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Interview with Al Quinn on death of Mickey Rooney (Photos)

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On April 7, 2014, actor Al Quinn, 84, shared his thoughts as soon as he heard about the April 6 death of 93 year old iconic actor Mickey Rooney. Included (below) are two "Top 10 Film" listings on both actors.

Al Quinn, who resides in Fort Myers, Fla., first heard of Rooney's death on television. For Quinn, thoughts of days gone by flashed through his head, and most of the images were of Mickey Rooney on the big screen!

Al, what were your first thoughts on Mickey Rooney's death?

"First of all, I'm saddened by Mick's passing. He was less than a decade older than me, so that hits home. I am also an actor, have been for most of my life. Concerning his acting, he was one of the last old timers left, if not the last."

Being so close in age you probably were one of his first and biggest fans?

"Yes, Mickey Rooney and I go back a long way, for even as a kid he was one of my idols. He was also originally from Brooklyn in NYC!"

Did you see Mickey Rooney on the silver screen?

"Of course. I loved Mickey Rooney. Back then, going to the movies was a major treat. So one didn't just go to any movie, you picked your favorites, and anything with the Mick in it was my fave!"

What did you think of his work as an actor?

"He had a talent that will live forever. He was a song and dance type of actor too. Mick was also some 'character.' I'm going to miss him terribly."

Thank you Al Quinn for sharing your thoughts about Mickey Rooney. Readers can even more appreciate what you have shared when it comes to Mickey Rooney's death, as your similar age range and acting background make it more understandable how you feel.

On a side note, Al Quinn is the president of UFTA (United Film & TV Artists), so his interest in acting and the support of it is very strong. So much so, he just wrapped the film "Casting" in which he was an actor plus the co-director and producer.

A partial film listing of Mickey Rooney includes "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde," "The Woods," "Bamboo Shark," "The Last Mile," "Boys Town"...

A partial film listing of Al Quinn includes "Casting," "Light," "Wild Sunflowers," "In Her Shoes," "Unearthed," "Bully"...

To learn more about Mickey Rooney, Al Quinn and UFTA go to specific links. Enjoy photo listing on all the above.

"Rooney died surrounded by his family at his home in North Hollywood, Los Angeles, California on April 6, 2014, at the age of 93. Rooney was survived by his wife of 37 years, Jan Chamberlain, as well as eight surviving children, two stepchildren, nineteen grandchildren and several great-grandchildren.

Until his death, Rooney was one of the last surviving stars who worked in the silent film era. He was also the last surviving cast member of several films in which he appeared during the 1930s and 1940s." - Wikipedia

Mickey Rooney in 1945
Mickey Rooney in 1945 Photo: Wiki

Mickey Rooney in 1945

Here is younger Mickey Rooney. He as originally from Brooklyn in NYC.

Also in 1937, Rooney made his first film alongside Judy Garland with Thoroughbreds Don't Cry. Garland and Rooney became close friends and a successful song-and-dance team.

Besides three of the Andy Hardy films, where she portrayed Betsy Booth, a younger girl with a crush on Andy, they appeared together in a string of successful musicals, including the Oscar-nominated Babes in Arms (1939).

During an interview in the 1992 documentary film MGM: When the Lion Roars, Rooney describes their friendship. - Wiki

UFTA President Al Quinn
UFTA President Al Quinn Photo courtesy of Al Quinn, used with permission

UFTA President Al Quinn

Al Quinn, like Mickey Rooney, is a senior, an award-winning actor and from Brooklyn, NYC.

Quinn is the current president of UFTA. He is also its founder, and has been an officer for the organizations duration to present day.

Quinn helps support those in the entertainment biz, and he should know due to his many years in them as well.

He has been SAG/AFTRA for several years.

Mickey Rooney and Mitzi Gaynor
Mickey Rooney and Mitzi Gaynor Photo: Araya Diaz/Getty Images

Mickey Rooney and Mitzi Gaynor

Mickey Rooney received multiple awards, including a Juvenile Academy Award, an Honorary Academy Award, two Golden Globes and an Emmy Award.

