Here’s Mickey

NO, THAT’S NOT MICKEY MOUSE, he would come much later.

When he was fourteen months old, unknown to everyone, he crawled onstage wearing overalls and a little harmonica around his neck. He sneezed and his father, Joe Sr., grabbed him up, introducing him to the audience as Sonny Yule. He felt the spotlight on him and described it as his mother’s womb. From that moment on, the stage was his home.

He was a natural Performer, from the beginning.

“One of the most enduring performers in show business, he made his debut on the vaudeville stage in 1922 as a toddler and toured into his late 80s in a two-person stage show with Jan Chamberlin, his eighth wife.  He lived so long, the tireless last surviving star of Hollywood’s 1930s Golden Age, a performer always ready to make an appearance when there was a crowd waiting to applaud.”

In Memoriam

Mickey Rooney, Performer Artisan, (September 23, 1920 – April 6, 2014) was born Joseph Yule, Jr. in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. His father, Joe Yule (born Ninnian Joseph Ewell), was from Glasgow, Scotland, and his mother, Nellie W. (née Carter), was from Kansas City, Missouri. Both of his parents were in vaudeville, appearing in a Brooklyn production of A Gaiety Girl when Joseph, Jr. was born. He began performing at the age of 17 months as part of his parents’ routine, wearing a specially tailored tuxedo. [Wikipedia, revised]

His breakthrough role — and the one that would go on to define his career — was the feisty all-American teen Andy Hardy in a string of popular MGM films beginning with “A Family Affair.” Over the course of 15 features, the series focused on the romantic mishaps of Rooney’s boy-next-door character and presented an idealized portrait of American family life. Rooney’s costars included many of MGM’s top young female talents, including Judy Garland, with whom he would star in several musicals, Lana Turner and Esther Williams. Rooney became an MGM standard, a success vehicle noted for his ability to act, sing, dance, clown, and play various musical instruments, most of which he did with apparent ease and raw talent.

Performers have the special ability, even among the Artisans, to delight those around them with their warmth, their good humor, and with their often extraordinary skills in music, comedy, and drama. Whether on the job, with friends, or with their families, Performers are exciting and full of fun, and their great social interest lies in stimulating those around them to take a break from work and worry, to lighten up and enjoy life.

Performers are the people for whom it can truly be said “all the world’s a stage.” Born entertainers, they love the excitement of playing to an audience, and will quickly become the center of attention wherever they are. Performers aren’t comfortable being alone, and seek the company of others whenever possible — which they usually find, for they make wonderful playmates. Performers are smooth, talkative, and witty; they always seem to know the latest jokes and stories, and are quick with wisecracks and wordplay-nothing is so serious or sacred that it can’t be made fun of. Performers also like to live in the fast lane, and seem up on the latest fashions of dress, food, drink, and music. Lively and uninhibited, Performers are the life of the party, always trying to create in those around them a mood of eat, drink, and be merry. [Please Understand Me II]

Film historian, Jeanine Basinger said of Rooney:

“Rooney’s abundant talent, like his film image, might seem like a metaphor for America: a seemingly endless supply of natural resources that could never dry up, but which, it turned out, could be ruined by excessive use and abuse, by arrogance or power, and which had to be carefully tended to be returned to full capacity. From child star to character actor, from movie shorts to television specials, and from films to Broadway, Rooney ultimately did prove he could do it all, do it well, and keep on doing it. His is a unique career, both for its versatility and its longevity.”

openquoteI don’t regret anything I’ve ever done. I only wish I could have done more.closedquote — Mickey Rooney

Other Performer Artisans include:  Sid CaesarSteve MartinBrittney GrinerJanis JoplinGene KrupaLouis ArmstrongAlex KarrasKim Jong UnPhyllis DillerJim CramerMagic JohnsonJosephine BakerWhitney HoustonMarilyn MonroeMichael Jackson and Elvis Presley.

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