STUDIO CITY (CBSLA.com/AP) — Mickey Rooney, the pint-size, precocious actor and all-around talent whose more than 80-year career spanned silent comedies, Shakespeare, Judy Garland musicals, Andy Hardy stardom, television and the Broadway theater, has died. He was 93.
He passed away Sunday surrounded by family at his Studio City home, Los Angeles Police Commander Andrew Smith said.
The Los Angeles County Coroner’s office said Rooney died a natural death.
Rooney enjoyed a tenure likely unmatched in the history of show business, but is most remembered for having been one of the industry’s biggest child stars.
Born in 1920, the Brooklyn native — born Joe Yule Jr. — started his career in his parents’ vaudeville act while still a toddler, and broke into movies before age 10. He was still racking up film and TV credits more than 80 years later.
“I always say, ‘Don’t retire — inspire,’” he told The Associated Press in March 2008. “There’s a lot to be done.”
The comedic, toothy actor quickly became a child star after being cast as Mickey McGuire, a name he legally adopted, in a two-reel comedy series based on a comic strip.
In 1934, hoping to make a name for himself in feature films, the actor changed his name to Mickey Rooney.