (22-Jan-1998)
    Boys Will Be Boys (1997)
    The Road Home (1995)
    That's Entertainment! III (16-Jun-1994) · Himself
    Revenge of the Red Baron (1994)
    Silent Night, Deadly Night 5: The Toy Maker (3-Jan-1992)
    The Gambler Returns: The Luck of the Draw (3-Nov-1991) · The Director
    My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys (1-Mar-1991)
    Erik the Viking (1-Sep-1989)
    Little Nemo: Adventures in Slumberland (15-Jul-1989) [VOICE]
    Bluegrass (28-Feb-1988)
    Lightning, the White Stallion (Aug-1986)
    The Care Bears Movie (23-Mar-1985) · Mr. Cherrywood [VOICE]
    It Came Upon the Midnight Clear (15-Dec-1984)
    Bill: On His Own (9-Nov-1983)
    Odyssey of the Pacific (10-Dec-1982)
    Bill (22-Dec-1981)
    The Fox and the Hound (10-Jul-1981) [VOICE]
    Leave 'em Laughing (29-Apr-1981) · Jack Thum
    The Black Stallion (17-Oct-1979) · Henry Dailey
    Arabian Adventure (5-Jul-1979)
    Rudolph and Frosty's Christmas in July (1-Jul-1979) [VOICE]
    The Magic of Lassie (2-Aug-1978)
    Pete's Dragon (3-Nov-1977)
    The Domino Principle (25-Jul-1977)
    Find the Lady (11-Nov-1976)
    The Year Without a Santa Claus (10-Dec-1974) [VOICE]
    Journey Back to Oz (5-Dec-1974) [VOICE]
    That's Entertainment! (23-May-1974) · Himself
    Evil Roy Slade (18-Feb-1972)
    Pulp (1972) · Preston Gilbert
    Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town (14-Dec-1970) [VOICE]
    Cockeyed Cowboys of Calico County (1-May-1970) · Indian Tom
    The Comic (19-Nov-1969)
    The Extraordinary Seaman (1969)
    80 Steps to Jonah (1969)
    Skidoo (2-Dec-1968)
    The Devil in Love (21-Dec-1966)
    Ambush Bay (13-Jun-1966)
    How to Stuff a Wild Bikini (14-Jul-1965) · Peachy Keane
    24 Hours to Kill (1965)
    The Secret Invasion (16-Sep-1964) · Terence Scanlon
    It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World (7-Nov-1963) · Dingy Bell
    Requiem for a Heavyweight (16-Oct-1962) · Army
    Everything's Ducky (Nov-1961)
    Breakfast at Tiffany's (5-Oct-1961) · Mr. Yunioshi
    King of the Roaring 20's: The Story of Arnold Rothstein (11-Jun-1961) · Johnny Burke
    The Private Lives of Adam and Eve (Dec-1960)
    Platinum High School (13-May-1960)
    The Big Operator (Aug-1959)
    The Last Mile (18-Feb-1959) · "Killer" Mears
    Andy Hardy Comes Home (22-Dec-1958)
    A Nice Little Bank That Should Be Robbed (1-Dec-1958) · Gus Harris
    Baby Face Nelson (11-Dec-1957)
    Operation Mad Ball (17-Aug-1957)
    Francis in the Haunted House (20-Jul-1956)
    The Bold and the Brave (Apr-1956)
    The Twinkle in God's Eye (13-Oct-1955)
    The Bridges at Toko-Ri (20-Jan-1955) · Mike Forney
    The Atomic Kid (8-Dec-1954)
    Drive a Crooked Road (10-Mar-1954)
    A Slight Case of Larceny (5-Jun-1953) · Augustus "Geechy" Cheevers
    All Ashore (3-Mar-1953)
    Off Limits (19-Feb-1953)
    Sound Off (May-1952)
    My Outlaw Brother (22-Aug-1951)
    The Strip (Aug-1951) · Stanley Maxton
    The Fireball (7-Oct-1950)
    Quicksand (24-Mar-1950) · Dan
    The Big Wheel (4-Nov-1949)
    Words and Music (9-Dec-1948) · Lorenz Hart
    Summer Holiday (23-Feb-1948) · Richard Miller
    Killer McCoy (Dec-1947)
    Love Laughs at Andy Hardy (25-Dec-1946) · Andy Hardy
    National Velvet (14-Dec-1944) · Mi Taylor
    Andy Hardy's Blonde Trouble (4-May-1944) · Andy Hardy
    Girl Crazy (26-Nov-1943) · Danny Churchill, Jr.
    Thousands Cheer (13-Sep-1943) · Himself
    The Human Comedy (2-Mar-1943) · Homer Macauley
    Andy Hardy's Double Life (Dec-1942) · Andy Hardy
    A Yank at Eton (Sep-1942) · Timothy Dennis
    The Courtship of Andy Hardy (Mar-1942)
    Babes on Broadway (31-Dec-1941) · Tommy Williams
    Life Begins for Andy Hardy (15-Aug-1941) · Andy Hardy
    Men of Boys Town (10-Apr-1941) · Whitey Marsh
    Andy Hardy's Private Secretary (21-Feb-1941) · Andy Hardy
    Strike Up the Band (27-Sep-1940) · Jimmy Connors
    Andy Hardy Meets Debutante (5-Jul-1940) · Andy Hardy
    Young Tom Edison (10-Feb-1940) · Tom Edison
    Judge Hardy and Son (22-Dec-1939) · Andy Hardy
    Babes in Arms (13-Oct-1939) · Mickey Moran
    Andy Hardy Gets Spring Fever (18-Jul-1939) · Andy Hardy
    The Hardys Ride High (14-Apr-1939)
    The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (10-Feb-1939) · Huckleberry Finn
    Out West with the Hardys (25-Nov-1938) · Andy Hardy
    Boys Town (8-Sep-1938) · Whitey Marsh
    Love Finds Andy Hardy (22-Jul-1938) · Andrew Hardy
    Lord Jeff (17-Jun-1938) · Terry O'Mulvaney
    Hold That Kiss (13-May-1938) · Chick Evans
    Judge Hardy's Children (26-Mar-1938)
    Love Is a Headache (14-Jan-1938)
    You're Only Young Once (10-Dec-1937) · Andrew Hardy
    Thoroughbreds Don't Cry (25-Nov-1937) · Timmie Donovan
    Live, Love and Learn (29-Oct-1937)
    Slave Ship (16-Jun-1937)
    Captains Courageous (11-May-1937) · Dan
    A Family Affair (12-Mar-1937) · Andy Hardy
    The Devil Is A Sissy (18-Sep-1936) · Gig Stevens
    Little Lord Fauntleroy (2-Apr-1936) · Dick
    Riffraff (3-Jan-1936) · Jimmy
    Ah, Wilderness! (6-Dec-1935) · Tommy
    A Midsummer Night's Dream (9-Oct-1935)
    Reckless (17-Apr-1935) · Eddie
    Hide-Out (18-Aug-1934) · Willie
    Blind Date (20-Jul-1934)
    Half a Sinner (1-Jun-1934)
    Manhattan Melodrama (2-May-1934) · Blackie as a Boy
    The World Changes (25-Nov-1933)
    The Chief (3-Nov-1933)
    Broadway to Hollywood (1-Sep-1933) · Ted Hackett III

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