To some the young Mickey Rooney will always be Andy Hardy fumbling his way towards adulthood and getting laughed at by love along the way or a babe arm in arm with Judy Garland singing and dancing and putting on a show. But to me he’ll always be working his way towards inventing the phonograph and the light bulb. Rooney and Virginia Weidler in Young Tom Edison.
The real fun in this post is in following the links.
To honor Mickey Rooney tonight, do not watch Breakfast at Tiffany’s.
Instead, try The Black Stallion or Carl Reiner’s often overlooked The Comic starring Dick Van Dyke as a Buster-Keaton-esque silent movie star and Rooney delivering a terrific performance as his put upon but always devoted friend and sidekick, Cockeye.
One of my favorites of his performances, though, was on television, in an episode of Naked City called Oofus-Goofus.
Two of his movies I’ve never seen but would really like to are Pulp with Michael Caine and Baby Face Nelson. Yes, he plays that Baby Face Nelson. He plays a bad guy in each. He had a dark side he could call on and did as Scott Foundas details in this post for Variety, Mickey Rooney Appreciation: Noir Films Showed He Was More Than a Teen Star.
And for a good tribute, you can always count on the Siren. Read In Memoriam: Mickey Rooney 1920-2014.
And, ok, I admit it. For me, Rooney’s will always be the voice of Santa Claus.
Yeah, it’s schmaltz. Sing along anyway. You’ll feel better.