Working as a performer since he was a child, he was a superstar as a teenager for the films in which he played Andy Hardy.

Rooney had one of the longest careers of any actor, spanning 92 years actively making films in ten decades, from the 1920s to the 2010s. - Wiki

UFTA Logo
UFTA Logo Image courtesy of UFTA, used with permission

UFTA Logo

The United Film & Television Artists is a non-profit organization that helps talent in all areas of the entertainment industry.

Such areas are in acting, singing, dancing, directing, hair, makeup, stunts, voice over acting, modeling, writing and more.

Al Quinn is this year's UFTA president.

UFTA is not a talent agency. They are just a way to help others to avoid the possible pitfalls of the biz!

Mickey Rooney and childhood friend Judy Garland in 1938
Mickey Rooney and childhood friend Judy Garland in 1938 Photo: Wiki

Mickey Rooney and childhood friend Judy Garland in 1938

Here Rooney is with singer and actress Judy Garland in a scene from "Love Finds Andy Hardy."

Rooney was awarded an Academy Juvenile Award in 1938, and in 1983 the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences voted him their Academy Honorary Award for his lifetime of achievement.

He was also mentioned in the 1972 song "Celluloid Heroes" by The Kinks: "If you stomped on Mickey Rooney/ He'd still turn 'round and smile..." - Wiki

 

Buzz Aldrin and Mickey Rooney in 2013
Buzz Aldrin and Mickey Rooney in 2013 Photo: Araya Diaz/Getty Images

Buzz Aldrin and Mickey Rooney in 2013

For a younger generation of fans, Mickey Rooney gained international fame for his leading role as Henry Dailey in The Family Channel's The Adventures of the Black Stallion.

Until his death in April 2014, Rooney was one of the last surviving stars who worked in the silent film era. He was also the last surviving cast member of several films in which he appeared during the 1930s and 1940s. - Wiki

Mickey Rooney in 2000
Mickey Rooney in 2000 Photo: Wiki

Mickey Rooney in 2000

Here Mickey Rooney speaks at the Pentagon in 2000 during a ceremony honoring the USO.

In 1944, Rooney enlisted in the United States Army. He served more than 21 months, until shortly after the end of World War II. During and after the war he helped entertain the troops in America and Europe, and spent part of the time as a radio personality on the American Forces Network and was awarded the Bronze Star Medal for entertaining troops in combat zones. In addition to the Bronze Star Medal, Rooney also received the Army Good Conduct Medal, American Campaign Medal, European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal, and World War II Victory Medal for his military service. - Wiki

UFTA Officers attend workshops
UFTA Officers attend workshops Photo courtesy of UFTA, used with permission

UFTA Officers attend workshops

Here Carrie Belluso and Al Quinn listen intently to speakers at a UFTA workshop.

The workshops that night were on makeup, hair and selecting a talent agent. This event took place in early 2013.

UFTA stands for United Film & TV Artists, Inc. Quinn is its president and Belluso is its treasurer.

Actor Mickey Rooney at Governors Ball in 2013
Actor Mickey Rooney at Governors Ball in 2013 Photo: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Actor Mickey Rooney at Governors Ball in 2013

Here Mickey Rooney attends the Governor's Ball during the 65th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards at Nokia Theatre L.A.

It was live on Sept. 22, 2013 in L.A.

Smiling Mickey Rooney
Smiling Mickey Rooney Photo: Michael Buckner/Getty Images

Smiling Mickey Rooney

When Mickey Rooney was fourteen months old, unknown to everyone, he crawled onstage wearing overalls and a little harmonica around his neck. He sneezed and his father, Joe Sr., grabbed him up, introducing him to the audience as Sonny Yule. He felt the spotlight on him and described it as his mother's womb. From that moment on, the stage was his home. - Wiki

Carmen Miranda and dressed up Mickey Rooney
Carmen Miranda and dressed up Mickey Rooney Photo: Wiki

Carmen Miranda and dressed up Mickey Rooney

Here is Carmen Miranda backstage with Mickey Rooney all dressed up at "Babes on Broadway" (1941).

