Rooney made his acting debut in his parents' vaudeville show when he was just 15 months old, and he filmed his first movie role at age six. Starring in popular films like Hardy Family series, he would go on to become one of the most popular movie stars of the 1930s and 40s, and he was voted America's number one box office draw in 1939, 1940, and 1941
His career hit a rut after World War II, when the diminutive actor—he stood just over five feet— had trouble finding work and was limited to minor film roles and parts in TV movies. His personal life also deteriorated; by the time he was 40 he'd burned through more than $12 million dollars on an extravagant lifestyle, which included gambling and alcohol addictions. He was also married eight times.
By the 1970s, Rooney's personal life had settled—he gave up drinking, became a born-again Christian, and married country singer Jan Chamberlin, his eighth and final wife. His career also experienced a resurgence, in large part because of his 1979 Broadway debut in "Sugar Babies," which, including tours, went on to run for seven years. He received an honorary Oscar in 1982, and continued acting until the end of his life, with notable roles in 2006's A Night at the Museum and 2011's The Muppets. Earlier this year, he filmed a small role for a movie and, according to IMDB, was scheduled to act in two others.
In total, he starred in more than 300 movies and TV shows over his 91-year career. He had nine children and is survived by his wife, Jan Chamberlin.
[Image via AP]