Mickey Rooney (born Joseph Yule, Jr.; 23 September 1920) is an American film actor and entertainer whose film, television, and stage appearances span nearly his entire lifetime. During his career he has won multiple awards, including an Academy Award, a Golden Globe and an Emmy Award, Best known for his work as the Andy Hardy character. Rooney (pictured right from the trailer for The Human Comedy (1943) has had one of the longest careers of any actor.
Rooney was born in Brooklyn, New York to a vaudeville family. His father, Joseph Yule, was from Scotland, and his mother, Nellie W. (nee Carter), was from Kansas city, Missouri. Both parents were in vaudeville, and appearing in a Brooklyn production of A Gaiety Girl when Joseph Jr. was born. He began performing at the age of 17 months as part of his parents routine, wearing a specially tailored tuxedo.
The Yules separated in 1924 during a slump in vaudeville, and in 1925, Nell Yule moved with her son to Hollywood, where she managed a tourist home. Fontaine Fox had placed a newspaper ad for a dark haired child to play the role of 'Mickey McGuire' in a series of short films. Lacking the money to have her son's hair dyed, Mrs Yule took her son to the audition after applying burnt cork to his scalp. Joe got the role and became 'Mickey' for 78 of the comedies, running from 1927 to 1936, starting with Mickey's Circus, released 4 September 1927.
Rooney later claimed that, during his Mickey McGuire days, he met cartoonist Walt Disney at the Warner Brothers studio, and that Disney was inspired to name Mickey Mouse after him, although Disney always said that he had changed the name from 'Mortimer Mouse' on the suggestion of his wife.
During an interruption in the series in 1932, Mrs Yule made plans to take her son on a ten week vaudeville tour as McGuire, and Fox sued successfully to stop him from using the name. Mrs Yule suggested the stage name of 'Mickey Looney', which he altered slightly to Rooney. In 1934 he was signed by MGM and was cast as the teenage son of a judge in 1937's A Family Affair, setting Rooney on the way to another successful film series.
Rooney was selected to portray Andy Hardy in A Family Affair, the film was a hit and led to thirteen more 'Andy Hardy films between 1937 and 1946.
The same year , he made his first film alongside Judy Garland with Thoroughbreds Don't Cry. Garland and Rooney became close friends and a successful song and dance team.
Rooney's breakthrough role as a dramatic actor came in 1938's Boys Town opposite Spencer Tracey. Rooney was named the biggest box-office draw in 1939, 1940 and 1941. Following 21 months of military service during World War II he was a radio personality on the American Forces Network. After his return to civilian life his career slumped. He appeared in a number of films, including Words and Music in 1948, which paired him for the last time with Judy Garland on film. Two years of radio followed before Rooney gained his first television series The Mickey Rooney Show, also known as Hey Mulligan which between August 1954 and June 1955 ran to 32 episodes.Throughout the 60s he continued to work in films, including directing, and in television. During the 70s he did the voices for four Christmas TV specials - always playing Santa Claus.
Rooney continued to work on stage and television throughout the 1980s and 1990s appearing in television commercials for Garden State Life Assurance Company in 1999. Rooney continues to work in films and tours with his wife, Jan Chamberlain, in a multi-media live stage production called Let's Put On a Show! In 2007 Rooney made his British pantomime debut, playing Baron Hardup in Cinderella, at the Sunderland Empire Theatre.
As of 2009, Rooney and his eighth wife, Jan Chamberlain. live in Westlake Village, California. Both are outspoken advocates for veterans and animal rights. After battling drug addiction and a near bankruptcy caused by gambling and bad investments, Rooney became a born-again Christian in the 1970s, reportedly after an angel appeared to him in a coffee shop. Rooney shared his religious beliefs on Jim and Tammy Bakker's Christian television show The PTL Club.
Rooney' son Mickey Rooney, Jr is also a born-again Christian and has an evangelical ministry in Hemet, California.
Mickey Rooney has been married eight times: Ava Gardner (1942-43), Betty Jane Rase (1944-1949), Martha Vickers (1949-1951), Elaine Devry (1952-1958), Barbara Ann Thomason (Carolyn Mitchell 1958-1966). Marge Lane (1966-1967), Carolyn Hockett (1969-1974), Jan Chamberlain (1978-Present).
Thursday, 22 October 2009
The fifth in our series of eight, featuring the work of artist John Pugh, who paints 3D murals on the sides of buildings.
Twenty-nine Palms, California. Valentine the bull and a
patient buzzard are waiting for the artist to awake.
Little Johnny attended a horse auction with his father. He watched as his father moved from horse to horse, running his hands up and down the horse's legs and rump and chest. After a few minutes, Johnny asked, "Dad, why are you doing that?" His father replied, "Because when I'm buying a horse I have to make sure that they are healthy and in good shape before I buy." Johnny, looking worried, said, "Dad, I think the gas man wants to buy Mom."
Right handed people live, on average, nine years longer than left-handed people
Your ribs move about 5 million times a year, every time you breathe!
The elephant is the only mammal that can't jump.
One quarter of the bones in your body, are in your feet.
Like fingerprints, every one's tongue print is different.
The first known transfusion of blood was performed as early as 1667, when Jean-Baptiste, transfused two pints of blood from a sheep to a young man.