Legendary actor Mickey Rooney has died today at the age of 93. Born Joseph Yule Jr in Brooklyn on September 23, 1920, Rooney started in Hollywood young (17 months) and went on to become one of the biggest box office draws of the 1930s. Although he appeared in such classics as 1934’s Blind Date and with Judy Garland in 1939’s Babes In Arms — where he earned his first of four Oscar nominations — it was the more than a dozen Andy Hardy movies from MGM starting in 1938 that made Rooney an international star. With more than 300 credits to his name and two honorary Oscars — one in 1938 and another in 1982 — Rooney was working until the end, most recently on the feature Dr. Jekyll And Mr. Hyde film which is set to be released this year. Rooney had been in ill health for the past several years, but was seen out and about as recently as a month ago on Oscar night and was onscreen for a cameo in Disney’s 2011’s Muppets reboot.
Related: Mickey Rooney: An Appreciation
Once World War II was over, Rooney was no longer the superstar he once was, but the actor worked for decades to come. He appeared in films like 1979’s The Black Stallion; on Broadway, where Rooney earned a Tony nomination in the late 1970s for Sugar Babies; and on TV, where he won an Emmy and a Golden Globe in 1981 for Bill.
Last year, the actor was victorious is a long-running legal battle of elder abuse with his stepson and his stepson’s wife. In 2011, Rooney had testified before Congress on elder abuse. In his own case, the court-appointed conservator for Rooney signed off on a $2.8 million stipulated judgment in the actor’s favor, but insurance companies remain locked in court over who has to pay out the funds.
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