Screen legend Mickey Rooney died on Sunday, aged 93. Spanning ten decades, his career was one of the most prolific of any actor ever.
Rooney began as a child actor during the silent era in the 1920s. Early success came as the lead in 78 ‘Mickey McGuire’ shorts from 1927 to 1934. During this time, he was allegedly the inspiration for Walt Disney’s Mickey Mouse.
Rooney was able to make the difficult transition from child actor to adult star and accumulated many accolades. In 1938 he was awarded the defunct Academy Juvenile Award in honour of his screen work that year, which included Boys Town, co-starring Spencer Tracy. His collaboration with Judy Garland, beginning with 1937’s Thoroughbreds Don’t Cry, spawned a famous partnership that would last ten films across eleven years.
Rooney remained active over the following decades with film and television appearances totalling in the hundreds. Despite his age, his output never slowed down and even recently he had several projects in the pipeline, including Night at the Museum 3, which opens in December.
Mickey Rooney’s passing is truly the end of an era; a conclusion to a golden age in movie history. What an incredible life he lived.