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Hollywood great Rooney dead

April 7 (Reuters): Actor Mickey Rooney, who became the US’s biggest movie star while still a brash teenager in the 1930s and later a versatile character actor in a career that spanned 10 decades, died yesterday, Los Angeles authorities said. He was 93.

Rooney, who developed a reputation as a hard-partying, off-screen brat in his heyday and married eight times, died at his home in Studio City, the Los Angeles county department of Coroner said, citing the Los Angeles Police Department. “He was undoubtedly the most talented actor that ever lived. There was nothing he couldn’t do,” actress Margaret O’Brien said in a statement.

She said she had worked recently with Rooney on a film, The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and he “was as great as ever” during the filming.

Actress Rose Marie, a long-time friend, said he was one of the greatest talents show business had ever had. “I shall miss him and the world shall miss him,” she said in a statement.

Rooney was an entertainer almost from the day he was born in New York on Sept. 23, 1920.

His parents, Joe Yule Sr. and Nell, had a vaudeville act and Joe Jr, as he was known then, was not yet two years old when he became a part of it, appearing in a miniature tuxedo.

As he grew older, Rooney added dancing and joke-telling to his stage repertoire before landing his first film role — a cigar-smoking little person in the silent short Not to Be Trusted.

 
 
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