April Star of the Month. Mickey Rooney

Young Mickey Rooney

On April 30th I posted a short summery about his career. Now I have decided to go into more detail about the man and the reason I believe he deserves to be remembered. Mickey Rooney is my first star of the month. Passing away on April 6th Rooney left behind an incredible legacy that included his 92 years in show business and a career in film that began at the age of 6 in a Hollywood short. A year later he would debut in the role that would help give him his stage name. He was born Joe Yule Jr. A year after his film debut a young Joe would transform into Mickey McGuire for a series of shorts. Soon after he would take the stage name Mickey Rooney.

Not To Be Trusted
Not To Be Trusted
Mickey McGuire
Mickey McGuire

At 13 years old Mickey would receive rave reviews for his portrayal of Puck in A Midsummer Night’s Dream.  As a teenager he would star opposite child actress Elizabeth table in National Velvet a film that is now deemed a classic. In 1937 Mickey Rooney would star in A Family Affair as Andy Hardy and for those who didn’t know him before he would become a household name.

With Elizabeth Taylor in National Velvet
With Elizabeth Taylor in National Velvet

In 1937 he would be chosen for the role he is best remembered for Andy Hardy in Family Affair. The first of fifteen films. He portrayed the everyday all American teen. He was girl crazy and so was Mickey.

Mickey along side friend and frequent costar Judy Garland.
Mickey along side friend and frequent costar Judy Garland.

1937 would see Mickey and Judy Garland paired together for the first time. They would become instant friends and there chemistry was electric. Judy would appear in three Andy Hardy pictures and the two would team up for a series of successful musicals. In real life Mickey and Judy were the closest of friends.

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Through his life Mickey Rooney would endure a lot of pit falls like us all. Like many actors he would endure droughts in his career but that didn’t stop him. He would endure and would make comeback after comeback. This continued to the end of his long life. What is it from his longevity that we have learned. I have learned that perseverance pays off. Work hard, be a worthwhile partner and never give up. Mickey Rooney never did and that is why we are still talking about him to day. In the years after his death you will find many posts, and articles mentioning his personal life and his demons but that is not the big picture. The bigger picture for a small man and a bright star was his power as a performer and spark that set it off. Thank you Mickey for everything. Today you are entertaining in the after life. This isn’t goodbye this is see you later.

Films to Watch 

The Andy Hardy Films began with A Family Affair. There is a total of 16 films in the series including three also starring Judy Garland.. If you watch any film starring Micky Rooney add these to your list.

National Velvet stars a teenage Rooney opposite child actress Elizabeth Taylor.

Nineties kids are probably familiar with Mickey Rooney for his turn in the Disney Channel original movie Phantom of the Megaplex

Recent audiences will recognize him from the Night at the Museum films.

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