|Real Name:||Mickey Rooney|
|Birth Day:||September 23, 1920|
|Death Date:||April 6, 2014(2014-04-06) (aged 93)
Studio City, Los Angeles, California, U.S.
|Birth Place:||USA, Not Known|
|#5||Lynn A. Aber||Spouse||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|#6||Mickey Rooney||Spouse||$20 Thousand||N/A||93||Actor|
|#7||Mickey Rooney||$20 Thousand||N/A||93||Actor|
As per our current Database, Jan Rooney died on April 6, 2014(2014-04-06) (aged 93)
Studio City, Los Angeles, California, U.S..
|Height||Weight||Hair Colour||Eye Colour||Blood Type||Tattoo(s)|
Rooney was born Ninnian Joseph Yule Jr. in the Brooklyn borough of New York City on September 23, 1920, the only child of Nellie W. Carter and Joe Yule. His mother was an American former chorus girl and burlesque performer from Kansas City, Missouri, while his father was a Scottish vaudevillian who had emigrated to New York from Glasgow with his family at the age of three months. They lived in the Greenpoint neighborhood of Brooklyn. When Rooney was born, his parents were appearing together in a Brooklyn production of A Gaiety Girl. He later recounted in his memoirs that he began performing at the age of 17 months as part of his parents' routine, wearing a specially tailored tuxedo.
Rooney's parents separated when he was four years old in 1924, and he and his mother moved to Hollywood the following year. He made his first film appearance at age six in 1926, in the short Not to be Trusted. Rooney got bit parts in films such as The Beast of the City (1932) and The Life of Jimmy Dolan (1933), which allowed him to work alongside stars such as Joel McCrea, Colleen Moore, Clark Gable, Douglas Fairbanks Jr., John Wayne and Jean Harlow. He enrolled in the Hollywood Professional School and later attended Fairfax High School (Los Angeles). Some sites and information indicate that Mickey attended Hollywood High School, however, he stated at the HHS Centennial Celebration in 2003 which he attended with his wife Jan, he only "visited Hollywood High to pick up the better looking girls."
His mother saw an advertisement for a child to play the role of "Mickey McGuire" in a series of short films. Rooney got the role and became "Mickey" for 78 of the films, running from 1927 to 1936, starting with Mickey's Circus (1927), his first starring role. During this period, he also briefly voiced Oswald the Lucky Rabbit. He made other films in his adolescence, including several more of the McGuire films. At age 14, he played the role of Puck in the Warner Brothers all-star adaptation of A Midsummer Night's Dream in 1935. Rooney then moved to MGM, where he befriended Judy Garland, with whom he began making a series of musicals that propelled both of them to stardom.
In 1937, Rooney was selected to portray Andy Hardy in A Family Affair, which MGM had planned as a B-movie. Rooney provided comic relief as the son of Judge James K. Hardy, portrayed by Lionel Barrymore (although former silent film leading man Lewis Stone played the role of Judge Hardy in subsequent pictures). The film was an unexpected success, and led to 13 more Andy Hardy films between 1937 and 1946, and a final film in 1958.
In 1937, Rooney made his first film alongside Judy Garland with Thoroughbreds Don't Cry. Garland and Rooney became close friends as they co-starred in future films and became a successful song-and-dance team. Audiences delighted in seeing the "playful interactions between the two stars showcase a wonderful chemistry". Along with three of the Andy Hardy films, where she portrayed a girl attracted to Andy, they appeared together in a string of successful musicals, including Babes in Arms (1939). During an interview in the 1992 documentary film MGM: When the Lion Roars, Rooney describes their friendship:
In 1937, Rooney received top billing as Shockey Carter in Hoosier Schoolboy but his breakthrough-role as a dramatic actor came in 1938's Boys Town opposite Spencer Tracy as Father Flanagan, who runs a home for wayward and homeless boys. Rooney was awarded a special Juvenile Academy Award in 1939, for "significant contribution in bringing to the screen the spirit and personification of youth". Wayne describes one of the "most famous scenes" in the film, where tough young Rooney is playing poker with a cigarette in his mouth, his hat is cocked and his feet are up on the table. "Tracy grabs him by the lapels, throws the cigarette away and pushes him into a chair. 'That's better,' he tells Mickey." Louis B. Mayer said Boys Town was his favorite film during his years at MGM.
