Mickey Rooney

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Mickey Rooney
Mickey Rooney still.jpg
Rooney in 1945
BornJoseph Yule, Jr.
(1920-09-23) September 23, 1920 (age 93)
Brooklyn, New York, U.S
ResidenceWestlake Village, California
OccupationActor, entertainer
Years active1922–present
Height5 ft 2 in (1.57 m)
ParentsJoseph Yule,
Nellie W. (née Carter)
AwardsJuvenile Academy Award, Academy Honorary Award, Emmy, 2 Golden Globes
  (Redirected from Carolyn Mitchell)
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Mickey Rooney
Mickey Rooney still.jpg
Rooney in 1945
BornJoseph Yule, Jr.
(1920-09-23) September 23, 1920 (age 93)
Brooklyn, New York, U.S
ResidenceWestlake Village, California
OccupationActor, entertainer
Years active1922–present
Height5 ft 2 in (1.57 m)
ParentsJoseph Yule,
Nellie W. (née Carter)
AwardsJuvenile Academy Award, Academy Honorary Award, Emmy, 2 Golden Globes

Mickey Rooney (born Joseph Yule, Jr.; September 23, 1920) is an American film actor and entertainer whose film, television, and stage appearances span nearly his entire lifetime.

He has received multiple awards, including a Juvenile Academy Award, an Honorary Academy Award, two Golden Globes and an Emmy Award. Working as a performer since he was a 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, to date spanning 92 years actively making films in ten decades, from the 1920s to the 2010s. For a younger generation of fans, he gained international fame for his leading role as Henry Dailey in The Family Channel's The Adventures of the Black Stallion.

Along with Jean Darling, Carla Laemmle, and Baby Peggy, he is one of the last surviving stars who worked in the silent film era. He is also the last surviving cast member of several films in which he appeared during the 1930s and 1940s.

Early life[edit]

Rooney was born Joseph Yule, Jr. in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. His father, Joe Yule (born Ninnian Joseph Ewell), was from Glasgow, Scotland, and his mother, Nellie W. (née Carter), was from Kansas City, Missouri. Both of his parents were in vaudeville, appearing in a Brooklyn production of A Gaiety Girl when Joseph, Jr. was born. He began performing at the age of 17 months as part of his parents' routine, wearing a specially tailored tuxedo.[1]

When he was fourteen months old, unknown to everyone, he crawled onstage wearing overalls and a little harmonica around his neck. He sneezed and his father, Joe Sr., grabbed him up, introducing him to the audience as Sonny Yule. He felt the spotlight on him and has described it as his mother's womb. From that moment on, the stage was his home.

While Joe Sr. was traveling, Joe Jr. and his mother moved from Brooklyn to Kansas City to live with his aunt. While his mother was reading the entertainment newspaper, Nellie was interested in getting Hal Roach to approach her son to participate in the Our Gang series in Hollywood. Roach offered $5 a day to Joe, Jr., while the other young stars were paid five times more.

As he was getting bit parts in films, he was working with other established film stars such as Joel McCrea, Colleen Moore, Clark Gable, Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., and Jean Harlow. While selling newspapers around the corner, he also entered into Hollywood Professional School, where he went to school with dozens of unfamiliar students such as: Joseph A. Wapner, Nanette Fabray, Judy Garland, Lana Turner, among many others, and later Hollywood High School, where he graduated in 1938.


Mickey McGuire[edit]

The Yules separated in 1924 during a slump in vaudeville, and in 1925, Nell Yule moved with her son to Hollywood, where she managed a tourist home. Fontaine Fox had placed a newspaper ad for a dark-haired child to play the role of "Mickey McGuire" in a series of short films. Lacking the money to have her son's hair dyed, Mrs. Yule took her son to the audition after applying burnt cork to his scalp.[2] Joe got the role and became "Mickey" for 78 of the comedies, running from 1927 to 1936, starting with Mickey's Circus, released September 4, 1927.[3] These had been adapted from the Toonerville Trolley comic strip, which contained a character named Mickey McGuire. Joe Yule briefly became Mickey McGuire legally in order to trump an attempted copyright lawsuit (if it were his legal name, the film producer Larry Darmour did not owe the comic strip writers royalties). His mother also changed her surname to McGuire in an attempt to bolster the argument, but the film producers lost. The litigation settlement awarded damages to the owners of the cartoon character, compelling the twelve-year-old actor to refrain from calling himself Mickey McGuire on- and offscreen.[4]

