Remembering a Legend: Mickey Rooney’s 6 Best Performances

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A legendary actor on both the stage and the screen, Mickey Rooney passed away on Sunday. He was 93 years old and his acting career in Vaudeville, Hollywood, and Broadway lasted nearly as long, with Rooney making over 200 films during his lifetime in addition to his work on stage and later on TV. Here is a look at the six roles that are considered to be his best performances from that long career.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Rooney played the mischievous fairy Puck in Max Reinhardt’s 1935 film adaptation of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. At the age of 14, Rooney scored the part by impressing Reinhardt in an audition and was able to hold his own starring alongside Olivia de Havilland, James Cagney, and Dick Powell. The New York Times obituary quoted David Thompson in Biographical Dictionary of Film on the role. “Rooney seems inhuman, he moves like mist or water, his body is burnished by the extraordinary light, and his gurgling laugh is ghostly and enchanting,” Thompson writes. “Could such a performance have been directed? Rooney’s Puck is truly inhuman, one of cinema’s most arresting pieces of magic.”

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