Showbiz legend Mickey Rooney took to the Irish Repertory stage in New York in August regaling sold-out audiences with music, tales, and movie clips from his life. He performed with his wife, Jan, in Let’s Put on a Show!
At 83, Rooney is an 80-year veteran of show business, having started as a child performer. He was born Joe Yule, Jr., in Brooklyn in 1923, to vaudeville performer Nell Carter and Joe Yule, Sr., and pretty soon was traveling on the road with his parents. The star, best known for his performances in the many Andy Hardy movies and such pictures as Babes in Arms and Babes on Broadway, got his big break in 1927 when he was cast in Mickey “Himself” McGuire, a series based on a comic strip. His mother wanted to legally change his name to Mickey McGuire for publicity reasons, but the comic’s creator did not approve of this. Instead she renamed him Mickey Rooney. ♦