Mickey Rooney has died at 93 - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

Mickey Rooney has died at 93

MGN Online - Wikiwatcher 1 - Wikipedia/Photo date: 1940 MGN Online - Wikiwatcher 1 - Wikipedia/Photo date: 1940

(CNN) - Mickey Rooney grew up in show business a product of Hollywood's golden age.

"I am that merry wanderer of the night."

By the time he played "Puck" in the 1935 film "A Midsummer Night's Dream," Rooney was already a veteran. He had made his acting debut before he was two, in his parents vaudeville act.

If grandmama.. see her knees.

Vaudeville would serve him well, he would sing, dance and act his way through hundreds of films spanning seven decades.

In 1937 his energy and versatility landed him the role of Andy Hardy, a witty character and one that he would revisit in a series of fifteen films.

He was a contract player for MGM at the time. "Rooney" his stage name, replaced his birth name, Joe Yule Jr. In 1939, he was awarded a special oscar for bringing the spirit of youth to film.

His turn as a tough juvenile delinquent in "Men of Boys Town" paired him with Spencer Tracy in 1941.

What followed was his first best actor oscar nomination for the feature "Babes in Arms," in which he and Judy Garland promised to put on a show.

By then Rooney was tops at the box office, outdrawing Shirley Temple. Movie-goers packed theaters to watch Rooney and a young Elizabeth Taylor play out the sentimental story of "National Velvet."

Rooney was a millionaire in his teens, but suffered financial instability all his life. He was married in his 20's to Ava Gardner, but it didn't last. He would eventually marry eight times.

Still, Rooney was a much-honored man for his work. He was nominated for four academy awards, including one for "The Black Stallion." in 1983, Rooney was given an honorary oscar for his lifetime contribution to film.

Rooney married eighth wife Jan Chamberlain in 1978. Decades later, they starred and toured together in their own "One Man, One Wife Show"

"I can't give you anything, but love..."

He stayed busy well into his eighties.With small roles in a handful of movies, including "Night at the Museum" in 2006.

But his later years were also marked with sadness.

"For years, I suffered silently.."

In 2011, an emotional 90-year-old Rooney told a congressional committee that he was verbally and financially abused by his stepson. And urged the panel to pass legislation to put a stop to elder abuse.

But the love of his life, the constant all of his life was always his work...the youngsters."

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