Full Obit on Washington Post
Mr. Rooney, once among the world’s top box-office stars, could sing, dance, play drums and do pratfalls and impersonations. He began his career at 15 months in his parents' vaudeville act and never really retired.
He was often paired with Garland — considered his equal in charisma and ability — in top-quality musicals such as “Babes in Arms” (1939) and “Girl Crazy” (1943). In addition, he was powerful in dramas including “Boys Town” (1938), portraying a juvenile delinquent, and “The Human Comedy” (1943), as a small-town telegraph messenger who delivers news of war casualties to parents back home.
He also starred as Andy Hardy in the popular “Hardy Family” film series about an Ohio teenager growing up. The Hardy films often featured Garland as his long-suffering friend.
Mr. Rooney won a special Academy Award in 1939 for “bringing to the screen the spirit and personification of youth, and . . . setting a high standard of ability and achievement.”