Mickey Rooney

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Mickey Rooney (born September 23, 1920) is an American film actor and entertainer whose film, television, and stage appearances span nearly his entire lifetime. During his career he has won multiple awards, including an Honorary Academy Award, a Golden Globe and an Emmy Award. Working as a performer since he was a small child, he was a superstar as a teenager for the films in which he played Andy Hardy, and he has had one of the longest careers of any actor.


Early life

Rooney was born Joseph Yule, Jr. in Brooklyn, New York, to a vaudeville family. His father, Joseph Yule, was from Scotland, and his mother, Nellie W. (née Carter), was from Kansas City, Missouri. Both of his parents were in vaudeville, and appearing in a Brooklyn production of A Gaiety Girl when Joseph, Jr. was born. He began performing at the age of 17 months as part of his parents' routine, wearing a specially tailored tuxedo.[1]


Mickey McGuire

The Yules separated in 1924 during a slump in vaudeville, and in 1925, Nell Yule moved with her son to Hollywood, where she managed a tourist home. Fontaine Fox had placed a newspaper ad for a dark-haired child to play the role of "Mickey McGuire" in a series of short films. Lacking the money to have her son's hair dyed, Mrs. Yule took her son to the audition after applying burnt cork to his scalp.[2] Joe got the role and became "Mickey" for 78 of the comedies, running from 1927 to 1936, starting with Mickey's Circus, released September 4, 1927.[3] These had been adapted from the Toonerville Trolley comic strip, which contained a character named Mickey McGuire. Joe Yule briefly became "Mickey McGuire" legally in order to trump an attempted copyright lawsuit (as it was his legal name, the movie producers did not owe the comic strip writers royalties).

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