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Mickey Rooney Jr., legendary actor’s son Mouseketeer, dead at 77

Mickey Rooney Jr. — the son of screen icon Mickey Rooney — has died. He was 77.

Rooney Jr. was the “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” star’s first of nine children and passed away on Saturday.

His longtime partner, Chrissie Brown, confirmed the news to the Hollywood Reporter. She noted that the musician died from unknown causes at his home in Glendale, Arizona.

Rooney Jr. was an original Mouseketeer who appeared on Disney’s “Mickey Mouse Club” in 1955 alongside his brother Tim.

He also was a born-again Christian, according to the Riverside Press-Enterprise, and performed in bands with singer Willie Nelson.

The Birmingham, Alabama, native appeared alongside Nelson on the silver screen in 1980’s “Honeysuckle Rose” and 1984’s “Songwriter.” His first film role was in the 1966 movie “Hot Rods to Hell.”

His former “Mickey Mouse Club” castmate Paul Peterson penned a tribute to Rooney Jr. on Facebook over the weekend.

SHINDIG - Airdate: December 16, 1965. (Photo by ABC Photo Archives/Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty Images)
Mickey Rooney Jr., left, and English singer Adam Faith in December 1965.
Disney General Entertainment Con

“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,” Peterson began.

“Mickey Junior was tall and talented. He could sing, dance and act … and get in trouble,” he joked of the fact that they were let go from the show after several episodes. “We three were fired for Conduct Unbecoming a Mouse!”

(Original Caption) Hollywood: A Young Man With A Horse. Actor Mickey Rooney enjoys a visit with his son, Mickey, Jr., 2, on the set of his latest picture. The youngster flashes his best smile for the photographer as he sits astride a toy horse.
A 2-year old Rooney Jr. enjoys a ride on a toy horse as his father looks on while on a set in 1947.
Bettmann Archive

Peterson then described how Rooney Jr. 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,” he concluded.

Rooney Jr.’s mother was the Andy Hardy legend’s second wife, Betty Jane Baker.

Unspecified - 1964: (L-R) Mickey Rooney Jr, Mickey Rooney, Tim Rooney, behind the scenes on the Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty Images sitcom 'Mickey'. (Photo by Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty Images)
Mickey Rooney and his sons — Mickey Jr. and Tim Rooney — in 1964.
Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty Images

The elder Rooney died in 2014 due to natural causes at the age of 93.

Rooney Jr. was previously married to Laura Hollander in 1986 and they were together until her death in 2006. Before that, he was married to Playboy Playmate of the Month Merci Montello from 1967 to 1986.

Rooney Jr. always had a passion for music and revealed in the Riverside Press-Enterprise interview that he plays the guitar, keyboard, bass and drums, not to mention the harmonica.

“My grandmother, Nanny Rase, had a ukulele,” he told the newspaper at the time. “When I was 11 years old, she asked if I would like her to show me some chords. I could play the chords she showed me. I put those chords to use on a classical guitar, and I was hooked.”

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