Legendary entertainer Mickey Rooney dead at 93

Legendary entertainer Mickey Rooney dead at 93

Actor Mickey Rooney has died at the age of 93.

Rooney may be best remembered for playing the title character in MGM's beloved Andy Hardy movies, but his career spanned 80 years and more than 200 films, including "Boys Town" and "The Black Stallion."

He was the first teenager ever to be nominated for an Oscar for his leading role in "Strike Up the Band" in 1940.

Rooney also starred with Audrey Hepburn in "Breakfast at Tiffany's."

What Rooney lacked in stature, he made up in talent. He had one of the longest careers in Hollywood. The 5'3" actor was the number-one box office star in the late 1930s, won an Oscar in 1939, and was nominated again forty years later.

Rooney became famous in the 1930s in the Andy Hardy series and in musicals with Judy Garland.

The young star received an Academy Award at the age of nineteen for his role in Boys Town. Although his popularity declined after World War II, he never stopped acting. He was nominated four more times, and received an honorary Oscar in 1983 for his versatility in 50 years of film.

His off-screen life sometimes overshadowed his career. He was married eight times, including to actress Ava Gardner. His fifth wife was murdered by another actor.

Through most of his adult life, Rooney had financial problems. But he perservered, overcoming financial difficulities and outliving most of his wives and contemporaries.

"It's always a thrill to be on stage. I mean the ham bone in me just doesnt exist unless I'm on the stage. That's where I live because my family is the audience," he said in an interview. 

In his later years he spoke out against age bias in Hollywood, but he remained active - writing, producing, and acting until the end.

Rooney is survived by his eighth wife Jan, and nine children.

Click here for more on Rooney's life and legacy from USA Today.