The popularity of his films made Rooney the biggest box-office draw in 1939, 1940 and 1941. For their roles in Boys Town, Rooney and Tracy won first and second place in the Motion Picture Herald 1940 National Poll of Exhibitors, based on the box office appeal of 200 players. Boys' Life magazine wrote, "Congratulations to Messrs. Rooney and Tracy! Also to Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer we extend a hearty thanks for their very considerable part in this outstanding achievement." Actor Laurence Olivier once called Rooney "the greatest actor of them all".
A major star in the early 1940s, he appeared on the cover of Time magazine in 1940, timed to coincide with the release of Young Tom Edison; the cover story began:
Rooney was married eight times, with six of the marriages ending in divorce. In 1942, he married his first wife, actress Ava Gardner, who at that time was still an obscure teenage starlet. They divorced the following year, partly because he had apparently been unfaithful. While stationed in the military in Alabama in 1944, Rooney met and married Betty Jane Phillips, who later became a singer under the name B. J. Baker. They had two sons together. This marriage ended in divorce after he returned from Europe at the end of World War II. His marriage to actress Martha Vickers in 1949 produced one son but ended in divorce in 1951. He married actress Elaine Mahnken in 1952 and they divorced in 1958.
In June 1944, Rooney was inducted into the United States Army, where he served more than 21 months (until shortly after the end of World War II) entertaining the troops in America and Europe in Special Services. He spent part of the time as a radio personality on the American Forces Network and was awarded the Bronze Star Medal for entertaining troops in combat zones. In addition to the Bronze Star Medal, Rooney also received the Army Good Conduct Medal, American Campaign Medal, European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal, and World War II Victory Medal, for his military service.
Rooney's career slumped after his return to civilian life. He was now an adult with a height of only 5 feet 2 inches (1.57 m) and he could no longer play the role of a teenager, but he also lacked the stature of most leading men. He appeared in a number of films, including Words and Music in 1948, which paired him for the last time with Garland on film (he appeared with her on one episode as a guest on The Judy Garland Show). He briefly starred in a CBS radio series, Shorty Bell, in the summer of 1948, and reprised his role as "Andy Hardy", with most of the original cast, in a syndicated radio version of The Hardy Family in 1949 and 1950 (repeated on Mutual during 1952).
By the end of the 1940s, Rooney's movie characters were no longer in demand and his career went downhill. "In 1938," he said, "I starred in eight pictures. In 1948 and 1949 together, I starred in only three." However, film historian Jeanine Basinger notes that although his career "reached the heights and plunged to the depths, Rooney kept on working and growing, the mark of a professional." Some of the films which reinvigorated his popularity, were Requiem for a Heavyweight (1962), It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World (1963) and The Black Stallion (1979). In the early 1980s, he returned to Broadway in Sugar Babies, and "found himself once more back on top".
In 1949 Variety reported that Rooney had renegotiated his deal with MGM. He agreed to make one film a year for them for five years at $25,000 a movie (his fee until then had been $100,000 but Rooney wanted to enter independent production.) Rooney claimed he was unhappy with the billing MGM gave him for Words and Music.
His first television series, The Mickey Rooney Show, also known as Hey, Mulligan, was created by Blake Edwards with Rooney as his own producer, and appeared on NBC television for 32 episodes between August 28, 1954 and June 4, 1955. In 1951, he made his directorial debut with My True Story, starring Helen Walker. Rooney also starred as a ragingly egomaniacal television comedian, loosely based on Red Buttons, in the live 90-minute television drama The Comedian, in the Playhouse 90 series on the evening of Valentine's Day in 1957, and as himself in a revue called The Musical Revue of 1959 based on the 1929 film The Hollywood Revue of 1929, which was edited into a film in 1960.
In May 1956, Rooney received an honorary PhD in Fine Arts from both Fremont College and degree mill Sequoia University for his work in the entertainment field.
In 1958, Rooney joined Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra in hosting an episode of NBC's short-lived Club Oasis comedy and variety show. In 1960, Rooney directed and starred in The Private Lives of Adam and Eve, an ambitious comedy known for its multiple flashbacks and many cameos. In the 1960s, Rooney returned to theatrical entertainment. He still accepted film roles in undistinguished films but occasionally appeared in better works, such as Requiem for a Heavyweight (1962) and It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World (1963).
