Mickey Rooney Jr., Mouseketeer and Actor, Dies at 77

Mickey Rooney, Jr., the eldest son of Hollywood icon Mickey Rooney, has passed away. He was 77 years old. During his career, Mickey, Jr. was an original Mouseketeer on the Mickey Mouse Club (although that gig didn't last long). He was also an actor and a member of Willie Nelson's band. The announcement came from Paul Petersen, a former child actor and founder of A Minor Consideration, an advocacy group that helps former child stars. 

He appeared in the feature film Hot Rod To Hell and the TV movie Beyond the Bermuda Triangle after the end of his time with Disney. Much of his success was driven by his music career and his own persona, with most of his IMDb credits being as "himself."

Rooney Jr. formed a band with brother Tim in the 1960s, and around that time, he appeared on the TV music show Shindig! After his time with Nelson, he appeared in Nelson's 1980 movie Honeysuckle Rose, as well as a 1984 movie called Songwriter.

"Mickey Rooney, Jr peacefully passed away this morning in Arizona," Peterson posted to Facebook. "For the past many years, he lived with and was in the care of Chrissie Brown and her family. 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. Mickey Junior was tall and talented. He could sing, dance and act...and get in trouble. We three were fired for Conduct Unbecoming a Mouse!

"Mickey Junior 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."

Rooney Jr. is survived by companion Chrissie Brown, per Deadline. Our condolences go out to Mr. Rooney's friends, family, fans, and collaborators during this difficult time.