Mickey Rooney's death Sunday triggered many tributes, including one in The Observer. Inexplicably, his Oscar-nominated performance in "The Black Stallion" was not listed as one of his five best. Each to his taste, I guess. Here's a bit of my favorite Rooney performance: "The Comedian," a Playhouse 90 live TV broadcast from 1957 about an egomaniacal comic.
Third, everyone remarks on his eight marriages, including his first to Smithville's Ava Gardner. But hardly anyone acknowledges that his eighth, to a woman 18 years his junior, seems to have made both of them happy. He had married actress Jan Rooney just a few years before I interviewed him during the "Sugar Babies" tour. "I've made a lot of mistakes with women, but this one is finally the right one," he said. Their 35-year union ended with his death, so I expect that was true.