Mickey Rooney with Judy Garland:
Multiple sources are reporting that beloved actor Mickey Rooney has passed away at the age of 93. When I think of Mickey Rooney I instantly think of my grandmother and the energy and tenacity of her generation. Mickey is often credited for saying, “Let’s put on a show” in the vivacious musical, Babes in Arms. Ironically that line is never said within his famous speech, but the spirit and energy of the line is something that carried Mickey’s entire career.
This is a man who performed in over 200 films and had one of the longest careers of anyone in the history of show business. According to his website his career began when he joined his parents’ vaudeville act when he was 17 months old. Just last week it was announced Mickey’s Circus, Mickey Rooney’s first role on film, was one of the silent films discovered in the Netherlands after it had been missing for decades. The film starring a 6-year-old Mickey will be restored as part of a joint project by the National Film Preservation Foundation and the EYE Film Museum of Amsterdam.
There was something about Mickey that everyone adored: a spark, a twinkle, a bit of old Hollywood magic. He brought out the kid in us when we watched his classic performances.
I spent many afternoons with my grandmother watching Andy Hardy films. She also loved him in Strike Up the Band, but I suspect that was also because so many people told her she looked like Judy Garland in the film (she did!).
Mickey Rooney was as trailblazing as they came in the film industry. He successfully navigated an awkward transition from child star to grown-up star, was a number one box office draw for several years in a row, had multiple marriages (and divorces), and whenever his career took a lull he never quit. Instead he found other outlets: branching out from film into TV and then into cable.
Mickey once said, “I’ve been working all my life, but it seems longer.” Goodbye Mickey Rooney. You are cherished and you will not be forgotten.
Image Credit: Wikipedia
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