Mickey Rooney Jr., Original Mouseketeer and Oldest Son of Mickey Rooney, Dead at 77

by Samantha Whidden

Mickey Rooney Jr., an original Mouseketeer, musician, and the oldest son of acting legend Mickey Rooney, is reportedly dead at the age of 77.  

According to Variety, Mickey Rooney Jr. died on Saturday (July 16th) at his home in Glendale Arizona. In a post on Facebook, a friend of Rooney Jr. and actor Paul Petersen revealed more details about his friend’s passing. 

“For the past many years, he lived with and was in the care of Chrissie Brown and her family,” Petersen wrote about Mickey Rooney Jr. “I first met Mickey, the oldest of nine siblings sired by his famous father, when he and [his brother] Timmy [Rooney] were hired by Disney to be Mouseketeer’s in 1955.”

Petersen also described Rooney Jr. as being both tall and talented. “He could sing, dance, and act… and get in trouble. We were fired for Conduct Unbecoming a Mouse! Mickey Junior was the personification of ‘damaged goods.’ He gave all he could.”

Petersen went on to proclaim that he was “born” on the same day as Rooney Jr.’s father and “The Mic” gave him the most useful advice he ever received. “It is one of my greatest sorrows that he didn’t do the same thing for his son. Mickey Rooney Junior. Rest In Peace at last. We will see to your wishes.”

Although he is best known for his musical talent, Mickey Rooney Jr. was a Mouseketeer from 1955 to 1957. From there, he appeared in the TV series “I’ve Got a Secret.”  He also had roles in various films, including “Songwriter,” “Honeysuckle Rose,” “Beyond the Bermuda Triangle,” and “Hot Rods to Hell.”

Petersen also shared a GoFundMe campaign for A Minor Consideration. It is notably a foundation created to provide guidance and support for young performers, past, present, and future.

Mickey Rooney Jr. Opened Up About What Drew Him to Music, to Begin With

The Hollywood Reporter reports that during a 2001 interview with Riverside Press-Enterprise, Mickey Rooney Jr. spoke about how he became interested in music, to begin with. “When I was 11 years old, [my grandmother] asked if I would like her to show me some [ukulele] chords. I could play the chords she showed me. I put those chords to use on a classic guitar, and I was hooked.”

The Hollywood Reporter further revealed that Rooney Jr. played in bands with Willie Nelson as well. His long-time companion, Chrissie Brown, confirmed to the media outlet, that Rooney Jr. had passed away. The cause of death remains unknown. However, she did say that Rooney Jr. overcame drug and alcohol problems that plagued him earlier in life. He also stopped smoking. “He was a wonderful man,” she stated. “The last 18 years with me and my family, he’s been an angel.”