Sunday, April 06, 2014

R.I.P. Mickey Rooney (1920-2014)

In the wake of Mickey Rooney's death Sunday at age 93, much will be written -- and should be written -- about his glory days at MGM, his multiple co-star pairings with Judy Garland, and his lengthy run in the once-popular Andy Hardy franchise. But, truth to tell, I will continue to remember Rooney best for two of his finest achievements as a character actor: His brutally effective turn as the title character in Don Siegel's gritty gangster biopic Baby Face Nelson (1957), and his hilarious portrayal of a pompous retired movie star who makes the wrong people nervous when he announces plans to pen a tell-all autobiography with the help of a ghost writer (Michael Caine) in Mike Hodges' comedy-drama Pulp (1972).

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