*I am proudly showing my age here. Because I can recall growing up to a talented actor who always made me feel good. His mere presence brought a smile to my face. When I saw his movies, I didn’t think about race, financial issues or how crappy a day I may have been having. His work just made me smile.
Which is why it is so very sad to hear that one of my Hollywood idols, Mickey Rooney, suffered elder abuse in his final years…at the hands of his eighth wife, Jan.
Rooney died on April 6, 2014 at the age of 93 and the recent expose by Hollywood Reporter, who later posed their own investigation and gained access to legal docs, witness testimony, and financial records never published before puts him back in the news now.
It also shows Rooney suffered abuse greater than he revealed (scroll down).
No doubt someone, hell-bent on being negative, will dig and find something they will be considered ‘racist’ in Rooney’s past; whether it be something in his work on the “Hardy Boys” films of old or anything else. But let me spare them the effort right now: keep it to yourself.
I’m just not interested.
Elder abuse is real. And it doesn’t consider your race. It is initiated and sustained by thoughtless, careless, greedy individuals. Wolves in sheep’s clothing. And so many people who worked their entire lives, have now lost the ability due to age to be independent and as a result, are vulnerable.
This elderly population may now be in the care of thoughtless, greedy, and uncaring hands of caregivers — at abusive senior care facilities, or even sadder, — at the hands of spouses or their adult children.
The Hollywood Reporter article, “Tears and Terror: The Disturbing Final Years of Mickey Rooney” publishes the disturbing reveal below:
Mickey Rooney shrieks in pain. Is he OK? “No, I’m not,” he says, choking back tears. It’s July 2010, inside The Grill on the Alley in Thousand Oaks, and in the midst of an interview with one of the authors of this piece, the diminutive 89-year-old has been kicked under the table by his eighth wife, Jan, as confirmed by his stepson, Chris Aber, who also is at the table. “She kicked him real hard,” says Chris with a laugh. Rooney’s offense? Rambling in his answers.
This meeting took place because the interviewer (who, as a then-freelance writer, was gathering material for a book) agreed to requirements set forth by Jan and Chris and conveyed to him over the phone by Kevin Pawley, Rooney’s Kentucky-based manager: Bring a check for $200 and slip it to Chris when Rooney wasn’t paying attention (ostensibly because financial transactions make him uncomfortable) and treat the three of them to lunch at the restaurant (Jan later ordered dinners to go for each of them).
A flip cam at the end of the table rolls as Jan, theatrically seeking the source of what caused her husband’s pain, peers under the table for a moment and then turns to Chris and scolds him for confirming, in part, what the general public only would learn later: In his final years, Rooney was the victim of ongoing elder abuse.
Read the rest of this account here.
In the video below, Mickey Rooney addresses the issue of elder abuse.
Even at 90-years-old (when the video was recorded), Rooney appeared emboldened with passion and eloquence as he spoke to the Senate Committee on Aging about elder abuse. While sitting next to an unidentified African American man, who appears to be supporting the legend on some level, and is clearly moved by his words, Rooney makes a personal and clearly emotional statement to the committee saying, “I lost my rights to make even basic, daily decisions.”
And gives a message to elders who happen to be veterans, “You have nothing to be ashamed of!”
Below is Rooney addressing Elder Abuse and the Senate Committee. Then scroll down to see a more recent video of Rooney and wife, Jan, as they appeared at Michael Jackson’s “This Is It!”
Michael would’ve been ‘over the moon’ happy about that.
Video below of Rooney and wife, Jan, at “This Is It!”
Mickey Rooney (Pictured below) in October 2013.
Mr. Rooney, I hope you are resting in peace.