Rooney later claimed that, during his Mickey McGuire days, he met cartoonist Walt Disney at the Warner Brothers studio, and that Disney was inspired to name Mickey Mouse after him,[5] although Disney always said that he had changed the name from "Mortimer Mouse" to "Mickey Mouse" on the suggestion of his wife.[6]

During an interruption in the series in 1932, Mrs. Yule made plans to take her son on a ten-week vaudeville tour as McGuire, and Fox sued successfully to stop him from using the name. Mrs. Yule suggested the stage name of Mickey Looney for her comedian son, which he altered slightly to Rooney, a less frivolous version.[2] Rooney made other films in his adolescence, including several more of the McGuire films, and signed with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer in 1934. MGM cast Rooney as the teenage son of a judge in 1937's A Family Affair, setting Rooney on the way to another successful film series.

"Andy Hardy" and Judy Garland[edit]

Rooney with Judy Garland in Love Finds Andy Hardy (1938)

In 1937, Rooney was selected to portray Andy Hardy in A Family Affair, which MGM had planned as a B-movie.[2] Rooney provided comic relief as the son of Judge James K. Hardy, portrayed by Lionel Barrymore (although Lewis Stone would play the role of Judge Hardy in subsequent films). The film was an unexpected success, and led to 13 more Andy Hardy films between 1937 and 1946, and a final film in 1958. Rooney also received top billing as "Shockey Carter" in Hoosier Schoolboy (1937).

Also in 1937, Rooney made his first film alongside Judy Garland with Thoroughbreds Don't Cry. Garland and Rooney became close friends and a successful song-and-dance team. Besides three of the Andy Hardy films, where she portrayed Betsy Booth, a younger girl with a crush on Andy, they appeared together in a string of successful musicals, including the Oscar-nominated Babes in Arms (1939). During an interview in the 1992 documentary film MGM: When the Lion Roars, Rooney describes their friendship:[7]

"Judy and I were so close we could've come from the same womb. We weren't like brothers or sisters but there was no love affair there; there was more than a love affair. It's very, very difficult to explain the depths of our love for each other. It was so special. It was a forever love. Judy, as we speak, has not passed away. She's always with me in every heartbeat of my body."

With Carmen Miranda backstage at Babes on Broadway (1941)

Rooney's breakthrough-role as a dramatic actor came in 1938's Boys Town opposite Spencer Tracy as Whitey Marsh, which opened shortly before his 18th birthday. Rooney was awarded a special Juvenile Academy Award in 1939[8] and was named the biggest box-office draw in 1939, 1940 and 1941.[9] A well-known entertainer by the early 1940s, his picture appeared on the cover of the March 18, 1940 issue of Time magazine, timed to coincide with the release of Young Tom Edison;[10] the cover story began:[11]

"Hollywood's No. 1 box office bait in 1939 was not Clark Gable, Errol Flynn or Tyrone Power, but a rope-haired, kazoo-voiced kid with a comic-strip face, who until this week had never appeared in a picture without mugging or overacting it. His name (assumed) was Mickey Rooney, and to a large part of the more articulate U. S. cinemaudience, his name was becoming a frequently used synonym for brat."

Rooney, with Garland, was one of many celebrities caricatured in Tex Avery's 1941 Warner Bros. cartoon Hollywood Steps Out. As of 2013, Rooney is the only surviving entertainer depicted in the cartoon. In 1991, Rooney was honored by the Young Artist Foundation with its Former Child Star "Lifetime Achievement" Award recognizing his achievements within the film industry as a child actor.[12] After presenting the award to Rooney, the foundation subsequently renamed the accolade "The Mickey Rooney Award" in his honor.[13][14]

After the war[edit]

Rooney entertaining troops in 1945

In 1944, Rooney entered military service. He served more than 21 months, until shortly after the end of World War II. During and after the war he helped entertain the troops in America and Europe, and 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.

After his return to civilian life, his career slumped. 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 her CBS variety series in 1963). 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).[15]

His first television series, The Mickey Rooney Show: Hey, Mulligan (created by Blake Edwards with Rooney as his own producer), appeared on NBC television for 32 episodes between August 28, 1954 and June 4, 1955. In 1951, he directed a feature film for Columbia Pictures, My True Story starring Helen Walker. Rooney also starred as a ragingly egomaniacal television comedian 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, by British International Pictures.

