SCHENECTADY, N.Y. – Legendary actor Mickey Rooney hit the stage at Proctor’s Theatre. He passed away April 6 at the age of 93.
Rooney was in the 1985 stage production of Sugar Babies. Carol Bradshaw, historian of vaudeville, burlesque and early Broadway, recalled Rooney's influence as an MGM contract player.
"I have to say that Mickey was absolutely essential in creating MGM to be the blockbuster studio," she said. "He probably is the most important star of the Twentieth Century, and he is instrumental in making Hollywood and MGM the studio that it turned out to be."
The 5 foot 2 inch Rooney became famous for his portrayals of the coming-of-age adolescents such as Whitey Marsh in "Boys Town" opposite Spencer Tracy and as the titular character Andy Hardy in numerous films, three opposite Judy Garland.
"If you look at his films with Judy Garland, he's always waving the American flag and singing about America," Bradshaw said. "I think we're going to miss this man that served us with so much talent."