Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Venice Review: Cary Joji Fukunaga's 'Beasts Of No Nation' Starring Idris Elba Venice Review: Cary Joji Fukunaga's 'Beasts Of No Nation' Starring Idris Elba Review: Netflix's 'Narcos' Starring Wagner Moura And Boyd Holbrook Review: Netflix's 'Narcos' Starring Wagner Moura And Boyd Holbrook Joaquin Phoenix Says He Doesn’t Think Making A Blockbuster Would Be "Fulfilling," Calls Chris Pine "F*cking Genius" Joaquin Phoenix Says He Doesn’t Think Making A Blockbuster Would Be "Fulfilling," Calls Chris Pine "F*cking Genius" Watch: Chloe Moretz Fights The Others In First Trailer For 'The 5th Wave' Watch: Chloe Moretz Fights The Others In First Trailer For 'The 5th Wave' James Bond Author Says Idris Elba Is "Too Street" To Play 007, And Bond Is "Weak" In 'Skyfall' James Bond Author Says Idris Elba Is "Too Street" To Play 007, And Bond Is "Weak" In 'Skyfall' Cary Fukunaga Says He "Wasn't Involved" With 'True Detective' Season 2, Explains His Departure From 'It' Cary Fukunaga Says He "Wasn't Involved" With 'True Detective' Season 2, Explains His Departure From 'It' Watch: Eddie Redmayne Is 'The Danish Girl' In First Trailer For Tom Hooper's Transgender Drama Watch: Eddie Redmayne Is 'The Danish Girl' In First Trailer For Tom Hooper's Transgender Drama Andrew Garfield Talks “The Pressure To Get It Right” for ‘The Amazing Spider-Man’ Films & If He'll Do Another Franchise Andrew Garfield Talks “The Pressure To Get It Right” for ‘The Amazing Spider-Man’ Films & If He'll Do Another Franchise Fall 2015 TV Preview: Our 25 Most Anticipated Shows Fall 2015 TV Preview: Our 25 Most Anticipated Shows Make It Happen Weinsteins: David Robert Mitchell Wants To Have Beer With Quentin Tarantino And Talk 'It Follows' Make It Happen Weinsteins: David Robert Mitchell Wants To Have Beer With Quentin Tarantino And Talk 'It Follows' On The Rise 2015: 15 Cinematographers To Watch On The Rise 2015: 15 Cinematographers To Watch Ridley Scott Says 'Prometheus 2' Is His Next Film Ridley Scott Says 'Prometheus 2' Is His Next Film 'Batman v Superman' And Why Early Screening Reports Need To Be Taken With A Grain Of Kryptonite 'Batman v Superman' And Why Early Screening Reports Need To Be Taken With A Grain Of Kryptonite Looks Like That Black-And-White Version Of 'Mad Max: Fury Road' Isn't Getting A Blu-Ray Release After All Looks Like That Black-And-White Version Of 'Mad Max: Fury Road' Isn't Getting A Blu-Ray Release After All The 20 Best Documentaries Of 2015 So Far The 20 Best Documentaries Of 2015 So Far The 25 Best Sci-Fi Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Sci-Fi Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Animated Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Animated Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 50 Best Films Of The Decade So Far The 50 Best Films Of The Decade So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far 17 Copycat Films Spawned From Quentin Tarantino's 'Pulp Fiction' 17 Copycat Films Spawned From Quentin Tarantino's 'Pulp Fiction'

R.I.P. Mickey Rooney (1920-2014)

Photo of Kevin Jagernauth By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist April 7, 2014 at 9:05AM

"If you stomped on Mickey Rooney/ He'd still turn 'round and smile..." sang The Kinks in "Celluloid Heroes." And indeed, for an actor who spent nearly every moment of his life under the spotlight, it's hard to imagine a time he wasn't wearing a big grin, but today that light has faded, with Mickey Rooney passing away over the weekend at 93 years old.
0
Mickey Rooney

"If you stomped on Mickey Rooney/ He'd still turn 'round and smile..." sang The Kinks in "Celluloid Heroes." And indeed, for an actor who spent nearly every moment of his life under the spotlight, it's hard to imagine a time he wasn't wearing a big grin, but today that light has faded, with Mickey Rooney passing away over the weekend at 93 years old.

A multi-talented performer who could do comedy, drama, sing and dance—picking up those skills as part of the family vaudeville act that saw him part of the routine before he was even two years old—Rooney first shot to fame at MGM, where an appearance opposite Lionel Barrymore in 1937's "A Family Affair," was the start of a string of successful and popular films. From 1939-1941 he was the biggest box office draw in the country and barely entering adulthood, he could already count Judy Garland as a regular co-star, and in 1938 he was already taking home an Academy Juvenile Award. This era would mark the high point of his career.

World War II came in 1944 and Rooney served his country. After he went right back to working on the big and small screen when he returned home, but the hits came with a lot of misses. "Requiem for a Heavyweight," "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World," "The Black Stallion" and (more infamously) "Breakfast at Tiffany's" (with his turn as the bumbling Japanese character I.Y. Yunioshi since becoming the standard against racial insensitivity in performance and casting is measured) were the movies that stood out, but Rooney mostly became a character player, going wherever the work took him, either on the stage, television or in movies.

The honors Rooney picked up over his career are numerous: four more Oscar nominations ("Babes In Arms," "The Human Comedy," "The Bold & The Brave," "The Black Stallion") followed by Lifetime Achievement award in 1983; an Emmy will for 1981's TV drama "Bill" (on top of more nominations); a star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame and much more.

While his personal life may not have always had him smiling as The Kinks might claim (the actor went through multiple marriages and various court battles), but for his fans, Rooney seemed to have it always turned on. His final role was reprising in his turn as Gus in "Night At The Museum 3," but it's not yet clear if his work on the in production movie has been completed. But even if it wasn't, Rooney has left plenty behind for the next generation to discover. [Yahoo]

This article is related to: Mickey Rooney


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


E-Mail Updates