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Mickey Rooney Dies: 'Andy Hardy' Star, Legendary Actor Was 93

Image: Mickey Rooney Dies: 'Andy Hardy' Star, Legendary Actor Was 93

Monday, 07 Apr 2014 08:02 AM

By Clyde Hughes

Mickey Rooney, whose celebrated career in show business began in the 1920s when he was a toddler, died at the home of his son and daughter-in-law on Sunday afternoon. He was 93, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Perhaps best known for his role as an all-American boy in the "Andy Hardy" franchise of the '30s and '40s, Mickey Rooney made his debut on the vaudeville stage in 1922 as a toddler. He continued touring through his late 80s, in a two-person stage show with eighth wife, Jan Chamberlin. 

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His daughter-in-law Charlene Rooney told the Los Angeles Times that the Mickey Rooney recently traveled to Vancouver, Canada for a part in "Night at the Museum 3."

A native of Brooklyn, Mickey Rooney was born Joseph Yule Jr. and performed in his family's stage act, according to Variety. 

Rooney was nominated for four Academy Awards over the course of his career. He was given a special Oscar in 1939, the Juvenile Award, which he shared with Deanna Durbin,
 and an honorary Academy Award for his body of work in 1983.

Rooney was MGM's biggest attraction for years when he starred in the 15 "Andy Hardy" films. 

Film critic Leonard Maltin called the Andy Hardy franchise one of most popular movie series ever in Hollywood.

Rooney won one Emmy Award and was nominated three other times. He was nominated for a Tony Award for "Sugar Babies," a musical revue, in 1980, Variety reported.

"I loved working with Mickey on 'Sugar Babies,'" Carol Channing said in a statement. "He was very professional, his stories were priceless and I love them all … each and every one. We laughed all the time."

Despite his success, Rooney's life had many highs and lows. Rooney's marriage to fellow Hollywood star Ava Gardner was the first of his eight marriages, Variety reported. He also burned through $12 million by 1962 and filed for bankruptcy.

"My marriage license reads, 'To whom it may concern,'" Rooney joked to the Los Angeles Times in 1981.

In 2011, Rooney obtained a restraining order against his stepson Chris Aber, who he said withheld food and medicine from him while he tried to gain control of his assets, according to the Los Angeles Times. He testified before Congress that year about elderly abuse.

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