Life Is Too Short

(Critical Survey of Contemporary Fiction)

LIFE IS TOO SHORT details Mickey Rooney’s extensive entertainment career. His early success on stage as an infant developed into a film career, initially with sporadic silent film appearances. Gaining recognition as a child actor, Rooney joined MGM as a teen, distinguishing himself as a professional with the Andy Hardy series and his musical teamwork with Judy Garland.

After service with the Army during World War II, Rooney’s return to the States was marred by personal and professional failure, characterized by bouts of unemployment and a succession of marriages. He struggled with a nearly ruinous drug problem; one of his estranged wives, Barbara Thomason, was murdered. Nevertheless, Rooney rebounded with numerous film and stage successes, including SUGAR BABIES and THE BLACK STALLION, and his eighth marriage, to country and western singer Jan Chamberlin.

Although Mickey Rooney will be remembered on the strength of his performances rather than his writing, LIFE IS TOO SHORT remains a compelling read. His candid depiction of Hollywood’s opulence and decadence is supported by fascinating portraits of Clark Gable, Spencer Tracy, Charlie Chaplin, Eva Gardner, Judy Garland, and other cinematic legends. Rooney’s equally frank philosophical discourses and personal reflections create an autobiography that is uniquely his own.