Mickey Rooney Jr. Net Worth 2022: Andy Hardy and Hollywood Fame!
Mickey Rooney Jr., the eldest child of Hollywood actor Mickey Rooney, died at his home in Glendale, Arizona, on Saturday.
Mickey Rooney Jr. was an original, albeit brief, Mouseketeer, an actor, and a member of Willie Nelson’s band throughout his time in show business. He was 77.
Most Lucrative Actor
In the late 1930s, at the height of his fame, Mickey was Hollywood’s biggest and highest-paid actor, comfortably making $150,000 per year.
That is equivalent to earning $2.5 million annually today. In 1949, he signed an unprecedented five-film contract with MGM that paid $25,000 per film. That’s the same as making approximately $275,000 per movie today.
Due to poor investments and eight marriages, he had a lifetime of financial difficulty. His estate was estimated at $18,000 at the time of his death, and he had twice declared bankruptcy. At the time of his death, he owed substantial medical and tax debts.
Mickey Rooney was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1920 under the name Ninian Joseph Yule Jr. He was the only child of Scottish vaudevillian father Joe Yule and former Kansas City, Missouri chorus girl mother Nellie W. Carter.
At the age of four, Rooney’s parents divorced, and he subsequently relocated to Hollywood with his mother. He made his film debut in the short film “Not to Be Trusted” at the age of six.
Later, in the early 1930s, he was cast in minor roles in films such as “The Beast of the City” and “The Life of Jimmy Dolan.” Rooney attended Hollywood Professional School before transferring to Fairfax High School.
Mickey McGuire was Rooney’s first significant starring role in a series of short films. Between 1927 and 1936, the young actor performed in 78 short films.
During this period, Rooney also appeared in “Fast Companions,” “My Pal, the King,” “The Big Cage,” “The Chief,” “Love Birds,” “Blind Date,” and “Reckless.”
In 1935, he received widespread acclaim for playing Puck in the Warner Bros. production of Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” a character he had previously played on stage.
Mickey Rooney’s Net Worth
At the time of his death in 2014, film and stage actor, comedian, and radio performer Mickey Rooney had a net worth of $20,000. Mickey Rooney performed in more than 300 films during the course of his nine-decade career.
He started as a kid performer in vaudeville, then as a teenager began acting as the popular character Andy Hardy in a series of films for MGM.
Andy Hardy and Hollywood Fame
In 1937, Rooney played the girl-crazy teenager Andy Hardy in the MGM comedy “A Family Affair,” which was his most successful role to date.
The unanticipated success of the picture starring Lionel Barrymore led to the production of thirteen subsequent Andy Hardy films between 1937 and 1946.
Also in 1937, Rooney starred in the musical comedy “Thoroughbreds Don’t Cry” with his future song-and-dance cinema partner Judy Garland. The two became great friends and co-starred in three Andy Hardy films and a series of famous musicals.
One of these musicals, “Babes in Arms” (1939), earned Rooney an Oscar nomination for Best Actor; at 19 years old, he was the second youngest contender in the history of this category.
Rooney’s breakthrough as a serious movie actor was in the 1938 biographical drama “Boys Town,” starring Spencer Tracy. Rooney and Deann Durbin, both 17 years old, got a special Juvenile Academy Award for their performances in the picture.
Due to the success of his films, Rooney was the highest-grossing actor between 1939 and 1941. Later, in 1943, he was nominated for an Oscar for his performance in “The Human Comedy,” and he got praise for his role in “National Velvet” opposite a young Elizabeth Taylor.
Second World War and Professional Doldrums
Rooney was drafted into the military in the summer of 1944 and spent nearly two years entertaining troops around the United States and Europe.
For his entertaining, he was awarded the Bronze Star Medal and gained a variety of additional decorations for his military service.
Returning to civilian life, Rooney failed to replicate his earlier success in the film industry. As an adult, he was no longer able to portray teenage roles, and his diminutive stature (5′ 2″) made it tough for him to compete with Hollywood’s most popular leading males.
During this period, he produced “Killer McCoy,” “Summer Holiday,” and “Words and Music,” his final collaboration with Judy Garland. During this time, he appeared briefly on the CBS radio program “Shorty Bell” and reprised his part as Andy Hardy in the radio adaptation of “The Hardy Family.”
Rooney resumed his film, television, and stage careers in 1954 when he co-created and starred in his first television series, “The Mickey Rooney Show.”
Throughout the 1950s, Rooney appeared in films such as “The Bridges at Toko-Ri,” “Operation Mad Ball,” “Baby Face Nelson,” and “The Bold and the Brave,” for which he was nominated for his third Oscar.
In the 1960s, the actor had important roles in the classic films “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” and “It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World” and appeared on iconic television programs such as “Wagon Train,” “Arrest and Trial,” “Burke’s Law,” “Combat!” and “The Jean Arthur Show.”
He also appeared as a guest star on the CBS adventure series “The Investigators” and in an episode of “The Twilight Zone.” In 1964, he debuted his ABC sitcom Mickey, which ran for seventeen episodes. By the late 1970s and 1980s, Rooney’s career had entered a new period of success.
In 1979, the actor made his Broadway debut in the critically acclaimed musical “Sugar Babies.” Together with co-star and former MGM actress Ann Miller, Rooney performed the show over 1,200 times in New York before taking it on a five-year tour.
Rooney received Tony and Drama Desk Award nominations for Best Actor for his performance in “Sugar Babies.” In 1979, Rooney portrayed a jockey in the film “The Black Stallion,” for which he was nominated for his fourth and final Academy Award.
When Rooney starred in the made-for-television picture “Bill” in 1981, she received additional award recognition. He won both the Emmy and the Golden Globe for his performance. In 1983, Rooney got an Academy Award in recognition of his lifetime efforts.
The 1990s, the 2000s, and the End
Rooney published his autobiography “Life Is Too Short” in 1991. In 1996, he filed for bankruptcy for the second time due to gambling-related and opportunistic family issues, notwithstanding his many triumphs.
Nonetheless, he continued to perform, appearing on stage in “The Will Rogers Follies,” “Lend Me a Tenor,” “Crazy for You,” and “The Wizard of Oz,” and in films like “Revenge of the Red Baron” and “Babe: Pig in the City.”
From 2005 through 2011, Rooney and his wife toured the country with the musical revue “Let’s Put on a Show.”
In 2006, the actor appeared in “Night at the Museum,” a fantasy comedy. In 2014, he resumed his role in “Night at the Museum” in its second sequel, “Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb.”
He made a cameo appearance in the 2011 film “The Muppets,” and in 2014, he reprised his role from “Night at the Museum” in “Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb.”
Eight times throughout his lifetime, Rooney was married. His first marriage, to actress Ava Gardner, took place in 1942; they divorced the following year. Rooney married Betty Jane Phillips, whom he met while stationed in Alabama, in 1944.
They had two sons before divorcing at the conclusion of World War II. Next, in 1949, Rooney wed actress Martha Vickers. In 1951, they divorced with one child.
The fourth union lasted from 1952 to 1958 with actress Elaine Mahnken. Rooney then wed model and actress Barbara Ann Thomason.