Los Angeles Times
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Jan & Mickey Rooney
Known for his portrayal of Andy Hardy in "A Family Affair" and for his roles alongside actress Judy Garland, Mickey Rooney's historic show business career has also paired him with another unique performer: his wife Jan.
Mickey first met Jan when she was singing with his son, Mickey Jr. Mickey and Jan were married in August 1978 — Jan was 38, Mickey 57 — and their marriage has lasted longer than any of Mickey's six previous marriages.
The couple has performed together at cabarets and on singing tours. They've acted together in films and commercials.
Mickey had already enjoyed major Hollywood stardom in the years before his marriage to Jan. Born Joseph Yule Jr. in 1920 in Brooklyn, Mickey acted in his first film at age 7. He starred in the 1938 film "Boys Town" and became one of the most popular film actors from 1938-41. Later, he transitioned to stage and television.
Mickey has won an Academy Award for lifetime achievement, and a Golden Globe and Emmy for his 1981 performance in "Bill."
He endured problems with alcohol and gambling and suffered multiple bankruptcies, but his celebrity never faded.
Janet Chamberlain was born in Los Angeles in 1939. She was working as a professional singer and songwriter when she met Mickey. She had also acted in a few television shows. Mickey wrote his 1991 autobiography "Life Is Too Short" for Jan.
In a 1991 Los Angeles Times article, Mickey and Jan spoke about their marriage.
"I've put my wife through some doozies, and the fault is mine alone," Mickey said. "The pitfalls in marriage come from not paying attention to what needs paying attention to. Things you think will make you happy don't." Jan was sympathetic.
"He's a charmer and has chased lots of women — but he's going to get it right, now," she said.
Points of interest
|1939||Best Actor||Babes in Arms||Nomination|
|1943||Best Actor||The Human Comedy||Nomination|
|1956||Best Supporting Actor||The Bold and the Brave||Nomination|
|1979||Best Supporting Actor||The Black Stallion||Nomination|