HOLLYWOOD is mourning the death of a man who literally spent his entire life in show business.
Mickey Rooney had reportedly been ill for some time prior to his death at the age of 93.
News.com.au reports, the pint-sized star was born Joseph Yule Jr in 1920 and made his stage debut at the age of 15 months in his family’s vaudeville act.
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He got his name from the comic strip character Mickey McGuire, who he played in a series of silent comedy shorts, but Fox objected to McGuire and instead his mother chose Rooney.
As a teenager, Rooney appeared in a number of popular films – by the age of 20, he was earning $150,000 a year.
He made his debut as Andy Hardy in the 1937 film A Family Affair which was so successful it spawned 14 more films.
The same year, he starred opposite Judy Garland for the first time in Thoroughbreds Don’t Cry. The pair, who became close friends, appeared together in a string of successful musicals, including Babes in Arms (1939), for which Rooney was nominated for an Oscar.
The following year, he starred opposite Elizabeth Taylor in National Velvet.
Rooney, who was married eight times, made a cameo appearance in the 2011 Muppets movie and had been filming The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde at the time of his death.