Mickey Rooney’s eldest son Mickey Rooney Jr has died aged 77.
One of the original Mouseketeers in the ‘The Mickey Mouse Club’, he passed away at his home on Saturday in Glendal, Arizona.
His long-time actor friend Paul Petersen – who appeared with Mickey Jr on the first season of ‘The Mickey Mouse Club’ – confirmed the news on Facebook, paying tribute to Mickey Jr’s multi-talented character.
He said: “Mickey Rooney, Jr peacefully passed away this morning in Arizona.
“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!”
He went on: “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.”
Mickey Jr’s long term companion Chrissie Brown also confirmed the news of his death to The Hollywood Reporter but did not provide a cause of death.
She said: “He was a wonderful man. The last 18 years with me and my family, he’s been an angel.”
The actor’s dad was the top box-office draw from 1939 to 1941, and one of the best-paid actors of the period’s silent-film era.
Best-known for his role in ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’, Mickey Sr died in 2014 aged 93.
Mickey Jr and his brother Tim were hired as backup cast members on ABC’s ‘The Mickey Mouse Club’ in 1955.
He worked on several shows before they were fired after mischief in the Disney paint department.
Ronney Jr later appeared in the 1975 television film ‘Beyond the Bermuda Triangle’ and 1980 film ‘Honeysuckle Rose’.
He also recorded songs including ‘The Wandering Wind’, ‘The Choice is Yours’ and ‘It Certainly Ain’t a Nice Thing’, and worked with Willie Nelson.
His first marriage was in 1972 to ex-Playboy Playmate Merci Montello, now 72.
He met Laura Hollander in 1986 and they married that year, before he settled down with singer Chrissie in 2004.