There aren't many genuine Hollywood legends left and we've just lost another one with the passing of Mickey Rooney at the age of 93. Among the many reports on the TV and Radio this morning I heard an interview with Rooney in which the actor said that Walt Disney had named Mickey Mouse after him. Apparently the pair had been at dinner and Disney had told Rooney that he was naming his new cartoon creation after the diminutive actor. An Internet search comes up with many websites that debunk the Rooney/Mickey story as an urban myth and yet the BBC today played an interview in which Rooney made the claim himself. The actor said that Disney told him he was naming the mouse after him when they were having lunch one afternoon and Rooney claimed to have replied, - 'That's great but I'm just going to get a cheese sandwich.'
Truth or myth invented by Rooney it doesn't really matter, because the actor's legendary status is not formed on his possible link to the cartoon mouse but on a film career that lasted more than 80 years. The actor made his first film appearance before he was 10 years old and never really retired.
Rooney had ten children, five sons and five daughters and leaves behind a massive celluloid legacy.