I was a young child when I first met Mickey Rooney on the screen—the chunky blonde wooden box that sat at the back of our dining room across from our couch. My sister and I used to watch television together on Sunday afternoons. Bill Kennedy at the Movies was an old favorite of ours. Instead of just turning on the television, selecting a channel, and watching a movie, Bill walked us through it. He provided a personal touch with his inside scoop. Viewers could call in, and Bill would answer their questions. He shared information on actors and behind-the-scenes secrets.
Of the many movies my sister and I watched on Sunday afternoons, I remember Mickey Rooney’s movies being one of our highlights. He was like the boy next door, and his boyish charm captured our hearts. My sister and I clinched our little hands together and held our breath when Pee Wee was hit by a car in Boys Town. Mickey played Whitey Marsh in this movie. Whitey tried his best to be a tough guy, but his heart was just too big.
My sister and I also enjoyed National Velvet and Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Over and over again, we would watch the movies on Bill Kennedy. We didn’t even realize they were over a decade old at the time. As the silvery glow of these black and white movies streamed through our dining room, no one monitored what we watched. Many of the movies simply had great story lines. They were exciting, and there was a moral to the story.
I was much older when I learned of Mickey’s struggles in life: several marriages, bankruptcy, and addiction. Later, he believed an angel whispered in his ear telling him that Jesus loves him (The Christian Post, 2014). Subsequently, Mickey turned his life around.
I commend Mickey for being courageous. He came forward with his personal experience of elder abuse. To his fans, Mickey lamented, "I pray to God each day to protect us, help us endure and guide those other senior citizens who are also suffering" (ABC News, 2011, para. 7). Mickey’s testimony on Capitol Hill illuminated the horrendous crime of elder abuse as he provided firsthand testimony of what he described as emotional blackmail.
Yesterday, when I turned on the television, I caught the last few seconds of the news--a Mickey Rooney quote, “. . . there’s never going to be another you.” Then the newscaster recapped, “Mickey Rooney, dead at the age of 93.”
Mickey Rooney was right: “. . . there’s never going to be another you.” You are unique, but how unique are you? This is the story in you. Share it.
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ABC News. (2011). Actor Mickey Rooney granted court protection from stepkids. Retrieved from http://abcnews.go.com/Health/Wellness/mickey-rooney-90-victim-alleged-elder-abuse/story?id=12934033
CBS. (2011). Mickey Rooney’s emotional testimony on elder abuse. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W9ikKP5-s5A
The Christian Post. (2014). Hollywood legend Mickey Rooney dies at 93. Retrieved from http://www.christianpost.com/news/hollywood-legend-mickey-rooney-dies-at-93-117468/
Estate of Mickey Rooney. n.d. The official site of Mickey Rooney. Retrieved from http://mickeyrooney.com/index2.html#news