In 1958, Rooney married model and actress Barbara Ann Thomason. She was murdered in 1966 by stuntman and actor Milos Milos, who then shot himself. Thomason and Milos had an affair while Rooney was traveling, and police theorized that Milos had shot her after she wanted to end it. Rooney then married Barbara's best friend, Marge Lane, though the marriage lasted only 100 days. He was married to Carolyn Hockett from 1969 to 1975. In 1978, he married his eighth and final wife, Jan Chamberlin. Their marriage lasted until his death, a total of 34 years (longer than his seven previous unions combined). However, they separated in 2012.
On February 8, 1960, Rooney was initiated into the Hollywood Walk of Fame with a star heralding his work in motion pictures, located at 1718 Vine Street, one for his television career located at 6541 Hollywood Boulevard, and a third dedicated to his work in radio, located at 6372 Hollywood Boulevard. On March 29, 1984, he received a fourth star, this one for his live performances, located at 6211 Hollywood Boulevard.
He portrayed a Japanese character, Mr. Yunioshi, in the 1961 film version of Truman Capote's novella Breakfast at Tiffany's. His performance was criticized by some in subsequent years as a racist stereotype. Rooney later said that he would not have taken the role if he had known it would offend people.
On December 31, 1961, Rooney appeared on television's What's My Line and mentioned that he had already started enrolling students in the MRSE (Mickey Rooney School of Entertainment). His school venture never came to fruition. This was a period of professional distress for Rooney; as a childhood friend, director Richard Quine put it: "Let's face it. It wasn't all that easy to find roles for a 5-foot-3 man who'd passed the age of Andy Hardy." In 1962, his debts had forced him into filing for bankruptcy.
In 1961, he guest-starred in the 13-week James Franciscus adventure–drama CBS television series The Investigators. In 1962, he was cast as himself in the episode "The Top Banana" of the CBS sitcom, Pete and Gladys, starring Harry Morgan and Cara Williams.
At his death, Vanity Fair called Rooney "the original Hollywood train wreck". Despite earning millions during his career, he had to file for bankruptcy in 1962 due to mismanagement of his finances. In his later years Rooney had entrusted his finances to his stepson, who funneled Rooney's earnings to pay for his own lavish lifestyle. His millions in earnings had dwindled to an estate that was valued at only $18,000. He died owing medical bills and back taxes, and contributions were solicited from the public.
In 1963, he entered CBS's The Twilight Zone, giving a one-man performance in the episode "The Last Night of a Jockey" (1963). Also in 1963, in 'The Hunt' for Suspense Theater, he played the sadistic sheriff hunting the young surfer played by James Caan. In 1964, he launched another half-hour sitcom, Mickey. The story line had "Mickey" operating a resort hotel in southern California. His own son Tim Rooney appeared as his character's teenage son on this program, and Emmaline Henry starred as Rooney's wife. The program lasted for 17 episodes.
In 1966, Rooney was working on the film Ambush Bay in the Philippines when his wife Barbara Ann Thomason— a former model and aspiring actress who had won 17 straight beauty contests in Southern California—was found dead in her bed. Her lover, Milos Milos—who was one of Rooney's actor-friends—was found dead beside her. Detectives ruled it a murder-suicide, which was committed with Rooney's own gun.
When Norman Lear was developing All in the Family in 1970, he wanted Rooney for the lead role of Archie Bunker. Rooney turned Lear down; and the role eventually went to Carroll O'Connor.
A major turning point came in 1979, when Rooney made his Broadway debut in the acclaimed stage play Sugar Babies, a musical revue tribute to the burlesque era costarring former MGM dancing star Ann Miller. Aljean Harmetz noted that "Mr. Rooney fought over every skit and argued over every song and almost always got things done his way. The show opened on Broadway on October 8, 1979, to rave reviews, and this time he did not throw success away. Rooney and Miller performed the show 1,208 times in New York and then toured with it for five years, including eight months in London. Co-star Miller recalls that Rooney "never missed a performance or a chance to ad-lib or read the lines the same way twice, if he even stuck to the script". Biographer Alvin Marill states that "at 59, Mickey Rooney was reincarnated as a baggy-pants comedian—back as a top banana in show biz in his belated Broadway debut."
Following this, he toured as Pseudelous in Stephen Sondheim's A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. In the 1990s, he returned to Broadway for the final months of Will Rogers Follies, playing the ghost of Will's father. On television, he starred in the short-lived sitcom, One of the Boys, along with two unfamiliar young stars, Dana Carvey and Nathan Lane, in 1982.
In 1983, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences gave Rooney their Academy Honorary Award for his lifetime of achievement.