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 would appear in better works, such as Requiem for a Heavyweight (1962), It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World (1963), and The Black Stallion (1979). One of Rooney's more controversial roles came in the highly-acclaimed 1961 film Breakfast at Tiffany's where he played a stereotyped buck-toothed myopic Japanese character, I.Y. Yunioshi, neighbor of the main character, Holly Golightly. Despite Rooney's protests that he was congratulated for the role by Asians, that role would later be held up as one of the most notorious examples of Hollywood's history of stereotypical depictions of that racial group.

On December 31, 1961, he 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."[16] In 1962, his debts had forced him into filing for bankruptcy.[17]

In 1966, while Rooney was working on the film Ambush Bay in the Philippines, his wife Barbara Ann Thomason (akas: Tara Thomas, Carolyn Mitchell), a former pinup model and aspiring actress who had won 17 straight beauty contests in Southern California, was found dead in their bed. Beside her was her lover, Milos Milos, an actor friend of Rooney's. Detectives ruled it murder-suicide, which was committed with Rooney's own gun.[18]

Rooney was awarded an Academy Juvenile Award in 1938, and in 1983 the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences voted him their Academy Honorary Award for his lifetime of achievement. He was mentioned in the 1972 song "Celluloid Heroes" by The Kinks: "If you stomped on Mickey Rooney/ He'd still turn 'round and smile..."

Character actor[edit]

Rooney on The Red Skelton Show, 1962

In addition to his movie roles, Rooney made numerous guest-starring roles as a character actor for nearly six decades, beginning with an episode of Celanese Theatre. The part led to other roles on such television series as Schlitz Playhouse, Playhouse 90, Producers' Showcase, Alcoa Theatre, Wagon Train, General Electric Theater, Hennesey, The Dick Powell Theatre, Arrest and Trial, Burke's Law, Combat!, The Fugitive, Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theatre, The Jean Arthur Show, The Name of the Game, Dan August, Night Gallery, The Love Boat, Kung Fu: The Legend Continues, among many others.

Television, stage and The Black Stallion[edit]

Rooney made a successful transition to television and stage work. In 1961, he guest-starred in the 13-week James Franciscus adventuredrama 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.

In 1963, he entered CBS's The Twilight Zone, giving a one-man performance in the episode "The Last Night of a Jockey". Also in 1963, in 'The Hunt' episode 9, season 1 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, on ABC. The story line had "Mickey" operating a resort hotel in southern California. Son Tim Rooney appeared as Rooney's teenaged son on this program, and Emmaline Henry starred as Rooney's wife. It lasted 17 episodes, ending primarily due to the suicide of co-star Sammee Tong in October 1964.[19]

He won a Golden Globe and an Emmy Award for his role in 1981's Bill. Playing opposite Dennis Quaid, Rooney's character was a mentally-challenged man attempting to live on his own after leaving an institution. He reprised his role in 1983's Bill: On His Own, earning an Emmy nomination for the role.[3]

Rooney provided the voices for four Christmas TV animated/stop action 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)—always playing Santa Claus.

He continued to work on stage and television through the 1980s and 1990s, appearing in the acclaimed stage play Sugar Babies with Ann Miller beginning in 1979. 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. He toured Canada in a dinner theatre production of The Mind with the Naughty Man in the mid-1990s. He played The Wizard in a stage production of The Wizard of Oz with Eartha Kitt at Madison Square Garden. Kitt was later replaced by Jo Anne Worley. In 1995 he starred with Charlton Heston, Peter Graves and Deborah Winters in the Warren Chaney docudrama America: A Call to Greatness.[20] He also appeared in the documentaries That's Entertainment! and That's Entertainment! III, in both films introducing segments paying tribute to Judy Garland.

Actor Mickey Rooney speaks at the Pentagon in 2000 during a ceremony honoring the USO

Rooney voiced Mr. Cherrywood in The Care Bears Movie (1985), and starred as the Movie Mason in a Disney Channel Original Movie family film 2000's Phantom of the Megaplex. He had a guest-spot on an episode of The Golden Girls as Sophia's boyfriend "Rocko", who claimed to be a bank robber. He voiced himself in the Simpsons episode "Radioactive Man" of 1995. In 1996–97, Rooney played Talbut on the TV series, Kleo The Misfit Unicorn. He costarred in Night at the Museum in 2006 with Dick Van Dyke and Ben Stiller; Rooney filmed a cameo with Van Dyke for the 2009 sequel, Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian, which was cut from the film but included as an extra on the DVD release.[citation needed]

After starring in one unsuccessful TV series and turning down an offer for a huge TV series, Rooney finally hit the jackpot, at 70, when he was offered a starring role on The Family Channel's The Adventures of the Black Stallion, where he reprised his role as Henry Dailey in the film of the same name, eleven years earlier. The show was based on a novel by Walter Farley. For this role, he had to travel to Vancouver. The show became an immediate hit with teenagers, young adults and people all over the world, being seen in 70 countries.

