Mickey Rooney, who while diminutive in size was an actor who spanned a wide range of moxie, versatility, and range, culminating in him becoming one of Hollywood’s true A-listers in its colorful history, has died at the age of 93 after battling a long illness reports TMZ. Rooney died of natural causes.
Mickey Rooney’s career as an actor and as a showman spanned ten decades, and he packed a lot into what appeared to be, at face value, a puckish, aw shucks kind of visage and frame. But he was able to stretch his talents into much more than a one-note artistic flair to appear in films that were some of the mid-20th Century’s most successful and more revered of all time.
Films like the equestrian driven National Velvet with Elizabeth Taylor; the Andy Hardy series, which was a lot like the original version of the red-headed comic book teenager Archie and which co-starred Rooney and Judy Garland; and the classic motion picture Breakfast at Tiffany’s with Audrey Hepburn. Rooney also showed a range for comedy by being a major force in the who’s who of comedy ensemble classic It’s A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World; and even as his autumn years approached, as a song and dance man in what was his Broadway debut in 1979’s Sugar Babies.
Rooney’s recent appearances were in the first incarnation of the revamped film franchise of the Muppets in 2011, and in the Ben Stiller vehicle Night at the Museum in 2006.
Rooney was married eight times, the stunning once in a lifetime Hollywood actress Ava Gardner, was one of those wives.
In Rooney’s death, the door closes ever more tightly on the individuals who are still with us from Hollywood’s true first round of its Golden Age, but the memory of the monumental talents of Mickey Rooney will live on in the celluloid, and now on newer mediums like Blu-ray, for as long as movies and the rich history of Hollywood burn bright.
It ensures that Mickey Rooney will be more than just a trivia question or a footnote, but quite the contrary. What he remains to be, and always will be, is a true inspiration to actors globally, entertainers in general, and to the massive contingent of the vast generations of his fans.