Mickey Rooney was born in Brooklyn, New York on September 23, 1920 as Joseph Yule, Jr. He has been a performer since the age of 17 months and has had one of the longest careers of any actor, spanning 90 years and receiving multiple awards, from the 1920’s to the 2010’s. He gained international fame for his leading role as Henry Dailey in The Family Channel’s The Adventures of the Black Stallion.
Joe Yule, Jr.’s name was changed to Mickey McGuire at the age of 7 after he was hired for the role of Mickey McGuire in Mickey’s Circus (1927). His name was changed again at the age of twelve to Mickey Rooney. As a teenager, he first played Andy Hardy in 1937 in A Family Affair. This film’s huge success lead to 13 more Andy Hardy films. His first film with Judy Garland was in 1937 in Thoroughbreds Don’t Cry. Mickey and Judy became close friends and were a successful song and dance team.
Mickey proved himself as a dramatic actor while playing Whitey Marsh, opposite Spencer Tracy, in Boys Town in 1938. Mickey Rooney was the biggest box office draw in 1939 – 1941.
Mickey entered the military in 1944 and served over 21 months. He entertained troops in both America and Europe, and he received the Bronze Star Medal for entertaining troops in combat zones.
Mickey married Jan Chamberlin in 1978. Mickey and Jan have appeared together in television commercials, films and tours. In addition, they provided their voices for various theatrical productions. Mickey Rooney received the Academy Honorary Award in 1983 for his lifetime of achievement.
ICareVillage interviewed Mickey Rooney in April 2011 at his home in Southern California.