Rooney appeared in television commercials for Garden State Life Insurance Company in 1999, alongside his wife Jan Rooney. In commercials shown in 2007, he can be seen in the background washing imaginary dishes.

Recent work[edit]

Mickey Rooney in 2013 with Lorenzo Tartamella.

In 2003, Rooney and his wife began their association with Rainbow Puppet Productions, providing their voices to the 100th Anniversary production of Toyland!, an adaptation of Victor Herbert's Babes in Toyland. He created the voice for the Master Toymaker while Jan provided the voice for Mother Goose. Since that time, they have created voices for additional Rainbow Puppet Productions including Pirate Party, which also features vocal performances by Carol Channing.

On May 26, 2007, he was grand marshal at the Garden Grove Strawberry Festival. Rooney made his British pantomime debut, playing Baron Hardup in Cinderella, at the Sunderland Empire Theatre over the 2007 Christmas period,[21][22] a role he reprised at Bristol Hippodrome in 2008 and at the Milton Keynes theatre in 2009.[23]

In 2008, Rooney starred as Chief, a wise old ranch owner, in the independent family feature film Lost Stallions: The Journey Home, marking a return to starring in equestrian-themed productions for the first time since the 1990s TV show Adventures of the Black Stallion. Even though they acted together before, Lost Stallions: The Journey Home is the sole film to date in which Rooney and Jan portrayed a married couple onscreen.

In December 2009, he appeared as a guest at a dinner-party hosted by David Gest on Come Dine With Me.[24]

In 2011, Rooney made a brief cameo appearance in The Muppets and appeared in an episode of Celebrity Ghost Stories, recounting how, during a down period in his career, his deceased father appeared to him one night, telling him not to give up on his career. He claims that the experience bolstered his resolve and soon afterwards his career experienced a resurgence.

Personal life[edit]

Rooney has been married eight times. In the 1950s and 1960s, he was often the subject of comedians' jokes for his alleged inability to stay married. He is currently married to Jan Chamberlin, although they are now separated. He has a total of nine children, as well as nineteen grandchildren[25] and several great-grandchildren.

Mickey Rooney in 1986

In 1942, he married future Hollywood starlet Ava Gardner, but the two were divorced well before she became a star in her own right. While stationed in the military in Alabama in 1944, Rooney met and married local beauty-queen Betty Jane Phillips. This marriage ended in divorce after he returned from Europe at the end of World War II. His subsequent marriages to Martha Vickers (1949) and Elaine Mahnken (1952) were also short-lived and ended in divorce. In 1958, Rooney married Barbara Ann Thomason (stage name Carolyn Mitchell), but tragedy struck when she was murdered in 1966. Falling into deep depression, he married Barbara's friend, Marge Lane, who helped him take care of his young children. The marriage lasted only 100 days. He was married to Carolyn Hockett from 1969 to 1974, but financial instability ended the relationship. Finally, in 1978, Rooney married Jan Chamberlin, his 8th wife. They both are outspoken advocates for veterans and animal rights.[26] and Rooney is an outspoken advocate for veterans and senior rights[citation needed].

After the deaths of his wife Barbara Ann Thomason and his mother, problems with alcohol and drugs, and various financial problems that included a bankruptcy,[27] Rooney had a religious experience with a busboy in a casino coffee shop.[5][28][29] In 1975, Rooney was an active member of the Church of Religious Science, a New Thought group founded by Ernest Holmes.[30]

Rooney's oldest child, Mickey Rooney, Jr., is a born-again Christian, and has an evangelical ministry in Hemet, California.[31] He and several of Rooney's other eight children have worked at various times in show business. One of them, actor Tim Rooney, died in 2006, aged 59.

