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Hello again. I hope to have some more new episodes of this blog in the coming days. I’m putting the planned topic for the day on hold because I want to comment on last night’s big entertainment story.
Hollywood icon Mickey Rooney passed away at the age of 93 after a vaudeville, stage, movie and television career that started practically when he was a toddler.
Sometimes the words legend or icon are overused, but Rooney belonged to that club. He presented a talent so unique that it was his and his alone and no one will be able to duplicate it. No one will ever be like Mickey Rooney.
He belongs in the same sentence as Spencer Tracy, James Stewart, Clark Gable, Judy Garland, Bette Davis, Myrna Loy and others of that generation for they, like him, presented unique talents that no one will ever duplicate.
Growing up, before the day of cable television and Turner Classic Movies, if wanted to see a classic film, you turned on WGN. My sister and I, usually late Saturday mornings, would watch Andy Hardy movies and I have been hooked ever since.
Rooney played Andy Hardy in 14 films. Andy was a high school and then later college student growing up in the fictional town of Carvel. Andy dealt with typical youthful problems of the day – getting a date for the dance, trying to keep his car working and figuring out his future.
His father, Judge Hardy, played by Lewis Stone, always had the right answer. All problems were solved by the closing credits. It wasn’t reality, but it was a nice way to spend 90 minutes. I would love to find the movies on DVD, but have not succeeded yet.
The high point of Rooney’s career was in the 1930s and 1940s, but he worked steadily until recently and made a niche for himself as a character actor. And for surviving the cutthroat profession he was in as long as he did, he deserves a medal for endurance.
It’s sad when anyone passes on, but when a famous actor or actress does, at least we will have their body of work to enjoy. And that never goes away.