HOLLYWOOD—No one was a star longer than Mickey Rooney. The actor who died on April 6 at the age of 93 lived to entertain. He struggled through most of his years personally and financially, but he kept on going, taking any job he could. Show business was the only business he knew. We all knew Mickey Rooney the actor, however, his personal life never did find its footing.
According to published reports, his fifth wife, Barbara Ann Thomason, was found dead in 1966 in bed with her lover, the result of what was ruled a murder-suicide; his own last years were marked by public and legal fights with a stepson, with Rooney charging elder abuse and financial irregularities. Mickey Rooney has left his modest estate to a stepson who had been caring for him, cutting the rest of his family from his will.
According to documents filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, Rooney signed his final will and trust on March 11. The filing stated his estate is currently worth $18,000. The actor had lost much of his fortune in recent years. Rooney named his stepson Mark Rooney and his wife as the sole beneficiaries of his estate. His will disinherited his eight surviving children, as well as his estranged wife.
Jan Rooney will receive her husband’s Social Security benefits and some of his pension earnings as a result of a previous agreement. It was only three years ago that the Andy Hardy star told a U.S. Senate panel he had been abused by a family member who had taken control of his life. Rooney allegedly filed a restraining order against another stepson, Christopher Aber, claiming financial and emotional abuse. As of press time, plans are still being made for Rooney’s burial and possible tribute.
Unlike Rooney, Barbara Walters, legendary newswoman, announced plans to retire and leave “The View,” on May 16, ABC News reports. ABC will air a two-hour primetime of Walter’s career on May 16, and “The View,” which she co-created in 1997, will celebrate her in the week leading up to her final show. The ABC News Headquarters in New York City will also be named in her honor.
The 84-year-old legend began her national news career on the “Today” show and spent 15 years at NBC before moving to ABC, where she became the first female co-anchor of an evening news program. Walters said in a recent interview that her most important interviews were with Anwar Sadat and Menachem Begin in 1977 and Fidel Castro. Her most watched interview was in 1999 with Monica Lewinsky. Her most flirtatious interview was back in 1982 with Clint Eastwood. I was honored to be invited to attend the pilot for “The View,” back in 1997, with Miss Walters. Her first guest was Lou Diamond Phillips.
Life’s too short for squabbling. Try telling that to Kiss members past and present over the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s decision to only induct the band’s four original members. Just when you thought that the induction ceremony couldn’t get any more bizarre and awkward. In Paul Stanley’s new memoir, “Face The Music: A Life Exposed” obtained by the New York Post, it accuses former band mates Ace Frehley and Peter Criss of being anti- Semitic, and rehashes old grudges against Gene Simmons, who like Stanley is Jewish. The Hall of Fame wanted to reunite the four members for a performance at the induction ceremony on April 10, but Stanley and Simmons nixed the idea, saying they couldn’t ensure a quality show.
Rose’s Scoop: Boomtown Rats singer and Live Aid founder Bob Geldof‘s, daughter Peaches Geldof, 25, was found dead on April 7 in her home in Kent. British police tell the BBC, that she died from “unexplained and sudden” circumstances.