On September 23, 2010, Rooney celebrated his 90th birthday at Feinstein's at Loews Regency in the Upper East Side of New York City. Among the people who were attending the party were: Donald Trump, Regis Philbin, Nathan Lane and Tony Bennett.[32] In December 2010 he was honored as Turner Classic Movies Star of the Month.[33]

On February 16, 2011, Rooney was granted a temporary restraining order against Christopher Aber, one of Jan Rooney's two sons from a previous marriage.[34] On March 2, 2011 Rooney appeared before a special U.S. Senate committee that was considering legislation to curb elder abuse. Rooney stated that he was financially abused by unnamed family members. On March 27, 2011, all of Rooney's finances were permanently handed over to lawyers over the claim of missing money.[35]

In April 2011, the temporary restraining order that Rooney was previously granted was replaced by a confidential settlement between Rooney and his stepson.[36] Christopher Aber and Jan Rooney have denied all the allegations.[37][38]

In May 2013, Mickey sold his house of many years, separated from his wife Jan Rooney and split the proceeds.[39]


Always get married early in the morning. That way, if it doesn't work out, you haven't wasted a whole day.

—Mickey Rooney[40]

Ava Gardner1942–1943
Betty Jane Rase1944–1949Mickey Rooney, Jr. (born July 3, 1945)
Tim Rooney (January 4, 1947 – September 23, 2006)
Martha Vickers1949–1951Theodore Michael Rooney (born April 13, 1950)
Elaine Devry1952–1958
Barbara Ann Thomason
(a.k.a.: Tara Thomas, Carolyn Mitchell)
1958–1966Kelly Ann Rooney (born September 13, 1959)
Kerry Rooney (born December 30, 1960)
Michael Joseph Rooney (born April 2, 1962)
Kimmy Sue Rooney (born September 13, 1963)
Marge Lane1966–1967
Carolyn Hockett1969–1975Jimmy Rooney (adopted from Carolyn's previous marriage) (born in 1966)
Jonelle Rooney (born January 11, 1970)
Jan Chamberlin1978–presentSeparated May 2013


Selected films[edit]

This is a selected list of Rooney's full-length films, both theatrical and made for television.

1927Orchids and Ermine
1932The Beast of the City
Sin's Pay Day
High Speed
Fast Companions
My Pal, the King
Officer Thirteen
1933The Big Cage
The Life of Jimmy Dolan
The Big Chance
Broadway to Hollywood
The Chief
The World Changes
The Lost Jungle
I Like It That Way
Manhattan Melodrama
Love Birds
Half a Sinner
Blind Date
Death on the Diamond
1935The County Chairman
The Healer
A Midsummer Night's Dream
Ah, Wilderness!
Little Lord Fauntleroy
Down the Stretch
The Devil is a Sissy
1937A Family Affair
Captains Courageous
Slave Ship
Hoosier Schoolboy
Live, Love and Learn
Thoroughbreds Don't Cry
You're Only Young Once
1938Love Is a Headache
Judge Hardy's Children
Hold That Kiss
Lord Jeff
Love Finds Andy Hardy
Boys Town
Out West with the Hardys
1939The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
The Hardys Ride High
Andy Hardy Gets Spring Fever
Babes in Arms
Judge Hardy and Son
1940Young Tom Edison
Andy Hardy Meets Debutante
Strike Up the Band
1941Andy Hardy's Private Secretary
Men of Boys Town
Life Begins for Andy Hardy
Babes on Broadway
1942The Courtship of Andy Hardy
A Yank at Eton
Andy Hardy's Double Life
1943The Human Comedy
Thousands Cheer
Girl Crazy
1944Andy Hardy's Blonde Trouble
National Velvet
1946Love Laughs at Andy Hardy
1947Killer McCoy
1948Summer Holiday
Words and Music
1949The Big Wheel
The Fireball
He's a Cockeyed Wonder
1951My Outlaw Brother
The Strip
1952Sound Off
1953Off Limits
All Ashore
A Slight Case of Larceny
1954Drive a Crooked Road
The Atomic Kid
1955The Bridges at Toko-Ri
The Twinkle in God's Eye
1956The Bold and the Brave
Francis in the Haunted House
Magnificent Roughnecks
1957Operation Mad Ball
Baby Face Nelson
1958A Nice Little Bank That Should Be Robbed
Andy Hardy Comes Home
1959The Big Operator
The Last Mile
1960Platinum High School
The Private Lives of Adam and Eve
1961King of the Roaring 20's – The Story of Arnold Rothstein
Breakfast at Tiffany's
Everything's Ducky
1962Requiem for a Heavyweight
1963It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World
1964The Secret Invasion
1965Twenty-Four Hours to Kill
How to Stuff a Wild Bikini
1966The Devil In Love
Ambush Bay
1969The Extraordinary Seaman
The Comic
80 Steps to Jonah
1970Cockeyed Cowboys of Calico County
Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town (voice)
1971Mooch Goes to Hollywood
The Manipulator
1972Evil Roy Slade
1973The Godmothers
1974Thunder County
Rachel's Man
Journey Back to Oz (voice)
The Year Without a Santa Claus (voice)
1975Ace of Hearts
From Hong Kong with Love
1976Find the Lady
1977The Domino Principle
Pete's Dragon
1978The Magic of Lassie
1979The Black Stallion
Arabian Adventure
Rudolph and Frosty's Christmas in July (voice)
1981The Fox and the Hound (voice)
1982The Emperor of Peru/Odyssey of the Pacific
1983Bill: On His Own
1984It Came Upon the Midnight Clear
1985The Care Bears Movie (voice)
1986Lightning, the White Stallion
1989Erik the Viking
Little Nemo: Adventures in Slumberland (voice)
1990Home For Christmas
1991My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys
1992The Milky Life
Sweet Justice
Silent Night, Deadly Night 5: The Toy Maker
Little Nemo: Adventures In Slumberland
Maximum Force
1993The Legend of Wolf Mountain
The Magic Voyage (voice)
1994Revenge of the Red Baron
The Outlaws: The Legend of O.B. Taggart
Making Waves
1995America: A Call to Greatness
1997Killing Midnight
1998The Face on the Barroom Floor
Animals and the Tollkeeper
Michael Kael vs. the World News Company
The Snow Queen (voice)
Sinbad: The Battle of the Dark Knights
Babe: Pig in the City
1999Holy Hollywood
The First of May
2000Internet Love
Phantom of the Megaplex
2001Lady and the Tramp II: Scamp's Adventure (voice)
2002Topa Topa Bluffs
2005Strike the Tent
A Christmas Too Many
2006The Thirsting
To Kill a Mockumentary
Night at the Museum
2007The Yesterday Pool
Bamboo Shark
2008Lost Stallions: The Journey Home
A Miser Brothers' Christmas (voice)
2011The Muppets
2012Last Will and Embezzlement

