April 7, 2014, - 8:46 am
When I was a kid, on Sunday mornings and afternoons, Mickey Rooney’s “Andy Hardy” movies were among the only viewing choices on TV (that was before cable). I found the movies boring, but my parents told me about Rooney and who he was, how he’d entertained Americans for decades, and was a patriotic actor. And that’s how I’ll remember Rooney, born Joseph Yule Jr., who died yesterday at 93. He was among the last of the patriotic, pro-American actors in Hollywood. And he proudly enlisted and served during World War II.
Yes, it’s true that, personally, Rooney, was married 8 times and had eleven kids. It’s also true that he had gambling and drug addictions, and filed for bankruptcy. He also testified before Congress that he suffered elder abuse at the hands of one of his stepchildren, who bullied him and spent his money.
But I won’t remember him for those things. I’ll remember Rooney as the diminutive actor whose career spanned from silent film to big feature films, who entertained Americans during the Depression and World War II and gave them a couple of hours distraction from everything that was going on.
At one time, he was America’s most popular actor, proving that being short in height can’t prevent you from success. And I’ll remember that not only did he enlist during World War II, but entertained our troops even after his tour of duty was over. He earned the Bronze Star when it meant something more than it does now, and he also earned several other medals for his World War II service. He was a patriot. Can you imagine that wuss Brad Pitt doing any of this? PUH-LEEZE. Rooney was the Brad Pitt of his day, and he didn’t preach BS about being “green” while jetsetting between a gazillion international mansions on his private plane like the Jolie-Pitt-Jolies do.
Mickey Rooney, Rest In Peace.
Tags: Mickey Rooney