Mickey Rooney Jr. was the first child of Mickey Rooney and an original Mouseketeers. Before being kicked off the show, he was an original, and mischievous Mouseketeer who performed in bands with Willie Nelson. The screen legend’s first child has now passed away.
According to his longtime companion, Chrissie Brown, Rooney Jr. passed away on Saturday at his home in Glendale, Arizona. She stated that there is no known cause of death. Rooney Jr. collaborated with Willie Nelson in bands and acted alongside the musician-actor in the 1980 films Honeysuckle Rose by Jerry Schatzberg and Songwriter by Alan Rudolph.
In addition, he contributed to the soundtrack for John Brahm’s 1966 film Hot Rods to Hell and the 1975 NBC film Beyond the Bermuda Triangle, both of which featured brief roles for him. His mother was vocalist Betty Jane Baker, who took first place in the 1944 Miss Alabama pageant.
In Birmingham, Alabama, where the American Army was stationed at the time of World War II, she first met Mickey Rooney. She was his second wife, after Ava Gardner and before fellow actress Martha Vickers, and they were wed from 1944 until their divorce in 1948. He had eight marriages in total.
On ABC’s The Mickey Mouse Club in 1955, he and his brother Tim Rooney were hired as supplemental cast members. Before they were sacked due to some misbehavior in the Disney paint department, he worked on a few episodes. The first season also saw the termination of Paul Petersen, another original Mouseketeer.
Rooney Jr. was married to Merci Montello, a Playboy Playmate in 1972, and Laura Hollander. Petersen’s foundation, A Minor Consideration, which assists former child actors, has set up a GoFundMe page to assist her with costs. RIP.