Short subjects[edit]

1926Not to Be Trusted
1927Mickey's Circus
Mickey's Pals
Mickey's Eleven
Mickey's Battles
1928Mickey's Parade
Mickey in School
Mickey's Nine
Mickey's Little Eva
Mickey's Wild West
Mickey in Love
Mickey's Triumph
Mickey's Babies
Mickey's Movies
Mickey's Rivals
Mickey the Detective
Mickey's Athletes
Mickey's Big Game Hunt
1929Mickey's Great Idea
Mickey's Menagerie
Mickey's Last Chance
Mickey's Brown Derby
Mickey's Northwest Mounted
Mickey's Initiation
Mickey's Midnite Follies
Mickey's Surprise
Mickey's Mix-Up
Mickey's Big Moment
Mickey's Strategy
1930Mickey's Champs
Mickey's Explorers
Mickey's Master Mind
Mickey's Luck
Mickey's Whirlwinds
Mickey's Warriors
Mickey the Romeo
Mickey's Merry Men
Mickey's Winners
Screen Snapshots Series 9, No. 24
Mickey's Musketeers
Mickey's Bargain
1931Mickey's Stampede
Mickey's Crusaders
Mickey's Rebellion
Mickey's Diplomacy
Mickey's Wildcats
Mickey's Thrill Hunters
Mickey's Helping Hand
Mickey's Sideline
1932Mickey's Busy Day
Mickey's Travels
Mickey's Holiday
Mickey's Big Business
Mickey's Golden Rule
Mickey's Charity
1933Mickey's Ape Man
Mickey's Race
Mickey's Big Broadcast
Mickey's Disguises
Mickey's Touchdown
Mickey's Tent Show
Mickey's Covered Wagon
1934Mickey's Minstrels
Mickey's Rescue
Mickey's Medicine Man
1935Pirate Party on Catalina Isle
1937Cinema Circus
1938Andy Hardy's Dilemma
1940Rodeo Dough
1941Meet the Stars #4: Variety Reel #2
1943Show Business at War
1947Screen Snapshots: Out of This World Series
1953Screen Snapshots: Mickey Rooney – Then and Now
1958Screen Snapshots: Glamorous Hollywood
1974Just One More Time
1975The Lion Roars Again
2008Wreck the Halls


Rooney has made countless appearances in TV sitcoms and television films. He has also lent his voice to many animation films. Only his most important work is listed in this section.

