So, Mickey Rooney is dead at age 93.
Not a bad innings for a guy who defied all odds in terms of lifestyle, what with women, booze, bad choices and a host of other transgressions against everything the longevity pussies tell us are vital in terms of living long and large.
Well, he didn’t live very large since he was only 5′ 2”, but you know what I mean.
What do I know about Mickey Rooney? Well I do know he was married to the delectable Ava Gardner and that should be enough for any man, short or tall. She was only 19 when she linked with one of the biggest stars in the business at that time.
“He went through the ladies like a hot knife through fudge,” said Ava of a guy who was hardly Clark Gable. Ava’s gorgeous actress friend Lana Turner, who was with Rooney in some of the Andy Hardy films, was more direct, dubbing him “Andy Hard-on”. Nice work if you can get it. How did he do it? Beats me. His sexual attractiveness to a lot of gorgeous women – he was married 8 times – is as confounding as his longevity.
What do I know about Mickey Rooney?
– he was the same age as my mom.
– his real name was Joe Yule Jr, and he first went on stage at age 3.
– I did like some of his films from the 1930s like Boys’ Town, Captains Courageous, Little Lord Fauntleroy and The Human Comedy, among others.
– I can still find the Andy Hardy series quite funny and affecting and somehow, in my mind, Rooney remained the age of Andy Hardy throughout his life so I found it difficult to comprehend that this was the same person when I saw the later (and much more lived in) Rooney on a chat show.
– he was a loyal friend to the deeply troubled yet brilliant Judy Garland, and that speaks well of him. That said, though, I never much cared for their “Let’s put a stage up in the old barn and put on a show,” films.
– he almost single-handedly ruined a film that should have been brilliant, but turned out so-so, and that was Breakfast at Tiffany’s. His repellant and hugely racist Japanese character straight out of World War Two “rotsa ruck” stereotypes was so repellant that author Truman Capote boycotted the film of his book.
Not to speak ill of the deceased but I didn’t much care for Rooney and thought due to his venerability and what he had once been he was accorded more laurels than he deserved.
He was ‘not’ related to Andy Rooney, by the way.