The Long Acting Career of Mickey Rooney

Actor Mickey Rooney passed away yesterday at the age of 93.  He spent most of the near century of his life performing.

In the 1920s, he starred as a child actor in a series of shorts as Mickey McGuire, such as Mickey's Big Game Hunt. It's incredible that someone who began his career in the dawn of the history of movies continued to work until the very end all these decades later.

In the 1930s, he appeared in some excellent films, including Boys Town in the role of Whitey Marsh, as well as the lead in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.  My favorite during this period was his whimsical and energetic portrayal of Puck in A Midsummer Night's Dream.

He hit superstardom in the 1940s as Andy Hardy in a series of movies, such as The Courtship of Andy Hardy, and alongside a young Elizabeth Taylor in National Velvet.

During the 1950s, he began appearing on the new medium of television with his own program The Mickey Rooney Show and the TV movie Pinocchio.

His resume grew in the 1960s with roles in Breakfast at Tiffany's, Requiem for a Heavyweight, and one of my favorites, It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World.

When the 1970s came around, he began to do some voice-over work as Kris Kringle in Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town, The Year Without a Santa Claus, and Rudolph and Frosty's Christmas in July, and as the Scarecrow in Journey Back to Oz.  He also starred in Pete's Dragon and The Black Stallion.

He lent his distinctive voice again in the 1980s to The Fox and the Hound and Little Nemo: Adventures in Slumberland, and made guest appearances on The Love Boat and The Golden Girls.

More cameos took place in the 1990s, on shows like Murder She Wrote, Full House, and ER, and he also starred in the TV series The New Adventures of the Black Stallion.

In the 2000s, he played the role of Gus in Night at the Museum and as recently as 2011 he had a role in The Muppets.

He wasn't planning on stopping, but nobody lives forever. He's given us many memories over his lengthy stint on Earth.  May he rest in peace.

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