Beloved child actor Mickey Rooney led a life filled with drama. It looks as though his passing this last week is going to be no different. According to an April 9 post on Yahoo! Celebrity, the actor-singer-dancer left a will that offered up no less than 6 surprising tidbits of information that provides a glimpse into this iconic man’s life.
A dispute has risen over where Rooney’s body should be laid to rest, prompting a petition for probate which includes his will and was filed on Tuesday with the Los Angeles Superior Court. An agreement between Rooney’s wife Jan and his stepson Christopher Aber and Rooney’s appointed conservator, attorney Michael R. Augustine was reached stipulating that the man’s body would remain at the mortuary until a court hearing on Friday makes a ruling.
Rooney was far from rich at the time of his death despite having worked in the film and television industry for 8 decades. Here is what the will revealed.
First, Rooney’s legal affairs were revised and put in order just before his death. The will was signed on March 11, not even a month before he succumbed to complications from diabetes.
In the will, Rooney notes that he and wife number 8, Jan, who were married in 1978, became separated on June 30, 2012. The legal separation designated Jan as the beneficiary of Rooney’s pension and Social Security, which Jan agreed to along with forever waiving any other rights to his a claim against his estate.
The estate he did leave behind was bequeathed to his stepson, Mark Rooney. Mark is Jan’s son and was the primary caregiver for Rooney at the time of his death. The younger Rooney is the sole beneficiary of the $18,000 estate.
You read that right. After that long and noteworthy career, All Rooney had left was $18,000. He had said earlier that the loss of his fortune was attributed to elder abuse at the hands of Jan’s other son, Christopher Aber. His earlier divorces also played a part in the dwindling of his fortune.
Rooney stipulated that neither Aber nor any other member of his family should be in charge of his estate. He particularly mentioned Aber by name, leaving court-appointed conservator, Michael R. Augustine, in charge
"Under no circumstances shall any of Jan, Christopher Aber, Christina Aber, any of their descendants, or any of my heirs serve as Executer of my estate," the papers state.
Other than Mark, Rooney disinherited every other member of his family. That includes wife Jan and her 2 sons, and 8 living children. He also had one son who preceded him in death. Rooney’s explanation for his decisions to leave everything to Mark stemmed from the idea that he believed the separation agreement with Jan adequately provided for her and that his children were financially better off than he himself was.
Rooney was still acting and looking forward to more work at the time of his death, reports CBS News on April 9. He had just completed work for a scene that will appear in an upcoming “Night at the Museum” film. Augustine said Rooney, who had been 93 at the time of his death, was required to pass a physical before being allowed to work.
He began having difficulty breathing Sunday following a nap and died later that day. No investigation was ordered by the police or coroner’s office.