Mickey Rooney

Born Sep 23, 1920

Mickey Rooney is an American film actor and entertainer whose film, television, and stage appearances span nearly his entire lifetime. He has received multiple awards, including a Juvenile Academy Award, an Honorary Academy Award, two Golden Globes and an Emmy Award.… Read More

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Learn about the memorable moments in the evolution of Mickey Rooney.


1920 Birth Rooney was born Joseph Yule, Jr. on September 23, 1920, in Brooklyn, New York, the only child of vaudevillians Joe Yule (born Ninian Joseph Ewell; 1892–1950), a native of Glasgow, Scotland, and Nellie W. Carter (1897–1966), who was from Kansas City, Missouri. … Read More
1924 3 Years Old The Yules separated in 1924 during a slump in vaudeville when Rooney was just 4 years old, and in 1925, Nell Yule moved with her son from Brooklyn to Hollywood, where she managed a tourist home.
1926 5 Years Old Joe Yule Jr.'s very first film appearance came in 1926, when he was in the short subject Not to be Trusted, but his breakthrough film role came a year later. … Read More
1927 6 Years Old Joe got the role and became "Mickey" for 78 of the comedies, running from 1927–36, starting with Mickey's Circus, his first starring role, released September 4, 1927. … Read More


1934 13 Years Old …  Rooney made other films in his adolescence, including several more of the McGuire films, and signed with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer in 1934.
MGM cast Rooney as the teenage son of a judge in 1937's A Family Affair, setting Rooney on the way to another successful film series.
1938 17 Years Old …  For his acting the part in fifteen Andy Hardy films, he received an honorary Oscar in 1938 for "bringing to the screen the spirit and personification of youth" and for "setting a high standard of ability and achievement." … Read More
…  At nineteen he was the first teenager to be nominated for an Oscar for his leading role in Babes in Arms, and he was awarded a special Academy Juvenile Award in 1939. … Read More
1940 19 Years Old 1 More Event
For their roles in Boys Town, Rooney and Tracy won first and second place in the Motion Picture Herald 1940 National Poll of Exhibitors, based on the box office appeal of 200 players.


1942 21 Years Old Rooney married his first wife, Ava Gardner, Hollywood starlet at the age of 21 (she was 19) in 1942, but the two were divorced in 1943, well before she became a star in her own right. … Read More
1944 23 Years Old 1 More Event
In 1944, Rooney was drafted into the United States Army. … Read More
1948 27 Years Old 1 More Event
He appeared in a number of films, including Words and Music in 1948, which paired him for the last time with Garland on film (he appeared with her on one episode as a guest on her CBS variety series in 1963).
1949 28 Years Old 1 More Event
In 1949 Variety reported that Rooney had renegotiated his deal with MGM. … Read More


1951 - 1952 2 More Events
1957 36 Years Old Rooney also starred as a ragingly egomaniacal television comedian, loosely based on Red Buttons, in the live 90-minute television drama The Comedian, in the Playhouse 90 series on the evening of Valentine's Day in 1957, and as himself in a revue called The Musical Revue of 1959 based on the 1929 film The Hollywood Revue of 1929, which was edited into a film in 1960, by British International Pictures.
1958 37 Years Old 1 More Event
In 1958, Rooney joined Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra in hosting an episode of NBC's short-lived Club Oasis comedy and variety show.
1960 39 Years Old In 1960, Rooney directed and starred in The Private Lives of Adam and Eve, an ambitious comedy known for its multiple flashbacks and many cameos. … Read More


He portrayed a Japanese character, Mr. Yunioshi, in the 1961 film version of Truman Capote's novella Breakfast at Tiffany's. … Read More
1962 41 Years Old In 1962, he was cast as himself in the episode "The Top Banana" of the CBS sitcom, Pete and Gladys, starring Harry Morgan and Cara Williams.
1963 42 Years Old 1 More Event
In 1963, he entered CBS's The Twilight Zone, giving a one-man performance in the episode "The Last Night of a Jockey".
1964 43 Years Old In 1964, he launched another half-hour sitcom, Mickey, on ABC. The story line had "Mickey" operating a resort hotel in southern California. His own son Tim Rooney appeared as his character's teenage son on this program, and Emmaline Henry starred as Rooney's wife. The program lasted for 17 episodes, ending primarily due to the suicide of co-star Sammee Tong in October 1964. … Read More
1969 48 Years Old He was married to Carolyn Hockett from 1969–74, but financial instability ended the relationship.


1978 57 Years Old Finally, in 1978, Rooney married his eighth wife, Jan Chamberlin.
1979 58 Years Old 1 More Event
A major turning point came in 1979, when Rooney made his Broadway debut in the acclaimed stage play Sugar Babies, a musical revue tribute to the burlesque era costarring former MGM dancing star Ann Miller. … Read More


1982 - 2006 6 More Events
2007 86 Years Old 1 More Event
On May 26, 2007, he was grand marshal at the Garden Grove Strawberry Festival.
2010 89 Years Old On September 23, 2010, he celebrated his 90th birthday at Feinstein's at Loews Regency on the Upper East Side of New York City. … Read More
On February 16, 2011, Rooney was granted a temporary restraining order against Christopher Aber and Aber's wife, Christina. … Read More
…  At the time of his death, he was married to Jan Chamberlin Rooney, although they had separated in June 2012. … Read More
2013 92 Years Old In May 2013, Rooney sold his home of many years, reportedly for $1,300,000, and split the proceeds with his wife, Jan.
On April 6, 2014, Rooney died of natural causes in his sleep at his stepson Mark Rooney's home in Los Angeles, California, at the age of 93. … Read More
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