The UGA Performing Arts Center opens the 2007-2008 season with the legendary Mickey Rooney on Oct. 5 at 8 p.m. in Hodgson Concert Hall. The Oscar-winning star of stage and screen will celebrate 80 years in show business with Let’s Put on a Show!, a performance with his wife, Jan. Tickets are $31 and $36 (half price for UGA students with valid ID). Discounts are available for groups.
Rooney was born Joe Yule Jr. on Sept. 23, 1920, in Brooklyn, son of well-known performers Joe Yule and Nell Carter. The consummate performer, he made his first stage appearance at the age of 1 when he crawled out on stage during his parents’ vaudeville act. At age 4 he made his motion picture debut in Not to Be Trusted.
In the 1930s, Rooney signed with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer for whom he made the famous Andy Hardy series. Box office receipts for 1938-1940 made him the number one star in the world. In 1939, he received a special Academy Award for the film Boy’s Town with Spencer Tracy and for his work in the Andy Hardy series. This was also the year he made his first major musical Babes in Arms, with Judy Garland, which earned him an Academy Award nomination as best actor.
Rooney also has enjoyed a successful career in television, appearing in many classic dramas as well as starring in a number of TV series. In 1982, he portrayed Bill Sechter in the television film Bill and received an Emmy, a Golden Globe and a Peabody Award for his performance. He has achieved fame on stage as well, including his Tony-nominated starring role in Sugar Babies, which ran successfully on Broadway for three years and had a record-breaking eight-year run on the road.
A native of Hollywood, Jan Rooney made her first recording, Sioux City Sue, when she was only 3. She has appeared on stage and screen and has performed in concerts around the world. She has been married to Mickey Rooney for more than 25 years.