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Mickey Rooney's will details final wishes

Apr 8, 9:37 PM EDT



LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Mickey Rooney signed his last will just weeks before death, leaving a modest estate to a stepson who had been his caretaker, but the actor had no intention of ending his Hollywood career anytime soon, his attorney said Tuesday.

Rooney's death Sunday occurred after the actor began to have difficulty breathing during an afternoon nap, attorney Michael Augustine said. The actor had been in good spirits and was looking forward to continuing to appear in movies after filming a scene for the upcoming installment of the "Night at the Museum" franchise.

Augustine said Rooney, 93, passed a physical required before he could start filming and his death was due to natural causes, including complications related to diabetes.

Police and coroner's officials were informed of Rooney's death but said no investigation of it was necessary.

Rooney's will was filed in Los Angeles Superior Court on Tuesday. It was signed by Rooney on March 11 and called for his stepson Mark Rooney and his wife to be the sole beneficiaries of the actor's estate, which is valued at only $18,000.

The actor designated Augustine to serve as the executor of his estate, stating that he did not want any relative handling his final affairs.

Despite a show business career spanning more than 80 years, Rooney said he had lost most of his fortune because of elder abuse and financial mismanagement by another one of his stepsons. Augustine said despite an agreement for millions to be repaid to the actor, it was unlikely the estate could ever collect on the judgment.

Rooney's will disinherited the actor's 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; Augustine said Rooney felt that provided adequate care for her. He said Rooney's children were in better financial situations than the actor, so he felt it was appropriate to leave Mark Rooney all he had left.

The star of the "Andy Hardy" films and Hollywood's highest paid actor in the late 1930s and early 1940s, Rooney was a product of the industry's old studio system and was not entitled to hefty royalty payments, Augustine said.

Plans are still being made for Rooney's burial and a possible tribute, Augustine said. An agreement was reached Tuesday not to move the actor's body from a mortuary until a court hearing Friday that may help determine where he is laid to rest.

Augustine said that while Rooney has a burial plot in Westlake Village, northwest of Los Angeles, the actor had said recently he wanted to be buried in Hollywood or a veteran's cemetery.

"We were going to buy plots," Augustine said, but the actor "didn't have any money."

He said the family would like to have a small private service, but hopes that a larger celebration of Rooney's life and career can be arranged with help from film companies.


Anthony McCartney can be reached at HTTP://TWITTER.COM/MCCARTNEYAP .


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leemedic24 April 09 2014 at 1:47 PM

so many actors from the great era of the 30's, 40's and 50's.. their lives end on these depressing notes. one of the stars from today who get royalties and make mega bucks should step up and help this veteran, and beloved american icon.. rest in peace! people like Mickey paved the way for the riches that hollywood starts enjoy today.

Flag Reply +6 rate up
hyperstan April 09 2014 at 2:23 PM

That's nice. Let's see- 15,000 for funeral expenses... Well, that will leave them few bucks for a nice dinner and a decent restaurant in town. RIP, Mickey.

Flag Reply +5 rate up
Nadia310 April 09 2014 at 2:26 PM

Who cares what his estate was worth. God bless him for living long enough to enjoy his hard earned money.

Flag Reply +11 rate up
lpengrg April 09 2014 at 2:27 PM

That's the way to go, enough left in the estate for funeral expenses. You earned it, you spend it, enjoy it, and die broke.

Flag Reply +7 rate up
2 replies
zzyxx lpengrg April 09 2014 at 2:35 PM

that is fantastic financial planning.....isn/t it!

Flag Reply +1 rate up
1 reply
nan_huey zzyxx April 09 2014 at 2:50 PM

millions of his money was embezzeled by his family member who was supposed to be caring for him. Mickey testified before congress about elder abuse because of the neglect and the money he was robbed of

Flag +1 rate up
nan_huey lpengrg April 09 2014 at 2:49 PM

he didnt blow his money, it was embezzeled by his step son

Flag Reply +2 rate up
irmde1 April 09 2014 at 2:31 PM

Wonderful entertainer. Sorry to hear about finances. RIP Andy Hardy....

Flag Reply +1 rate up
brentsprag April 09 2014 at 2:35 PM

I will never forget the first time I watched Mickey Rooney in "Father Flanigan's Boys Town"
When he was showing off to PeeWee and flipped over to stand on his own ear-It was a priceless bit of physical comedy!

Flag Reply +1 rate up
zzyxx April 09 2014 at 2:35 PM

thanks mick......rip.

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mlock2354 April 09 2014 at 2:39 PM

My dad was his age abd passed in 2006, Micky was always his favorite actor. Thanks for your service during WWll and all the great enterainment all these years. How of todays stars will be still working at 92?

Flag Reply +1 rate up
dnorby116 April 09 2014 at 2:39 PM

So Sad to hear that. Remember him in a lot of films

Flag Reply +1 rate up
Easy Does It April 09 2014 at 2:43 PM

R.I.P. Mick

Flag Reply +2 rate up
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