Mickey Rooney Jr., an original Mouseketeer, musician, actor and first child of Mickey Rooney, has died at 77.
His longtime friend Paul Petersen shared the news on Facebook, writing: “Mickey Rooney, Jr peacefully passed away this morning in Arizona. For the past many years, he lived with and was in the care of Chrissie Brown and her family.
“I first met Mickey, the oldest of nine siblings sired by his famous father when he and Timmy were hired by Disney to be Mouseketeers in 1955. Mickey Junior was tall and talented. He could sing, dance and act…and get in trouble. We three were fired for Conduct Unbecoming a Mouse!
“Mickey Junior was the personification of ‘damaged goods.’ He gave all he could.
“I was born on the same day as Mickey’s father and ‘The Mic’ gave me, unsolicited mind you, the most useful advice I ever got. It is one of my greatest sorrows that he didn’t do the same for his son.
“Mickey Rooney Junior. Rest In Peace at last. We will see to your wishes.”
In 1955, Rooney landed a job on The Mickey Mouse Club with his brother Tim, but they only worked on the show for a short time before being fired. Rooney went on to make a name for himself through his music career.
He played guitar, keyboard, bass, drums and harmonica. In the 1960s, he recorded songs including ‘The Wandering Wind,’ ‘The Choice Is Yours’ and ‘It Certainly Ain’t a Nice Thing.’ He had also appeared on the ABC music show ‘Shindig!’ and played in a band with brothers Tim and Teddy.