'Greatest ever' Hollywood star Mickey Rooney dies at 93

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'Greatest ever' Hollywood star Mickey Rooney dies at 93

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The actor Mickey Rooney, once America’s biggest – some say best ever film star – has died at the age of 93.

Authorities in Los Angeles said he died at home on Sunday of natural causes.

Rooney first shot to fame as a child actor and went on to have a career spanning eight decades.

Under two-years-old when he began performing, he later developed a repertoire that included dancing and telling jokes.

The actor’s energy, diminutive size and cute appeal helped gain him roles in a series of films that gave Americans some respite from the Great Depression in the 1930s.

He was married eight times – including to Ava Gardner – and had a reputation for partying.

Despite earning millions, by the 1960s Rooney was bankrupt – but then he embarked on a successful career as a character actor, working until well into his eighties.

“He was undoubtedly the most talented actor that ever lived. There was nothing he could not do,” actress Margaret O’Brien said in a statement.

She said she had worked recently with Rooney on a film, “The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr. Hyde,” and he “was as great as ever” during the filming.