Mickey Rooney, the child actor who became the world’s top box-office star, has died at the age of 93. It is said that he had been in ill health for a while now and US police revealed his death was attributed to natural causes.
Mickey’s career began in 1921 aged 18 months when he was included in his parent’s vaudeville act, Yule and Carter. Since then he’s never retired.
He was barely 6 years old when he got his first film role as a cigar smoking midget in Orchids and Ermine and established himself in 1939 as the film industry’s top draw.
By 1965, he already had 200 films under his belt and had earned the equivalent of more than $3billion in today’s money around the world. This included playing Andy Hardy in all 20 of The Hardy Boys films, working with the likes of Judy Garland, Elizabeth Taylor and Audrey Hepburn.
Rooney was also the first teenager to ever be nominated for an Oscar for his performance in the 1940 film, Strike Up The Band. Over his career, which spanned 9 decades, he was nominated for 4 Academy Awards and received 2 special Oscars, one of which for his body of work in 1983.
He was married 8 times, including once to Ava Gardner but declared himself bankrupt in the early 1960s with most of his money going to alimony for his ex-wives and reckless lifestyle. Despite this, he admitted that he would absolutely marry all his wives again because he ‘loved every one of them.’
His career was revived in 1977 with the film, Pete’s Dragon and Sugar Babies, which was a hit Broadway show in the late 1970s. He also recently appeared in the 2006 film, Night at the Museum and The Muppets in 2011.
Rooney stayed true to his motto, ‘never retire but inspire’ and continued to work well into his 80s.
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