1954–55The Mickey Rooney Show: Hey, MulliganMickey MulliganLead Role; 33 episodes
1964–65MickeyMickey GradyLead Role; 17 episodes
1982One of the BoysOliver NugentLead Role; 13 episodes
1990–93The Adventures of the Black StallionHenry DaileyMain Role; 78 episodes

Stage work[edit]

Awards and honors[edit]

YearAwardCategoryNominated work / HonorResult
1938Academy AwardAcademy Juvenile Award(With Deanna Durbin)
"For their significant contribution in bringing to the screen the spirit and personification of youth, and as juvenile players setting a high standard of ability and achievement."
1939Academy AwardBest Actor in a Leading RoleBabes in ArmsNominated
1943Academy AwardBest Actor in a Leading RoleThe Human ComedyNominated
1956Academy AwardBest Actor in a Supporting RoleThe Bold and the BraveNominated
1957Emmy AwardBest Single Performance in a Leading or Supporting Role"The Comedian", episode of Playhouse 90Nominated
1957Laurel AwardTop Male Action StarBaby Face Nelson3rd Place
1958Emmy AwardBest Single PerformanceAlcoa TheatreNominated
1960Hollywood Walk of FameStar of Motion PictureStar at 1718 Vine StreetHonored
Star of TelevisionStar at 6372 Hollywood BoulevardHonored
Star of RadioStar at 6541 Hollywood BoulevardHonored
1961Emmy AwardBest Single Performance in a Leading or Supporting Role"Somebody's Waiting", episode of The Dick Powell ShowNominated
1962Laurel AwardTop Male Supporting PerformanceRequiem for a HeavyweightNominated
1964Golden GlobeBest TV Star – MaleMickeyWon
1980Academy AwardBest Actor in a Supporting RoleThe Black StallionNominated
1981Emmy AwardOutstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or SpecialBillWon
1981Golden GlobeBest Actor in a TV Mini-Series or Motion PictureBillWon
1983Academy AwardAcademy Honorary Award"In recognition of his 50 years of versatility in a variety of memorable film performances."Honored
1983Emmy AwardOutstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or SpecialBill: On His OwnNominated
1991Gemini AwardBest Performance by an Actor in a Continuing Leading Dramatic RoleThe Adventures of the Black StallionNominated
1991Young Artist AwardFormer Child Star AwardFor lifetime achievement as a child star
(Subsequently renamed "The Mickey Rooney Award")
1996Giffoni Film FestivalFrançois Truffaut AwardHonored
2004Pocono Mountains Film FestivalLifetime Achievement AwardHonored

