More Mickey Rooney Bios & Profiles
Biography #2The honorary Oscar is one of the industry's highest awards, seldom given and, then only to legends. Past recipients include Charlie Chaplin, Gary Cooper, Cary Grant, Henry Fonda and Sir Laurence Olivier. In 1983, it was given to Mickey Rooney.
September 23, 1920, in Brooklyn, son of performers Joe Yule and Nell Carter, Mickey (he became Rooney when he was 12) made his film debut at two as a midget in Not To Be Trusted. A year later, he became Mickey McGuire for a series of 78 short film comedies.
In the late 1930s he signed with MGM and from 1938-1940, he was the world's number one box office star. In 1939, he won an Oscar for his work in Boy's Town with Spencer Tracy and the Andy Hardy series. That same year he did his first musical with Judy Garland, Babes In Arms, which earned him an Oscar nomination as Best Actor. He then starred with Elizabeth Taylor in National Velvet before joining the Army.
After the war, Rooney set about rebuilding his career and he shone in such films as The Bridges at Toko-Ri and Breakfast at Tiffany's, as well as on TV and in night clubs. His list of film credits contains more than 100 titles. The Bold and The Brave and The Black Stallion brought him two more Oscar nominations.
On TV, he received an Emmy nomination for The Comedian and won the Emmy, Golden Globe and Peabody Awards for his performance as Bill Sechter in Bill.
In 1979, he starred on stage in Sugar Babies, which ran on Broadway for three years and on the road for an additional five, continuing on to London's West End. In 1989, he toured with Donald O'Connor in Two For The Show and, the next year, in Sunshine Boys.
In 1991, his autobiography, Life Is Too Short was published. Since then, he's divided his time fairly evenly between the stage: Will Rogers Follies, Lend Me A Tenor and The Wizard of Oz; TV: The Adventures of the Black Stallion series, and films: The Milky Life and My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys.
This year marks the 25th anniversary of his marriage to singer Jan Chamberlain.