Transcript of "Mickey Rooney: Some Personal Reflections"
Peace at Last?
Mickey Rooney(1920-2014) was an American film actor and
entertainer whose film, television, and stage appearances span nearly
his entire lifetime. He died yesterday.
He received multiple awards, including a Juvenile Academy Award,
an Honorary Academy Award, two Golden Globes and an Emmy
Award. Working as a performer since he was a 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, spanning 92
years actively making films in ten decades, from the 1920s to the
2010s. For a younger generation of fans, he gained international fame
for his leading role as Henry Dailey in The Family Channel's The
Adventures of the Black Stallion.
He was married 8 times, had 9 kids, and appears to have never found
peace maritally; on his death he was separated from with his last
marital partner of 46 years. Rooney had 19 grandchildren,
great-grandchildren. You can read the details of his life-narrative at
The year 1937 was a big one for Rooney. That year he was selected to
portray Andy Hardy in A Family Affair. Rooney's role was to
provide comic relief. The film was an unexpected success, and led to
13 more Andy Hardy films between 1937 and 1946. Rooney also
received top billing, that same year, as "Shockey Carter" in Hoosier
Schoolboy. Rooney made his first film alongside Judy Garland in
1937 with Thoroughbreds Don't Cry. It was here that Rooney came
into the life of my family. The year 1937 was a big one in the history
of a Cause I have been associated with now for more than 60 years.1
I won't give you chapter and verse of Rooney's life and the many
ways in which a certain synchronicity played itself out between his
life, my life, and the lives of my parents. In 1944, the year I was
born, Rooney enlisted in the United States Army. His first television
series, The Mickey Rooney Show: Hey, Mulligan, appeared
on NBC television for 32 episodes between August 28, 1954 and June
4, 1955. My mother, thinking TV would have a bad effect on my
studies, sold our television shortly after this series, but I remember
Rooney even though I was only eleven in 1955. He is even more in
my memory-bank since I was not to have a TV in my home again
until 1977 during my second marriage when I was in my 30s.
What a roller-coaster ride
your life was, Mickey!!. I
only saw you occasionally
after those TV episodes in
the 1950s; you popped-up
in all sorts of movies & TV
programs before and after I
Now you are gone!!
I wish you well in that Land
of Light which I'm told is a
better place than this one in
which one suffers the slings
and arrows of an outrageous
fortune and, sometimes, takes
arms against a sea of troubles.
To die, to sleep, as the Bard
put it, to end the heartache &
the 1000 natural shocks that
flesh is heir to. Mickey, 'tis a
consummation to be wished.3
In 1937 the North American Baha'i community launched a series of
teaching and consolidation, service and social activism plans which I
have been associated with now for more than 60 years.
I retired in 1999 after a 50 year student and employment life: 1949
to 1999, and slowly reinvented myself as a writer and author, poet and
publisher, online blogger and journalist.
Shakespeare, Hamlet, Act III, Scene I, in the famous "To be or not
to be" soliloquy.
7 April 2014.