On Mickey Rooney

472px-Mickey_Rooney_stillMickey Rooney died this weekend. He was a big deal from my parents generation, one of the last few surviving Hollywood movie stars.

Rooney was a member of a very small club. He could do nearly anything in show business. He sang, he danced, he acted. He played the drums. He did Broadway. He toured. He was a frequent talk show guest in the 60s and 70s.

The more people got to know him, the less starstruck they were. Make no mistake, he was exceptionally talented. He was just more talented than popular. It happens.

Mickey Rooney was best known for the Andy Hardy movies. They made 16.

Andy lived in small town America where everything was tidy and everyone was white. His father was a wise, yet warm, judge.

The Andy Hardy movies were often on daytime TV when I was a kid. These were lighthearted morality plays where the good guy triumphs in the end–always. I watched, but it was no childhood I recognized.

Rooney also did a bunch of successful musicals with Judy Garland. Later in his career he transitioned to character roles.

People were surprised to see he was only 5′ 2″.

He was married eight times. After three or four shouldn’t you understand marriage isn’t for you?

I’m trying to think if anyone’s ever been in the public consciousness longer than Mickey Rooney? Maybe not. He was a star nearly 80 years. That’s an incredible accomplishment.

Even 93 years isn’t enough, is it?

6 thoughts on “On Mickey Rooney”

  1. Someone sent me an email tonight, saying that Andy Rooney had passed away. I never heard anything it on the news. I have to say, he lived a very full life.

      1. Tom, thank you for correcting me. I don’t know what was on my mind when I said Andy Rooney. You could say I feel a little stupid after reading what I posted.

          1. A passing thought like I will never forget my anniversry – why? Cause it happened sametime Watgergate took place June 17, 1972. And, Andy Rooney lived on same street as my wife did when she was a kid and we’d see him from time to time on Hunt Street in Rowayton, CT. What’s really interesting with these threads in life OR senior moments is how its braided together – ponytails – some look good others don’t. Bottom line Mickey Rooney said it himself that he was the best known until 40 when he wasn’t referring to fact he lost a lot of money in life stupidly although he tried as he said to make it – after 8 wives – last one separated from – one wonders where’s the caboose? It surely isn’t on Amtrack. And as Walt Cronkite said “And that’s the way it is.”

  2. Mickey was definitely SNL’s The Lady’s Man! Surprised he weathered as long as he did – but annuals can do well – despite ground conditions. Without a doubt, Mickey was multi-talented and superceeded his peers including Gregory Peck & PACK.

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