Watch Early and Rare Mickey Rooney Films on YouTube


On Sunday it was announced that Mickey Rooney had passed away at the age of 93. To say that Rooney was a 'veteran actor' would be selling him short. His career in film began in 1926, shortly before the industry introduced sound. Since then he has racked up 338 acting credits including Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, which was still filming at the time of his death.

Due to copyright restrictions, I can't simply include his "best" work here, but after a career that spanned 88 years I can include some of his early work.

Rooney's first feature film was 1927's Orchids and Ermine which, sadly, doesn't seem to be online anywhere in its entirety. However Mickey McGuire, the character he played in the film and his screen name at the time, would make up the bulk of Rooney's career until 1934. In a series of shorts, similar to the "Little Rascals", Rooney and friends got up to the kind of trouble that rural children were involved in in the 20s and 30s.

The following "Mickey's Northwest Mounted" from 1929 is included as an example but a search for Mickey McGuire on YouTube will turn up many of these (with and without sound).

Now, this isn't meant as a biography or a comprehensive list of Rooney's films. I won't try to include every film in which he played a role, large or small. However, here are some of his credits that you might want to check out.

1935 as Puck in Max Reinhardt's A Midsummer Night's Dream with James Cagney

As Dick in Little Lord Fauntleroy (1936)

As Andy Hardy in Love Finds Andy Hardy (1938) with Judy Garland

The Big Wheel (1949)

He's A Cockeyed Wonder (1950)

My Outlaw Brother (1951)

and of course there is the Mickey Rooney Show (1954-55), there are a number of these available on YouTube as well. Still more Mickey Rooney films and tv appearances are available at the Internet Archive.

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