In 1996, a Golden Palm Star on the Palm Springs, California, Walk of Stars was dedicated to him.[41]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Life Is Too Short. Autobiography (1991). ISBN 978-0-679-40195-7
  2. ^ a b c Current Biography 1942. H.W. Wilson Co. (January 1942). pp. 704–06. ISBN 99903-960-3-5.
  3. ^ a b Mickey Rooney at the Internet Movie Database
  4. ^ Server, Lee, Ava Gardner "Love is Nothing" (2006), St. Martin's Press
  5. ^ a b Albin, Kira. Mickey Rooney: Hollywood, Religion and His Latest Show. GrandTimes.com Senior Magazine. 1995.
  6. ^ Gabler, Neal, Walt Disney, (2006), Alfred A. Knopf
  7. ^ Rooney, Mickey. "The Lion Reigns Supreme", MGM: When the Lion Roars, 1992 miniseries
  8. ^ "11th Academy Awards". Oscars.org. Retrieved 2011-07-06. 
  9. ^ "In 1939 [Rooney] became the top box-office star in the world, a title he held for three consecutive years." Branagh, Kenneth (narrator). 1939: Hollywood's Greatest Year. Turner Classic Movies, 2009.
  10. ^ "Young Tom Edison (1940)". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved 2013-09-16. "Time put Rooney on the cover, noting that his movies had grossed a whopping $30 million for MGM the previous year and praising him for 'his most sober and restrained performance to date' as young Edison, 'who (like himself) began at the bottom of the American heap, (like himself) had to struggle, (like himself) won, but a boy whose main activity (unlike Mickey's) was investigating, inventing, thinking.'" 
  11. ^ "Cinema: Success Story". Time. March 18, 1940. Retrieved 2013-09-16. "Hollywood's No. 1 box office bait in 1939 was not Clark Gable, Errol Flynn or Tyrone Power, but a rope-haired, kazoo-voiced kid with a comic-strip face, who until this week had never appeared in a picture without mugging or overacting it. His name (assumed) was Mickey Rooney, and to a large part of the more articulate U. S. cinemaudience, his name was becoming a frequently used synonym for brat." 
  12. ^ "12th Annual Youth in Film Awards". YoungArtistAwards.org. Retrieved 2011-03-31. 
  13. ^ "13th Annual Youth in Film Awards". YoungArtistAwards.org. Retrieved 2011-03-31. 
  14. ^ "23rd Annual Young Artist Awards". YoungArtistAwards.org. Retrieved 2011-03-31. 
  15. ^ Dunning, John, On The Air: The Encyclopedia Of Old-Time Radio (1998), Oxford University Press
  16. ^ Marx, Arthur (1987). The Nine Lives of Mickey Rooney. New York: Berkley. ISBN 978-0425105528. 
  17. ^ Marill, Alvin H. (2005). Mickey Rooney: His Films, Television Appearances, Radio Work, Stage Shows, And Recordings. Jefferson NC: McFarland. p. 50. ISBN 0-7864-2015-4. 
  18. ^ Brockes, Emma (October 16, 2005). "Murder in Tinseltown". London: guardian.co.uk. Retrieved July 13, 2011. 
  19. ^ Marx, Arthur, The Nine Lives Of Mickey Rooney (1986), Stein & Day
  20. ^ America: A Call to Greatness at The Internet Movie Database, TV, 1995
  21. ^ Mickey Rooney makes panto debut, December 7, 2007
  22. ^ "Mickey Rooney: The Mickey show". London: Independent.co.uk. 2008-12-14. Retrieved 2012-01-16. 
  23. ^ "Review – Cinderella with Mickey Rooney, Milton Keynes Theatre « West End Whingers". Westendwhingers.wordpress.com. 2009-12-06. Retrieved 2012-01-16. 
  24. ^ "Come Dine With Me Celebrity Special". Channel4.com. Retrieved 2012-01-16. 
  25. ^ "Mickey Rooney Grandchildren". Concernpost.com. Retrieved 2013-09-16. 
  26. ^ Mickey and Jan Rooney Show Love for Animals on YouTube
  27. ^ Gold, Tanya. "Mickey Rooney: 'Why retire? Inspire'". The Guardian. December 29, 2009.
  28. ^ Plagenz, George R. "What Mickey Rooney Knows About Life". Nevada Daily Mail. May 23, 1991.
  29. ^ Michel, Alex. "AT LUNCH WITH: Mickey Rooney; At 73, Still the Star, Still the Child". The New York Times. July 7, 1993.
  30. ^ Plagenz, George R. (June 5, 1975). "Church Attracts Rooney, Top Stars". Pittsburgh Press-Gazette. p. 25. Retrieved December 9, 2013. 
  31. ^ Sanderson, Nancy. "Legend's Son at Home in Hemet: Mickey Rooney Jr., in Show Business Since Childhood, Is Also Involved in Ministry."The Press-Enterprise (Hemet, California), May 22, 2001.
  32. ^ "Actor Mickey Rooney Turns 90 With Upper East Side Style". Ny1.com. Retrieved 2012-01-16. 
  33. ^ "Turner Classic Movies Star of the Month". Tcm.com. 1920-09-23. Retrieved 2012-01-16. 
  34. ^ "Mickey Rooney granted restraining order against stepson". Bbc.co.uk. 2011-02-16. Retrieved 2012-01-16. 
  35. ^ "Mickey Rooney lawyer to control finances". Bbc.co.uk. 2011-03-27. Retrieved 2012-01-16. 
  36. ^ "Mickey Rooney drops restraining order against stepson". Tmz.com. 2011-02-15. Retrieved 2012-01-16. 
  37. ^ "Mickey Rooney Claims Elder Abuse: Actor's testimony to Congress helps spur bill for new crackdown" by Carole Fleck and Talia Schmidt. AARP Bulletin, March 2, 2011
  38. ^ Silverman, Stephen M. (2011-03-03). "Mickey Rooney: 'Elder Abuse Made Me Feel Trapped'". People.com. Retrieved 2012-01-16. 
  39. ^ Hetherman, Bill (2013-03-03). "Mickey Rooney's home to be sold for $1.3M to West Hills firm". Daily Breeze. 
  40. ^ Mickey RooneyUS actor (1920 - ). "Quote Details: Mickey Rooney: Always get married early...". The Quotations Page. Retrieved 2012-01-16. 
  41. ^ "Palm Springs Walk of Stars by date dedicated" (PDF). Retrieved 2013-09-16. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]