As child stars go, Mickey Rooney may have spanned the longest career to date that Hollywood has ever fostered. Beginning at 15 months of age, when he toddled on stage accidentally to join his parents’ vaudeville act, he is still going strong after passing the nine decade mark and counting.
Seemingly born knowing how to act, sing, dance and play musical instruments, Rooney, who was born Joe Yule Jr. in Brooklyn, New York in 1920, has performed in over two hundred movies. He is perhaps best known as the likeable Andy Hardy, the son of a judge, and his wholesome misadventures in the teenage romance department. It was during the filming of this series that Rooney met his long time friend Judy Garland whom he described as his “forever love.”
Other great movies include “National Velvet,” “Boys Town,” “Babes in Arms,” and “The Black Stallion.” Originally a silent film star at age 5, he successfully transitioned to the talkies and is still going strong, having just completed a visit with “The Muppets.”
On his list of accomplishments, Mickey Rooney can name, among others, one honorary Oscar for Lifetime Achievement, two Golden Globes, four stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and eight marriages. Of the latter, he once famously quipped, “Always get married early in the morning. That way if it doesn’t work out, you haven’t wasted a whole day.” The most well known of his wives is probably his first, Ava Gardner.
To hear his story directly from the source, attend the American Legends series at Sacred Heart University’s Edgerton Center for the Performing Arts in Fairfield on Saturday, March 24 at 7 p.m. In an “Actors Studio-style” presentation, with the center’s executive director Jerry Goehring, Mickey Rooney will reflect on his nine-decades long career as a film actor and entertainer with stage, film and television appearances that outpace any other performer.
For tickets ($25, student/faculty $20, seniors $15), call the Edgerton Center, on the campus of Sacred Heart University, 5151 Park Avenue, Fairfield (off the Merritt, exit 47) or online at www.EdgertonCenter.org.
Let Mickey Rooney offer insights into his colorful career, his friends, his hobbies, and his plans for the future.