A Tribute to Mickey Rooney
Joe Yule, Jr. was a baby of 18 months when he first appeared on stage in 1922. Only now he’s known as Mickey Rooney, and more than eight decades later he’s still hamming it up for the fans.
Laurence Olivier once said that Mickey Rooney was the single best actor America had ever produced. At the other end of the spectrum, there are those who said that his best days ended when he and Judy Garland stopped making films together, and that his choice of roles in the latter half of his career was suspect. But one thing that can be said for sure: While other child stars faded and went on to other fields of endeavor, Mickey Rooney has kept on acting and entertaining for eight decades.
He also kept on getting married, with eight ex-wives including glamorous actress Ava Gardner. He often joked about it, once saying, “I’m the only man in the world whose marriage license reads, ‘To Whom it May Concern’.”
Mickey appeared in his first film at the age of 6, and officially took the name “Mickey Rooney” when he was 12. By the 1940s he was one of the top boxoffice stars in America, appearing in the popular Andy Hardy series and in several musicals with Judy Garland, not to mention The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1939) and National Velvet (1944).
He had his own TV show in the mid-fifties, returned to the stage in the 1960s, and made some successful TV movies in the 80s. He’s remained active into the 21st Century, with voiceovers for animated films, as well as talk shows, nightclubs and personal appearances.
Mickey was nominated twice for Best Actor Oscars, and twice for Best Supporting Actor. In 1939 he and Deanna Durbin received Special Oscars for their juvenile appearances, and in 1983 he won an honorary Oscar for his life’s work.
Part I: Introduction
Part III: Movie Reviews & Where to Find His Movies
Part IV: Photos, Art, and Posters