For a pint-size, freckle-faced guy, Mickey Rooney did OK, rivaling he- men like Clark Gable at the box office. Offscreen, he married as often as Elizabeth Taylor; the first of his eight wives was Ava Gardner.
A hardworking child actor, when he teamed up with fellow MGM baby Judy Garland, movie magic happened. Their irrepressible “Let’s put on a show!” energy made them enormous stars, which Rooney parlayed into the beloved Andy Hardy series.
Rooney might’ve been known for his pluck and relentlessly youthful lightheartedness, but he was equally adept at drama, as evidenced in such films as “Boys Town,” “The Bold and the Brave” and in the title role of “Baby Face Nelson.”
His film and TV resume touts more than 260 credits, a staggering accomplishment by any standard.
Although his transition to adulthood wasn’t as tough as Garland’s, he never again met those early career highs but he kept working, a true Hollywood veteran.