Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Mickey Rooney: Michael Jackson Used to Sing to Me Over the Phone

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Mickey Rooney called me on Monday night with his talented wife, Jan. I was thrilled to hear from them. I told them I was worried this year because I hadn’t seen them at the Oscars. Our meetings on the red carpet are a tradition.

“We were there!” Mickey and Jan said in unison. “We missed you, too!” They’ve been touring, doing their musical sketch show everywhere.

Do you understand that Mickey will turn 90 in September? He is the elder statesman of Hollywood. When Mickey was a kid, he was Justins Bieber and Timberlake, Michael J. Fox, and a little David Spade all rolled into one. He was Warren Beatty before there was Warren Beatty. I mean, the boy got around!

So Mickey wanted me to tell everyone that at Saturday’s Michael Jackson event at the Bev Hilton, it was his devoted Jan who knocked everyone out. “I just introduced her. She sang “You Are Not Alone,” Michael’s song, and Charlie Chaplin‘s “Smile.”

Jan said: “You know, Michael used to call us up and sing with us on the phone.” She got a little teary. “His death is such a tragedy.”

The Rooneys are busy, busy. They were recently guests at an intimate dinner thrown for them by Steven Spielberg and Kate Capshaw. The other guests were J.J. Abrams and his wife, Katie.

In the last week, they were also part of a surprise birthday for 50s bombshell and Howard Hughes hottie Jane Russell. The other guests included Esther Williams and Debbie Reynolds. According to the imdb.com, Russell just turned 89 on June 21st. God bless them all, having surprise parties! How cool is that?

Here’s Mickey as Andy Hardy with Judy Garland. There’s nothing like it:

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedmanhttps://www.showbiz411.com
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.
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