The legendary American actor Mickey Rooney has died at the age of 93, reports TMZ. His health had been poor for the last few years. An equally accomplished singer, and actor of drama and comedy, Rooney was one of the first true box office stars of the golden age of Hollywood. His death has been attributed to natural causes.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Many Will Remember Him as One of the Original Hardy Boys
Rooney had one of the longest careers of any actor, spanning ten decades from the 1920s to the 2010s. In one of his most famous roles, Rooney played Andy Hardy in 20 the Hardy Boys movies. His other most famous roles came in National Velvet with Elizabeth Taylor and in Breakfast at Tiffany’s with Audrey Hepburn.
The Los Angeles Daily News wrote about his role in Breakfast at Tiffany’s, saying that it “would have been an offensive stereotype even played by an Asian; the casting of Mickey Rooney added insult to injury.”
His more recent work saw him star in A Night at the Museum in 2006 and The Muppets in 2011.
2. Rooney Had a Decorated Career
He was the winner of two Academy Awards, two Golden Globes and an Emmy Award. Rooney also holds the distinction of being the first teenager to be nominated for an Oscar for Strike up the Band in 1940.
My thoughts and prayers go out to the family of Mickey Rooney. One of the greats!
— William Shatner (@WilliamShatner) April 7, 2014
3. Rooney Spent Most of His Life in California
He was a native of Brooklyn, New York, but lived for most of his life in Westlake Village, California. Rooney was born Joseph Yule Jr. in New York in September 1920. He made his stage debut at just 15 months old his parents vaudeville act.
4. Rooney Was Married 8 Times
He was married eight times throughout his life, most recently to Jan Chamberlain in 1978 who he remained with until his death. Arguably his most famous marriage was to Ava Gardner in the 1940s.
His other wives were B.J Barker (1944-48), Martha Vickers (1949-1951), Elaine Devry (1952-1958), Carolyn Mitchell (1958-1966), Marge Lane (1966-1967), Carolyn Hockett (1969-1975). All of the marriages ended in divorce. Rooney also fathered nine children throughout his life.
5. His Last Few Years Had Been Dominated by Strife
In 2011, it was reported by ABC News that Rooney had filed restraining orders against his step kids citing elder abuse. The court documents accused Chris and Christina Aber kept Rooney as “effectively a prisoner in his own home” with threats, intimidation and harassment. Chris Aber was further accused of trying to get control of Rooney’s finances. Eventually, Rooney was awarded $2.8 million in the case and testified before the U.S. Senate about his experiences in 2011.