Rooney wrote a memoir titled Life is Too Short, published by Villard Books in 1991. A Library Journal review said that "From title to the last line, 'I'll have a short bier', Rooney's self-deprecating humor powers this book." He wrote a novel about a child star, published in 1994, The Search For Sunny Skies.
Rooney did voice acting from time to time. He provided the voice of Santa Claus in four stop-motion animated Christmas TV specials: Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town (1970), The Year Without a Santa Claus (1974), Rudolph and Frosty's Christmas in July (1979) and A Miser Brothers' Christmas (2008). In 1995, he appeared as himself on The Simpsons episode "Radioactive Man".
Despite the millions of dollars that he earned over the years, such as his $65,000 a week earnings from Sugar Babies, Rooney was plagued by financial problems late in life. His longtime gambling habit caused him to "gamble away his fortune again and again". He declared bankruptcy for the second time in 1996 and described himself as "broke" in 2005. He kept performing on stage and in the movies, but his personal property was valued at only $18,000 when he died in 2014.
In 1996, a Golden Palm Star on the Palm Springs Walk of Stars was dedicated to Rooney.
In the late 1970s, Rooney became a born-again Christian and was a fan of Pat Robertson. In 1997, he was arrested on suspicion of beating his wife, Jan, but the charges were dropped due to lack of evidence.
Rooney appeared in television commercials for Garden State Life Insurance Company in 2002.
Rooney and his wife Jan toured the country in 2005 through 2011 in a musical revue called Let's Put on a Show. Vanity Fair called it "a homespun affair full of dog-eared jokes" that featured Rooney singing George Gershwin songs.
In 2006, Rooney played Gus in Night at the Museum. He returned to play the role again in the sequel Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian in 2009, in a scene that was deleted from the final film.
On May 26, 2007, Rooney was grand marshal at the Garden Grove Strawberry Festival. He made his British pantomime debut, playing Baron Hardup in Cinderella, at the Sunderland Empire Theatre over the 2007 Christmas period, a role he reprised at Bristol Hippodrome in 2008 and at the Milton Keynes theatre in 2009.
In 2011, Rooney made a cameo appearance in The Muppets and in 2014, at age 93, he reprised his role as Gus in Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb, which was dedicated to him and to Robin Williams, who also died that year. Although confined to a wheelchair, he was described by director Shawn Levy as "energetic and so pleased to be there. He was just happy to be invited to the party."
On February 16, 2011, Rooney was granted a temporary restraining order against his stepson Christopher Aber and Aber's wife Christina, and they were ordered to stay 100 yards from Rooney, his stepson Mark Rooney, and Mark's wife Charlene. Rooney claimed that he was a victim of elder abuse. On March 2, 2011, Rooney appeared before a special U.S. Senate committee that was considering legislation to curb elder abuse, testifying about the abuse he claimed to have suffered at the hands of family members. In 2011, all of Rooney's finances were permanently handed over to a conservator, who called Rooney "completely competent".
In April 2011, the temporary restraining order that Rooney was previously granted was replaced by a confidential settlement between Rooney and Aber. Aber and Jan Rooney denied all the allegations.
At the time of his death, Rooney was married to Jan Chamberlin Rooney, although they had separated in June 2012. He had nine children and two stepchildren, as well as 19 grandchildren and several great-grandchildren. Rooney had been addicted to sleeping pills, and overcame the addiction in 2000 when he was in his late 70s.
In May 2013, Rooney sold his home of many years, reportedly for $1.3 million, and split the proceeds with his wife, Jan.
Rooney died of natural causes (including complications from diabetes) in Los Angeles on April 6, 2014, at the age of 93. A group of family members and friends, including Mickey Rourke, held a memorial service on April 18. A private funeral, organized by another set of family members, was held at Hollywood Forever Cemetery, where he was interred, on April 19. His eight surviving children said in a statement that they were barred from seeing Rooney during his final years.
An October 2015 article in The Hollywood Reporter maintained that Rooney was frequently abused and financially depleted by his closest relatives in the last years of his life. The article said that it was clear that "one of the biggest stars of all time, who remained aloft longer than anyone in Hollywood history, was in the end brought down by those closest to him. He died humiliated and betrayed, nearly broke and often broken." Rooney suffered from bipolar disorder and had attempted suicide two or three times over the years, with resulting hospitalizations reported as "nervous breakdowns".
Currently, Jan Rooney is 102 years, 0 months and 5 days old. Jan Rooney will celebrate 103rd birthday on a Saturday 23rd of September 2023.
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