In addition to his movie roles, Rooney made numerous guest-starring roles as a character actor for nearly six decades, beginning with an episode of Celanese Theatre.

The part led to other roles on such television series as Schlitz Playhouse, Playhouse 90, Producers' Showcase, Alcoa Theatre, Wagon Train, General Electric Theater, Hennesey, The Dick Powell Theatre, Arrest and Trial, Burke's Law, Combat!, The Fugitive, Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theatre, The Jean Arthur Show, The Name of the Game, Dan August, Night Gallery, The Love Boat, Kung Fu: The Legend Continues, among many others. - Wiki

Al Quinn on film set
Al Quinn on film set Photo courtesy of UFTA, used with permission

Al Quinn on film set

On film set of "Casting."

Actors from left to right are: Rick Vorell, Steve Barnett, Judy Davis (in blue shirt), Al Quinn and Carrie Belluso.

The location of this scene was at Protocol Models on the Gulf in Naples, Fla.

Geri Muck is the agency's owner, and she was an actor in the film as well.

Oscar and Mickey
Oscar and Mickey Photo: Michael Buckner/Getty Images

Oscar and Mickey

More on Mickey Rooney's background:

While Joe Sr. was traveling, Joe Jr. and his mother moved from Brooklyn to Kansas City to live with his aunt. While his mother was reading the entertainment newspaper, Nellie was interested in getting Hal Roach to approach her son to participate in the Our Gang series in Hollywood. Roach offered $5 a day to Joe, Jr., while the other young stars were paid five times more. - Wiki

"Casting" film set
"Casting" film set Photo courtesy of UFTA, used with permission

"Casting" film set

Monitor viewing of two young actresses in film "Casting."

Shivani and Pooja Patel portray Nina and Rani Singh.

Here they ham it up before one of their scenes are shot. They were shooting on location in Naples, Fla. at Protocol Models on the Gulf.

Mickey Rooney entertaining the troops in 1945
Mickey Rooney entertaining the troops in 1945 Photo: Wiki

Mickey Rooney entertaining the troops in 1945

After the war...

Rooney's first television series, The Mickey Rooney Show: Hey, Mulligan (created by Blake Edwards with Rooney as his own producer), appeared on NBC television for 32 episodes between August 28, 1954 and June 4, 1955. In 1951, he directed a feature film for Columbia Pictures, My True Story starring Helen Walker. Rooney also starred as a ragingly egomaniacal television comedian in the live 90-minute television drama The Comedian, in the Playhouse 90 series on the evening of Valentine's Day in 1957, and as himself in a revue called The Musical Revue of 1959 based on the 1929 film The Hollywood Revue of 1929, which was edited into a film in 1960, by British International Pictures. - Wiki

Al Quinn, center, in film scene
Al Quinn, center, in film scene Photo courtesy of UFTA, used with permission

Al Quinn, center, in film scene

Here is a scene taken on set of "Casting." Al Quinn, seated in blue shirt, is in a pretend casting scene.

The other cast crew are, in background, Adam Moody and Ernesto Lasso de la Vega, young actress standing, facing others is Cassidy Reyes playing Cassie Reynolds.

Seated are Judy Davis, Al Quinn and Carrie Belluso. Standing at camera on tripod is Steve Barnett. Barnett is an actor as well.

Location is in Naples, Fla. at Protocol Models on the Gulf owned by Geri Muck.

Known for his comedic side, Mickey Rooney
Known for his comedic side, Mickey Rooney Photo: Michael Buckner/Getty Images

Known for his comedic side, Mickey Rooney

On how he got his name:

Rooney later claimed that, during his Mickey McGuire days, he met cartoonist Walt Disney at the Warner Brothers studio, and that Disney was inspired to name Mickey Mouse after him, although Disney always said that he had changed the name from "Mortimer Mouse" to "Mickey Mouse" on the suggestion of his wife. - Wiki

Mickey Rooney being silly with other actors
Mickey Rooney being silly with other actors Photo: Michael Buckner/Getty Images

Mickey Rooney being silly with other actors

More on Rooney's younger years:

As he was getting bit parts in films, he was working with other established film stars such as Joel McCrea, Colleen Moore, Clark Gable, Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., and Jean Harlow. While selling newspapers around the corner, he also entered into Hollywood Professional School, where he went to school with dozens of unfamiliar students such as: Joseph A. Wapner, Nanette Fabray, Judy Garland, Lana Turner, among many others, and later Hollywood High School, where he graduated in 1938. - Wiki

One of first scenes shot in "Casting"
One of first scenes shot in "Casting" Photo courtesy of UFTA, used with permission

One of first scenes shot in "Casting"

One of the first scenes is shot in the film "Casting." This is a group scene of waiting area in a casting office.

Those seen are Geri Muck, in brown hood, DP Ernesto Lasso de la Vega, seated Margaret Bishop, Joe Reyes and Benjamin Jacob (with magazine). Standing to far right is Rick Vorell.

The location was host in a real talent agency called Protocol Models on the Gulf. Its owner is Geri Muck. The film was shot in February 2014. The film's screening will be April 14, 2014.

Another "reunion of sorts" with Mickey Rooney
Another "reunion of sorts" with Mickey Rooney Photo: Michael Buckner/Getty Images

Another "reunion of sorts" with Mickey Rooney

Here are Carl Reiner, Rooney and actor Billy Crystal in attendance at the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Science's "The Last 70mmAMPAS Samuel Goldwin theater.

The event took place on July 9, 2012.

All smiles, Mickey Rooney in 1986
All smiles, Mickey Rooney in 1986 Photo: Wiki

All smiles, Mickey Rooney in 1986

After Rooney's return from war to civilian life, his career slumped. He appeared in a number of films, including Words and Music in 1948, which paired him for the last time with Garland on film (he appeared with her on one episode as a guest on her CBS variety series in 1963).

He briefly starred in a CBS radio series, Shorty Bell, in the summer of 1948, and reprised his role as "Andy Hardy", with most of the original cast, in a syndicated radio version of The Hardy Family in 1949 and 1950 (repeated on Mutual during 1952). - Wiki

Al Quinn on set of "Casting" (2014)
Al Quinn on set of "Casting" (2014) Photo courtesy of UFTA, used with permission

Al Quinn on set of "Casting" (2014)

Here, among others, is Al Quinn, seated in blue shirt, on set of the film "Casting."

Quinn's role is Quinn Allen, the film's producer.

In real life Quinn is the film's producer and co-director as well.

UFTA is the film's production company. The film was shot February 2014, and its screening is to be Monday, April 14, 2014.

Rooney on "The Red Skelton Show" in 1962
Rooney on "The Red Skelton Show" in 1962 Photo: Wiki

Rooney on "The Red Skelton Show" in 1962

On December 31, 1961, Rooney appeared on television's What's My Line and mentioned that he had already started enrolling students in the MRSE (Mickey Rooney School of Entertainment).

His school venture never came to fruition. This was a period of professional distress for Rooney. As a childhood friend, director Richard Quine put it: "Let's face it. It wasn't all that easy to find roles for a 5-foot-3 man who'd passed the age of Andy Hardy." - Wiki

One month and four Days before his passing
One month and four Days before his passing Photo: Pascal Le Segretain/getty images

One month and four Days before his passing

Here is Mickey Rooney one month and four days before his April 6, 2014 death.

This was shot on March 2, 2014 at the 2014 Vanity Fair Oscar Party.

The party was hosted by Graydon Carter in West Hollywood, Calif.

Mickey Rooney
Mickey Rooney Photo: Araya Diaz/Getty Images

Mickey Rooney

Rooney was born Joseph Yule, Jr. in the Brooklyn borough of New York City.

His father, Joe Yule (born Ninnian Joseph Ewell), was from Glasgow, Scotland, and his mother, Nellie W., was from Kansas City, Missouri.

Both of his parents were in vaudeville, appearing in a Brooklyn production of A Gaiety Girl when Joseph, Jr. was born.

Rooney began performing at the age of 17 months as part of his parents' routine, wearing a specially tailored tuxedo. - Wiki

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