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Mickey Rooney dies but memoir Life Is Too Short lives on

Mickey Rooney wrote memoir more than 20 years ago.
Villard Books

Actor Mickey Rooney, 93, died Sunday, April 6, after a long career in films, television and Broadway.

In 1991, his autobiography—Life Is Too Short—was published by Villard Books. In the book he wrote of his stardom, “I became a cocky kid as ever cruised Sunset Strip in his own convertible, exploding with sheer, selfish energy—and [irritating] almost everyone around me.”

His 1991 book, Life Is Too Short, covered his “early days, wild parties and squandered fortunes,” according to the publisher. He was married eight times, including to actress Ava Gardner.

His more than 300 films and TV programs apparently did not irritate everyone. He won a special Academy Award in 1939 for “brining to the screen the spirit and personification of youth….”. He starred with notables as Elizabeth Taylor (National Velvet 1944), Judy Garland (in many films from Babes in Arms to Girl Crazy), Audrey Hepburn (in Breakfast at Tiffany’s as an Asian neighbor)), and Ben Stiller (Night at the Museum in 2006) to name a few. He may be best known for his role as Andy Hardy in the Andy Hardy film series about a teenager in the Midwest.

Other notable aspects of his life: entertaining the troops in Europe during World War II after joining the U.S. Army. He received a Bronze Star.

According to a Library Journal review of “Life Is Too Short” in 1991, “From title to the last line, `I’ll have a short bier,’ Rooney’s self-deprecating humor powers this book.” Even though written more than 20 years ago, it should be an entertaining read for those who can get their hands on a copy through online sources or specialized book stores.

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