Mickey Rooney, one of Hollywood’s most celebrated stars during the Great Depression, died Sunday at the age of 93. A cause of death has not been announced.
Rooney made his acting debut on the vaudeville stage when he was just 17 months old. He’d go on to appear in over 200 films, featuring the likes of other Old Hollywood greats, like Elizabeth Taylor and Judy Garland. Rooney had a career that lasted over 90 years, one of the longest in Tinseltown history.
In 1939, when he was 18, Rooney won a Juvenile Academy Award. The stout icon nabbed a Lifetime Achievement Oscar, recognizing his decades-long career, in 1982. Additionally, Mickey notched four other Oscar nods for performances in Babes In Arms (1939), The Human Comedy (1943), The Bold And The Brave (1956) and The Black Stallion (1979).
Rooney returned to work at the ripe old age of 90; partially by passion, partially by necessity. In 2011, the Emmy-winning National Velvet actor made his headlines for the first time in years when he delivered an emotional Congressional testimony about years of elder abuse he suffered at the hands of his estranged wife Christina Aber and her middle-aged son, Christopher.
The Albers were barred from coming within 500 feet of Rooney after they allegedly kept food and medication away from the aging actor. According to his testimony and court documents, Rooney claimed his family regularly verbally abused him and confiscated his passport and other identification cards.
There was also the matter of $400,000 — which mysteriously disappeared from Rooney’s bank account. The legend was so cash-strapped that he often wore the same clothes, had only one pair of shoes and was facing foreclosure on his California home. Rooney’s attorneys say the aging legend’s depleted finances were the first tip-off to trouble at the Aber house.
Rooney was eventually hired for appearances in The Muppets and Night at the Museum.