Thursday, September 22, 2011

195. His Own Paint Book: MICKEY ROONEY

The child wonder of the silver screen of the 30s and 40s was born born Joseph Yule, Jr. in Brooklyn, New York, to a vaudeville family. At 14 months old, he crawled on stage wearing overalls and a little harmonica around his neck. His father, Joe Sr., picked him up and introduced him to the audience as Sonny Yule. He began performing officially at the age of 17 months as part of his parents' routine, wearing a specially tailored tuxedo. At 3, he was cast by Hal Roach to participate in the Our Gang series in Hollywood at $5 a day.

Soon, Joe Jr. was getting bit parts in films, working with established stars such as Joel McCrea, Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. and Jean Harlow. While selling newspapers, he also enrolled at the Hollywood Professional School, where future stars like Nanette Fabray, Judy Garland, Lana Turner went. In 1938, he graduated from Hollywood High School. He got his name "Mickey" from the "Mickey McGuire" short film series in which he was featured in 1925.

He popularized the character "Andy Hardy" with Judy Garland in 1937 and which made him a superstar. He an Honorary Academy Award, a Golden Globe and an Emmy Award. He has had one of the longest careers of any actor, to date spanning almost 90 years actively making films in ten decades 1920's to 2010's. He is the last surviving male star from 1930s Hollywood.

This paint book dates from his juvenile years when Mickey was at the peak of his career. It's a large (10 1/4" x 16") vintage coloring book printed by Merrill Publishing Company, Chicago in 1940, # 3496", with over 30 coloring pages.

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