By Jim Hagerty
Entertainment legend Mickey Rooney died Sunday, April 6, at his North Hollywood, Calif., home. He was 93.
Born Joe Yule, Jr. Sept. 20, 1920 in Brooklyn, N.Y., Rooney was the son of vaudeville performers and made his first stage appearance at 17 months.
A skilled singer and dancer, Rooney’s big break came when he was cast as Andy Hardy, the main character in a 15-part film series about a teenager growing up in Ohio. As Andy Hardy, Rooney was a top box office draw from 1939 until the mid ’40s.
He reprised the role of Andy Hardy in 1958’s Andy Hardy Comes Home.
Mickey Rooney also appeared in classics such as It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, Breakfast at Tiffany’s and The Black Stallion. From 1937 to 2012, Rooney appeared in nearly 200 films and countless television, stage and voiceover productions. He won two Golden Globes, an Emmy Award and two honorary Academy Awards.
In 1944, the 5-foot, 3-inch Rooney enlisted in the U.S. Army and received the Bronze Star Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal, American Campaign Medal, European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal, and World War II Victory Medal.
Rooney had been in poor health in recent years. He is survived by his eighth wife, Jan, and nine children.