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Mickey Rooney was a child star best known for his role as Andy Hardy in a long-running film series. He a starred in a number of musicals with Judy Garland.
Mickey Rooney - Full Episode (45:12)
Shirley Temple - Child Star (1:12)
A full biography about actor Mickey Rooney.
Mickey Rooney receives a life-changing message from the other side.
Watch a short video about Shirley Temple and find out why she was considered the nation's greatest weapon against the Depression.
Shirley Temple is the most popular child star of all time, known for acting, singing, and dancing in movies including "Heidi," "The Little Princess," "Bright Eyes," and "Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm."
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Mickey Rooney was born on September 23, 1920, in Brooklyn. His first stage appearance was in his parents' vaudeville act, and in 1937 he played Andy Hardy in the first of 15 films featuring the character. He co-starred with Judy Garland in a successful series of musicals, including Babes in Arms, and was awarded a special juvenile Oscar in 1938. Rooney continues to work as a character actor.
Originally known as Joe Yule Jr., Mickey Rooney first took the stage as a toddler in his parents' vaudeville act. He made his first film appearance in 1926, playing a midget. The following year, he played the lead character in the first Mickey McGuire short film. It was in this popular film series that he took the stage name Mickey Rooney.
Rooney reached new heights in 1937 with A Family Affair, the film that introduced the country to Andy Hardy, an all-American teenager. This beloved character appeared in nearly 20 films and helped make Rooney a top star at the box office. In 1938, Rooney received a special miniature Academy Award for his "contribution in bringing to the screen the spirit and personification of youth" for his work on the Andy Hardy film series.
Teaming up with Judy Garland, Rooney also appeared in a string of musicals, including Babes in Arms (1939) and Girl Crazy (1943). He and Garland, who had first worked together in an Andy Hardy movie, became good friends. "We weren't just a team, we were magic," Rooney once said. He also appeared with Elizabeth Taylor in the now-classic National Velvet (1944) around this time.
After serving in the military during World War II, Rooney took on a variety of roles. He appeared in such musicals as Summer Holiday (1948) and such dramas as Killer McCoy (1947) and The Big Wheel (1949), but none of these pictures matched his earlier successes on the big screen.
As his cinematic clout seemed to fade, he turned to television. The Mickey Rooney Show only ran from 1954 to 1955, however. Still, the consummate entertainer pressed on, making television guest appearances, performing in nightclubs and landing a few smaller film parts. One of his most notable roles from this time was in the war drama The Bold and the Brave (1956), which showed that he could shine in a serious role. He also appeared in Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961), starring Audrey Hepburn and George Peppard. Rooney played Hepburn's Asian neighbor Mr. Yunioshi. Tackling another dramatic role, he played a boxing trainer in Requiem for a Heavyweight (1962) with Anthony Quinn and Jackie Gleason.
Experiencing a career slump in the late 1960s and 1970s, Rooney showed audiences and critics alike why he is one of Hollywood's most enduring stars. He gave an impressive performance in 1979's The Black Stallion, which brought him an Academy Award nomination as Best Supporting Actor. Around this time, Rooney also wowed theater audiences in a revival of Sugar Babies with Ann Miller on Broadway. The pair took the hit show on the road as well.
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