Mickey Rooney to appear at Edgerton Center
Published 8:03 pm, Thursday, March 15, 2012
Sacred Heart University's Edgerton Center for the Performing Arts will continue its American Legends Series with an appearance by veteran actor Mickey Rooney 7 p.m. Saturday, March 24, at the center, 5151 Park Ave.
Rooney, 91, will take to the stage with host Jerry Goehring, the center's executive director, to candidly reminisce about his stage, film and television careers in an "Actors Studio-style" presentation, according to a university news release. The evening will include selected clips from his film, television and stage productions and he will also participate in a Q&A with members of the audience.
Rooney, who has more than 200 films under his belt, has earned an Honorary Oscar for Lifetime Achievement, a special Juvenile Oscar he shared with Deana Durbin in 1939, five Oscar nominations, one Emmy Award, five Emmy Nominations and two Golden Globes.
He was born as Joe Yule Jr. on Sept. 23, 1920 in Brooklyn, N.Y. His parents were vaudeville performers and two weeks after his birth, he was on the road with the circuit traveling throughout North America, the release states.
Rooney's career began accidentally at 17 months old when a spotlight found him hiding under a shoeshine stand in a Chicago theatre after he sneezed during his father's act. Not knowing what to do, he stood up and blew on his toy mouth organ hanging on a string around his neck, causing the audience to laugh. The show's manager got him a tuxedo after the incident, and he began performing small ballads and speeches on stage, the release states.
Having moved to Hollywood with his mother in 1924, his big break came in 1927 when he was cast for "Mickey `Himself' McGuire," a series based on a comic strip. Seven years later, MGM producer David O. Selznick created a role for the actor, who was by then called Mickey Rooney, in the film "Manhattan Melodrama" after watching him compete in a table tennis tournament. The film was later made famous when notorious gangster John Dillinger was shot and killed while leaving the theater where he had been watching it, the release states.
Rooney was then signed to a long-term contract with MGM and became the No. 1 box office actor in the United States from 1939 to 41. He became known for his work on such films as "A Midsummer Night's Dream," "Boys Town," "Babes In Arms" and the hit "Andy Hardy" series. He also starred with many Hollywood leading ladies including Lana Turner, Anne Rutherford and Judy Garland, the release states.
In 1979, Rooney reluctantly went back to the Broadway stage in the burlesque production of "Sugar Babies," which ended up being a phenomenal success, and his career was reborn. Since then, he continues to appear in numerous films and television productions.
Rooney lives in Los Angeles with his ninth wife, Jan Chamberlin, whom he married in 1978.
Reserved tickets cost $25 for the general public; $20 for university students, faculty and staff; and $15 for senior citizens. Tickets may be bought noon to 4 p.m. weekdays at the box office by calling 203-371-7908 or in person two hours before the show. They may also be bought at www.EdgertonCenter.org