Mickey Rooney Dead At The Age Of 93

Legendary American actor Mickey Rooney has passed away at the age of 93, according to several media reports.

Rooney started his career as a child star in the 1920s and worked in the film industry most of his life, becoming one of the most prolific actors in Hollywood’s history.

Mickey Rooney — whose real name was Joseph Yule Jr. — had his first major television role as Mickey McGuire in a series of 78 shorts based on his character beginning in 1927.

During his time in the series, Rooney claimed that he had met Walt Disney at Warner Bros. Studios and according to the account Disney was inspired to name Mickey Mouse after him, even though, the famed cartoonist later claimed that the original name was Mortimer Mouse and was changed to Mickey after his wife suggested it.

In 1937, Rooney was cast as Andy Hardy — which he became famous for — in the film A Family Affair. The movie was so successful that it resulted in 13 Andy Hardy spin-offs between 1937 and 1946.

The same year saw Mickey Rooney cast in his first film, Thoroughbreds Don’t Cry, opposite another big screen great, Judy Garland.

The pair would go on to become great friends and work on several other films together, including the musical Babes In Arms.

However, Mickey Rooney had yet to take on a dramatic part and his chance came in 1938, when he was cast alongside legendary actor Spencer Tracy in Boys Town.

He became the first teen nominated for an Academy Award for his role in Strike Up The Band in 1940.

During his long and prosperous career, Mickey Rooney co-starred in films opposite luminaries such as Elizabeth Taylor in National Velvet (the film propelled her career) and Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast At Tiffany’s.

Even though he stood at only five-feet-three-inches tall, Mickey had a way with the ladies and married a total of eight times. One of his wives was the stunning Ava Gardner.

Most recently Mickey Rooney starred in Night At The Museum with Ben Stiller in 2006 and The Muppets in 2011 alongside Amy Adams and Jason Segal.

One of the most colorful entertainers of all time, Mickey Rooney is survived by his eighth wife, Jan, and his nine children. For fans and colleagues he leaves a legacy that will surely be hard to match.

[Image via Harmony Gerber / Shutterstock.com]