Mickey Rooney was a Hollywood legend whose career spanned an incredible nine decades. Born in Brooklyn, New York in 1920, Rooney began his acting career at the age of two, performing alongside his parents in vaudeville shows. He made his film debut in 1926 at the age of six and quickly became a popular child actor, starring in a number of films throughout the 1930s and 1940s.
Rooney’s most famous role was as Andy Hardy in the series of films of the same name. The films were hugely popular and made Rooney a household name. He was also known for his performances in the musicals Babes in Arms and Strike Up the Band, which he starred in alongside Judy Garland.
Despite his success, Rooney struggled with personal and financial issues throughout his life. He was married eight times, with his first marriage to Ava Gardner lasting only one year. He also battled drug and alcohol addiction, and his career suffered as a result. In the 1950s, he was forced to take work in television and B-movies to pay off his debts.
Rooney’s career experienced a resurgence in the 1970s, when he was cast in the hit musical film A Midsummer Night’s Dream. He also starred in the television series The Love Boat and had a memorable role in the 1979 film The Black Stallion. Rooney continued to work in film and television throughout the 1980s and 1990s, and in 1983 he received an honorary Academy Award for his contribution to the film industry.
However, despite his success, Rooney’s financial problems persisted. In 2011, at the age of 90, he testified before Congress about elder abuse, including his own experience of financial exploitation. He revealed that he had been forced to continue working well into his 80s to pay off his debts and support his eighth wife and her son.
Rooney’s health began to decline in his final years, and he passed away in 2014 at the age of 93. Shockingly, he died without a penny to his name. His estate was valued at only $18,000, and he was buried in a shared plot at Hollywood Forever Cemetery.
Rooney’s death sparked a conversation about the treatment of Hollywood veterans, particularly in regards to their financial well-being. Despite his incredible talent and long career, Rooney’s legacy was overshadowed by the financial struggles he faced throughout his life.
In conclusion, Mickey Rooney was a talented actor who made an indelible mark on Hollywood. Despite his struggles with personal and financial issues, he continued to work in the industry he loved for almost 90 years. His legacy serves as a reminder of the importance of supporting and respecting the contributions of older actors in the film industry.