Hollywood legend Mickey Rooney – who twice appeared in panto at Milton Keynes Theatre – has died at the age of 93.
Rooney’s career spanned more than 80 years, and he was one of the last surviving actors whose career began in the silent film era.
But for Milton Keynes theatre-goers he may be best-remembered for his performance in 2009 as Baron Hardup in a production of Cinderella.
Mickey Rooney’s first stage performance was in a theatre production alongside his parents when he was just 17 months old. He literally grew up in Hollywood, and was the title star in 78 of the Mickey McGuire films of the 1920s and 30s.
He grew up from a child star to entertaining the troops during the Second World War, before getting his own television show, producing and directing, and continuing to be one of the world’s most famous actors.
His last work included an appearance in The Muppets film in 2001, and a brief cameo in Night At The Museum 3 which is due for release later this year.
He died on Sunday at his Hollywood home, surrounded by his family. He is survived by his wife of 37 years Jan, eight children, two stepchildren, 19 grandchildren and several great-grandchildren.
Mike Keane, general manager at Milton Keynes Theatre, said: “The staff at Milton Keynes Theatre and I were very saddened to hear the news that Mickey Rooney passed away this morning. Mickey starred in our 2009 pantomime Cinderella playing Baron Hardup, and we consider ourselves very privileged to witness a Hollywood legend such as he on our stage doing what he loved best – entertaining an adoring audience.
“His indomitable spirit was an inspiration to all – at 89 years old he never missed a single performance, which some actors half his age would struggle to do! He will be greatly missed and our thoughts are with his family at this time.”