Mickey Rooney was an American actor of film, television, Broadway, radio, and vaudeville. In a career that spanned nearly nine decades and continued until shortly before his death, he appeared in more than 300 films and was one of the last surviving stars of the silent film era.
At the height of a career that was marked by precipitous declines and raging comebacks, Rooney played the role of Andy Hardy in a series of fifteen films in the 1930s and 1940s that epitomized American family values. A versatile performer, he could sing, dance, clown and play various musical instruments, becoming a celebrated character actor later in his career. Laurence Olivier once said he considered Rooney \"the greatest actor of them all. \" Clarence Brown, who directed him in two of his earliest dramatic roles, National Velvet and The Human Comedy, said he was \"the closest thing to a genius I ever worked with. \"\nRooney first performed in vaudeville as a child and made his film debut at age six. At thirteen he played the role of Puck in the play and later the 1935 film adaptation of A Midsummer Night's Dream.