Death of Hollywood Legend Mickey Rooney Closes the Generation Gap
News of Mickey Rooney's death at age 93 is making the rounds on Twitter, with celebrities and fans alike expressing their sadness at the loss of a beloved icon. And that's exactly what Rooney was: an icon. He was a living legacy from Hollywood's golden age; a timeless actor who will be remembered forever. Rooney got his first taste of the stage when he was only 17-months-old as part of his parents' vaudeville routine, and he was shooting scenes for his final film, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, just last month.
Rooney was launched to super stardom following his first role in the Mickey McGuire shorts that provided him with one half of his stage name. Rooney, born Joseph Yule Jr., has also been on stage in Sugar Babies and The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, on television in The Mickey Rooney Show and Adventures of the Black Stallion, and has been a voice actor in The Care Bears Movie and Lady and the Tramp II: Scamp's Adventure.
Rooney's career is almost 92-years-old, spanning so many generations of American history that it would be hard to find someone whose life he hasn't touched, whether they realized it or not.
Babes in Arms (1939)
While it wasn't the movie that introduced him to Judy Garland, with whom Rooney would maintain a friendship that was more than siblings but less than lovers for years, Babes in Arms was the Rooney and Garland musical that achieved an Oscar nomination. On top of that, it made over 3 million dollars worldwide. During the Great Depression. If that doesn't impress you, remember that the average price of a movie ticket in 1939 was 23 cents.
Night at the Museum (2006)
Even if you're not a fan of Old Hollywood, it might surprise you to discover that you've still seen Rooney's face before. For the younger generation, Rooney appeared opposite Ben Stiller as the shockingly sprightly veteran guard Gus in Night at the Museum. He was a comedic scene-stealer who easily proved that he was able to hold his own on the big screen no matter how many years he was into his career.
Not bad for a man who was quoted as saying, "I don't regret anything I've ever done. I only wish I could have done more."