Rooney’s career was nearly unbelievable.
The diminutive actor began his career in the 1920’s and spent the 30’s and 40’s as Hollywood’s number one box office draw.
His parents were vaudeville performers and that sent him into a career raced from silent films all the way through the yet to be released “Night at the Museum 3.”
In between Rooney was nominated for the Academy Award, the Tony Award and won an Emmy.
Rooney was as prolific at the alter as he was at the box office. He was married eight times, including one pairing with Hollywood bombshell Ava Gardner.
Even though it lasted only a year, Rooney later said, "I'm 5 feet 3, but I was 6 feet 4 when I married Ava."
Rooney had several business troubles and lost his fortune on more than one occasion.
But in 2008 Rooney told the Associated Press that wasn’t the main reason he continued working so late in his life.
"I always say, 'don’t retire, inspire,'" Rooney smiled. There's a lot to be done."