Early Life and Career
Teddy Rooney was born in Los Angeles on April 13, 1957, as Theodore Michael Rooney. He was the son of legendary actor Mickey Rooney and his third wife, model and actress Martha Vickers. He had two older brothers, Mickey Jr. and Tim, from his father’s previous marriage to Betty Jane Rase.
Teddy Rooney followed his parents’ footsteps and became a child actor in the 1950s and 1960s. He appeared with his father as the son of his dad’s iconic character Andy Hardy in the movie Andy Hardy Comes Home (1958) and on a TV episode of General Electric Theater (1960). He also acted alongside his mother on a TV episode of Playhouse 90 (1957).
He starred in several other films and TV shows, such as It Happened to Jane (1959) with Doris Day and Jack Lemmon, Seven Ways From Sundown (1960) with Audie Murphy, Shirley Temple’s Storybook, Wagon Train, The Rifleman, Lassie and McHale’s Navy.
Music and Military Service
In the early 1960s, Teddy Rooney left acting to pursue a career as a musician. He played bass and sang with his brothers Mickey Jr. and Tim in the Columbia Records act The Rooney Brothers, which performed folk and pop songs. He also joined the garage band The Yellow Payges, which had a hit single with “Vanilla on My Mind” in 1967.
He later served in the Vietnam War as a radio operator. He returned to the US in 1971 and continued to play music with various bands.
Personal Life and Death
Teddy Rooney married Carol Lynn Robb in 1975. They had two children, Shannon and Dominique. They lived in Southern California, where Teddy worked as a construction contractor.
He suffered from a long illness and died on July 2, 2023, at a convalescent home in Southern California. He was 66 years old. His sister Kelly confirmed his death to The Hollywood Reporter.
He was survived by his wife, children, sister, brothers and several nieces and nephews. His father Mickey Rooney had died in 2014 at the age of 93.
Teddy Rooney was remembered as a talented actor and musician who had a brief but memorable career in Hollywood. He was also praised for his service to his country during the Vietnam War.
He was part of the Rooney family legacy, which spanned four generations of actors and entertainers. His grandfather Joe Yule Sr. was a vaudeville performer, his father Mickey Rooney was one of the most popular stars of the 20th century, his brother Mickey Jr. was a singer and actor, and his nephew Mickey Deans was a musician and producer.
He was also related to other famous actors through his mother Martha Vickers, who was the niece of actress Ann Rutherford and the cousin of actress Gloria Grahame.
Teddy Rooney’s life and work were celebrated by his fans and peers on social media and in the media. He was described as a kind, generous and humble person who loved his family and friends.
According to TV Guide, he was “a musician as well as an actor”. According to The Hollywood Reporter, he was “an actor, musician and a son of the late Mickey Rooney”. According to Entertainment Tonight, he was “a former child star and son of Mickey Rooney”.