Mickey Rooney, the 4-time Oscars nominee and one of the biggest domestic box office stars of his time, died of natural causes on Sunday, April 6, 2014, at his L.A. home in the suburb of North Hollywood. Rooney was aged 93 at the time of his death.
Besides his numerous movies, stage, and television appearances, Mickey Rooney was most known for his stormy private life. His life featured a lot of gambling and boozing, some of the widely infamous family infighting. He also once filed bankruptcy after having earned nearly $12 million, his eight marriages – including those to co-stars Barbara Anna Thomason, Ava Gardner, and Martha Vickers.
Mickey Rooney also had off-screen affairs. The most notable one was with the romancing Queen of MGM Norma Shearer.
Longest film career in the history
Mickey Rooney may have enjoyed the longest film career in Hollywood’s history. He once said that he has been working all his life, but it seems more extended, and that was not on overstatement.
Mickey Rooney’s career started at the age of seven, where he was known as Mickey McGuire, and a number of silent comedy shorts were made around his character Mickey McGuire- e.g., Mickey’s Little Eva, Mickey’s Circus and Mickey’s Babies. From that time on, he had continued to work in movies till the 2010s. The person who will probably give competition with his long career would have been Lillian Gish, he though had few gaps, but he was steadily seen in movies from 1912-1987 and Danielle Darrieux another film whose career goes from 1931 to 2010.
According to the IMDb, Rooney was last seen in supporting roles in 3 movies in the year 2012 those movies were Michael Mandell’s The Woods, Steve Marshall’s Driving Me Crazy(that also featured Celeste Holm) and Tony DeGuide’s The Voices from Beyond. Additionally, Rooney had a role in B. Luciano Barsuglia’s upcoming project, which was listed as currently filming. Rooney’s fellow MGM superstar Margaret O’Brien is also the part of B. Luciano Barsuglia’s forthcoming project.
Between the declining days of silent era mobies and during the early 21st century, Mickey Rooney was part of more than 25 silent movies, which included both featured movies and short films. In these movies, he played the main lead role and also minor supporting roles. His peak was from the late 30s to the mid-40s when he was an MGM star. Rooney became one of the top-selling box office stars in the U.S. film exhibitors voted him the country box office super for three years in a row ahead of the likes of Alice Faye, Errol Flynn, Bette Davis, Clark Gable, and Tyrone Power. Rooney’s best-known movies were the Andy Hardy movie series.
The last major blockbuster hit at MGM was the movie National Velvet, co-starring Elizabeth Taylor, and it featured Anne Revere (who won Best Supporting Actress Oscar award). The 25 years old, played the role of a former jockey and an embittered drifter who helps a girl get her horse ready for the Grand National steeplechase. And with the end of World War II came the end of his stardom!