While it’s been five years to the day that the world lost Hollywood legend Mickey Rooney, his family of course still feels the pain, and one of the actor’s kids, Kelly Rooney, revealed just how much she still misses her dad.
“He was always an inspiration and a magical person in our lives,” the 59-year-old recently told Fox News. “We really loved him and we cherished him. Now growing up, we came to realized that the world loved him too. So we did have to share him with the world.” The film star left behind quite the legacy, having appeared in over 300 films and reeling in four Oscar nominations. Aside from his work, Mickey, who passed at the age of 93, viewed his nine children as the important aspect of his life.
“As we became adults, we understood that was something he was born to do since he was 18 months old,” Kelly explained. “He never really knew anything else. It honestly feels like we lost him yesterday. I miss him very much. We all do.”
The Breakfast at Tiffany’s star was married eight times, first with legendary actress Ava Gardner, and finally with Jan Chamberlin, in a marriage that lasted from 1978 to 2014. And while she was part of a very large family, Kelly, whose mom was the late actress Carolyn Mitchell, did feel a close bond with her father. “As a little girl, I would notice that everyone was always looking — I always thought they were looking at me,” she chuckled. “But eventually, I realized they were really looking at my dad.”
Kelly continued, “So one day I said, ‘Dad, why are people always looking at you?’ He went, ‘Well honey, it’s my work. It’s what I do. I’m in the public eye.’ As a kid, I still didn’t know what he meant. But he was always on television. … And through his films, I could see how much joy he brought to people.” And since Mickey was a big deal in the industry, he even crossed paths with another star: Judy Garland.
“One day, I asked him, ‘Daddy, how come you didn’t marry Judy?’” Kelly recalled asking her father. “He said, “Well Kel, that would be like you marrying your brother. I’ve known her since she was a little girl and she knew me since I was a little boy. We grew up together.’ … Judy was always so kind and gracious. A lot of times, she and dad would get the kids together to go swimming at the beach or ride horses in Malibu.” She added, “They loved each other. And it was a love they grew up having for each other. They were the best of friends.”
The Wizard of Oz actress passed away in 1969, in a moment Kelly revealed was very hard on her father. “I heard my dad on the radio crying and talking about it,” she said. “It was very difficult. When he went to Judy’s funeral, everyone expected him to get up and say this or that. He didn’t. He went up, kissed her coffin and left. He couldn’t handle it. It was really hard on him.”
We will never forget these legends!