Mickey Rooney's Daughter Shares Fond Memories Of Her Late Dad: "He Was A Magical Person In Our Lives"

April 9, 2019 16:03

Mickey Rooney’s passing felt like the end of an era. At the time of his death in 2014, the 93-year-old actor and comedian had appeared in more than 300 films, making him one of the most prolific Hollywood actors that ever lived.

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Mickey brought smiles to millions of fans, and they still cherish his vast legacy. Like most of those who knew him personally, his daughter Kelly Rooney also remembers him fondly and wants the world to know that he wasn’t just a great actor – he was also a loving and caring dad.

Kelly Rooney remembers her late father

Kelly Rooney still finds it hard to come to terms with her dad’s passing. She choked up when she said in an interview with Fox News about her late father:

He was always an inspiration and a magical person in our lives. 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.

Kelly and Mickey were always close, but especially so after a terrible tragedy happened when Kelly was only 7. Her mom, aspiring actress Barbara Thomason, was killed in 1966 by Mickey's friend who had become obsessed with Barbara and took her life out of jealousy.

Although Mickey remarried after that, Barbara remained the love of his life and he thought about her all the time. Kelly recalled a heartbreaking call her father gave her many years later:

My dad called me in 1992 and said, ‘Kel, I want you to hear something. I have to apologize to you because I couldn’t save her. And I’m so sorry.’

I know he carried around a big bag of guilt about that.

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Kelly also recalled how she wasn’t aware that her dad was a celebrity until she was about eleven:

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.

Mickey’s love of acting kept him going for years, right until his passing. He shot his final scene in his last film, Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb, just weeks before he died.

Kelly was fascinated by her father’s limitless passion for his profession. He simply couldn’t live without it, she remembered:

He loved to be imaginary and to have fun. To him, acting was fun. It was a job. It was time to play. And he just loved it. He thrived in it. He would step back for a minute, but he always wanted to jump right in.

Sadly, Kelly didn’t see her dad much in his final years, as his caretakers tried to prevent him from seeing all of his children and reportedly swindled him out of nearly all of his money. Still, Kelly would sneak in unannounced visits and her last memories of dad are as fond as others.

In conclusion, Kelly added she is happy that she looks like dad a lot:

People would always say, ‘You look just like your dad.’ I heard that my whole life. But it’s a real honor to look like my dad. When I was a little girl growing up, I didn’t know if I liked it too much. But I like it now. And I’m just grateful we had such a wonderful dad.