Mickey Rooney was an American actor, comedian, vaudevillian, radio personality, and producer. In a career spanning nine decades and continuing until shortly before his death, he appeared in more than 300 films, and was among the last surviving stars of the silent-film era. He was the top box-office attraction from 1939 to 1941, and one of the best-paid actors of that era. He won a Golden Globe Award in 1981 and an Emmy Award in 1982.
At the height of a career marked by declines and comebacks, Rooney performed the role of Andy Hardy in a series of 16 films in the 1930s and 1940s that epitomized American family values. A versatile performer, he became a celebrated character actor later in his career. Laurence Olivier once said he considered Rooney "the best there has ever been". Clarence Brown, who directed him in two of his earliest dramatic roles in National Velvet and The Human Comedy, said Rooney was "the closest thing to a genius" with whom he had ever worked.
Rooney first performed in vaudeville as a child, and made his film debut at the age of six. At 14, he played Puck in the play and later the 1935 film adaptation of A Midsummer Night's Dream.