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Intersection designated as Mickey Rooney Memorial Square

 

From City New Service

HOLLYWOOD — The intersection of Sunset Boulevard and Orange Drive in Hollywood was dedicated as Mickey Rooney Memorial Square June 1, honoring the legendary actor whose screen, stage and television career spanned 10 decades.

The intersection is in front of Hollywood High School, from which Rooney graduated in 1938.

“I know he would be very honored,” Rooney’s daughter, Kelly, said. “Isn’t it great that this square is right across the street from Hollywood High School, … where he attended and so many others did also.”

Councilman Tom LaBonge led the ceremony, which was also attended by juvenile Oscar winner Margaret O’Brien, who appeared with Rooney in the musical comedies “Babes on Broadway” and “Thousands Cheer” in 1943; Marsha Hunt, who starred with Rooney in the 1943 drama “The Human Comedy”; Rose Marie, best known for her co-starring role on the 1961-66 CBS comedy “The Dick Van Dyke Show”; and Rooney’s children and grandchildren.

The ceremony also included a performance of a medley of songs from Rooney’s films by The Hollywood Kids.

Born Joseph Yule Jr. in New York City on Sept. 23, 1920, Rooney is best remembered for his roles in 15 Andy Hardy movies and musicals with Judy Garland in the 1930s and 1940s.

Rooney received four Oscar nominations — best actor in a leading role in 1940 and 1944 for “Babes in Arms” and “The Human Comedy” and best supporting actor in 1957 and 1980 for “The Bold and the Brave” and “The Black Stallion.” He received a juvenile Oscar in 1939 for significant contributions in bringing to the screen the spirit and personification of youth.

Rooney also received an honorary Oscar in 1983 in recognition of his 50 years of versatility in a variety of memorable film performances.

Rooney was a five-time Emmy nominee, winning in 1982 for outstanding lead actor in a limited series or a special for his portrayal of a mentally disabled man in the CBS made-for-television movie “Bill.”

Rooney first appeared on stage as a 17-month-old toddler in his parents’ vaudeville act. He came to Hollywood as a young child with his mother, Nell, following his parents’ divorce.

Rooney’s mother soon arranged an audition with cartoonist Fontaine Fox, who selected Rooney to play his comic-strip character Mickey McGuire in a series of silent comedy film shorts. Rooney starred in more than 70 episodes of the popular serial, which ran from 1927 to 1934.

Rooney’s other memorable films include “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” “Boys Town,” “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,” “National Velvet,” “Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” “Requiem for a Heavyweight” and “It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World.”

In recent years, Rooney appeared in the three “Night at the Museum” films and “The Muppets.” His final film, “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde,” is set to be released Oct. 30, 89 years after his first film appearance, the 1926 silent short, “Not to Be Trusted.”

Rooney died on April 6, 2014, at the age of 93.

“As council member of the Fourth District, I honor people who have tremendously shaped Los Angeles through lifetime achievements,” LaBonge said.

“I authored a motion for Mickey Rooney, a caring soul who dedicated his life to the entertainment industry and philanthropy.

“His memory deserves an intersection at Sunset Boulevard and North Orange to be named the ‘Mickey Rooney Memorial Square.’”

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