Monday, April 7, 2014

'Boys Town' star Mickey Rooney dead at 93 in North Hollywood; 5'3" actor was biggest male movie actor on earth for several years

     Police aren't releasing a cause of death but said Rooney's demise was not suspicious.
     The 5'3" star was, in the late 1930s and early 40s, the top male box office draw on the planet.
    He made 15 Andy Hardy movies in which MGM tried to depict a model family, if your idea of a model family includes a son who looks like he's always on amphetamines. And, given MGM's pliable studio doctors at the time, maybe he was.
   A few Andy Hardys were done with Judy Garland, and gave rise to the much-parodied "Let's Put On A Show" plot. Here he is in Boys Town (below) with Spencer Tracy, about the famous Omaha orphanage for boys (and now girls.)
     The signature line from the movie, "He ain't heavy, he's my brother" was made into a statue and a hit song decades later.

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