There have been many Hollywood names that are forever linked, Tracy and Hepburn, Fred and Ginger, Gable and Lombard, Bogey and Bacall. But none ever captured the tireless energy and creativity of Mickey and Judy.
In 1939 legendary Metro-Goldwyn Mayer producer, Arthur Freed, put them together for the film, "Babes in Arms". The magic was unmistakable. They would go on to make "Strike Up The Band", "Babes on Broadway" and "Girl Crazy". Those films will be forever remembered for their "can do" attitude of "Let's put on a show!" Their last film together was the biography of Lorenz Hart, "Words and Music". They recreated the magic one last time in 1961 on the first episode of "The Judy Garland Show"
This quote from Arthur Freed best captures the uniqueness of Mickey and Judy with his song "Our Love Affair “from the film "Strike up the Band":
"Here we are, Two very bewildered people. Here we are Two babes that are lost in the wood. We're not quite certain what has happened to us, This lovely thing that's so marvelous. But right from here the future looks awfully good."
“Boys Town” remains one of film history’s American classics. The story of Father Edward J. Flanagan and his mission to help children launched Mickey into a new level in his career. Spencer Tracy’s performance won him the Academy Award and Mickey was presented a special “Oscar” for his portrayals in Boys Town and the Andy Hardy movies that year.
The movie also helped bring recognition and support from thousands across the country and around the world to Father Flanagan’s mission. Now known as Girls and Boys Town, the world-famous child-care organization is celebrating its 90th year December 12, with programs in 15 states and the District of Columbia, providing direct care to more than 47,000 children annually.
Mickey is a life-long supporter. In September, he plans to make a pilgrimage to Father Flanagan’s hometown of Ballymoe, Ireland, to help celebrate the 90thAnniversary and to launch the 70thanniversary of the film with Girls and Boys Town’s National Executive Director Father Steven Boes.
In 2003, Mickey was named “Mayor for Life” outside the building where his character, Whitey Marsh, was elected Mayor in the 1938 film. A plaque now adorns the building which reads:
"In this building during the 1938 filming of the Oscar winning movie "Boys Town" the Citizens of Boys Town elected Whitey Marsh, portrayed by Mickey Rooney, Mayor of Boys Town.
In the 65th Anniversary Year of the premier of the movie "Boys Town" and in recognition of its worldwide impact the Citizens and Alumni or Boys Town bestow upon our good friend, Mr. Mickey Rooney, the title of Honorary Mayor for Life."
Congratulations to “Mayor” Mickey Rooney and Jan from all the kids at the Village of Boys Town. We wish you great success with your show and thank you for representing Boys Town so well in your ambassadorial role for our Village. By carrying the title of Mayor so honorably you do honor to every citizen of the Village of Boys Town.
Let the children of America know there is a place that is safe, where they can get better, and where they can be loved – that place is Girls and Boys Town in the Village of Boys Town, Nebraska.
The Andy Hardy series of films from MGM is said to be the most successful and most popular series of films ever made in the US, beginning with A “Family Affair” in 1937, and ending with “Andy Hardy Comes Home” in 1958. The first film, “A Family Affair” wasn't intended to be the beginning of a series, but it proved so popular that it, in fact, launched the series. The last film, “Andy Hardy Comes Home” was a sort of reunion.
In this first film, however, Lionel Barrymore played Judge Hardy. The film was a box-office success, so it was sequeled with “You're Only Young Once”, wherein Judge Hardy was played by Lewis Stone and Mrs. Hardy was played by Fay Holden. Only Mickey Rooney, Cecilia Parker and Sara Haden made it to the second episode. Ann Rutherford replaced Margaret Marquis as Polly Benedict (Andy's girlfriend) .
“Love Finds Andy Hardy” was, in many ways, the true beginning of the series. The formula was established with this episode, and would remain virtually unchanged through 1946. This episode is often cited today as the best of the series. Judy Garland and Lana Turner were guests on this episode, adding another dimension to the film.
On August 15, 1941, a ceremony was held at Grauman's Chinese Theater in Hollywood, where the series and principal cast members were presented with a plaque, reading "I, Mayor Fletcher Bowron, on behalf of the citizens of this community, do hereby proclaim the family of Judge James K. Hardy, the first family of Hollywood." The plaque was affixed to a wall at the theater. A special Academy Award was bestowed upon the series in 1943 "for it's achievement in representing the American way of life in the production of the 'Andy Hardy' series of films."
FILM 1924: Not To Be Trusted 1925-31: 78 Mickey Maguire Comedies 1927: Orchids And Ermine 1932: Information Kid • My Pal The King 1933: The Big Cage • The Lift of Jimmy Dolan Broadway to Hollywood • The World Changes The Chief • Big Chance 1934: Half A Sinner • Hideout • Blind Dale Death On The Diamond • Beloved • I Like It That Way Love Birds • Manhattan Melodrama • Upper World 1935: The County Chairman A Midsummer Night's Dream Ah! Wilderness • The Healer 1936: Riffraff • Little Lord Fauntleroy The Devil Is A Sissy • Down The Stretch 1937: A Family Affair (First Andy Hardy Film) Captains Courageous • Slave Ship Live, Long And LearnThoroughbreds Don't Cry (First Film with JUDY GARLAND) The Hoosier Schoolboy 1938: Love Is A Headache • Judge Hardy's Children Hold That Kiss • Lord Jeff • Love Finds Andy Hardy Boys’ Town • Stablemates Out West With The Hardys • You're Only Young Once 1939: Huckleberry Finn • The Hardys Ride High Andy Hardy Gets Spring Fever • Babes In Arms (Academy Award Nomination Best Actor - 1st Time a child nominated with adults) Special Academy Award for "Boys’ Town" and Andy Hardy Movies 1940: Judge Hardy and Son • Young Tom Edison Andy Hardy Meets A Debutante • Strike Up The Band 1941: Andy Hardy's Private Secretary Men Of Boys' Town • Life Begins For Andy Hardy 1942: Babes On Broadway The Courtship Of Andy Hardy A Yank At Eton • Andy Hardy Steps Out 1943: Andy Hardy's Double Life The Human Comedy (Academy Award Nomination Best Actor) Thousands Cheer • Girl Crazy 1944: Andy Hardy's Blonde Trouble • National Velvet 1947: Love Laughs At Andy Hardy 1948: Killer McCoy •Summer Holiday •Words And Music 1949: The Big Wheel 1950: Quicksand • He's A Cockeyed Wonder The Fireball 1951: My Outlaw Brother • The Strip 1952: Sound Off 1953: Off Limits • All Ashore A Slight Case of Larceny 1954: Drive A Crooked Road • The Atomic Kid The Bridges At Toko-Ri 1955: Twinkle In God's Eye 1956: The Bold And The Brave •Magnificent Roughnecks (Academy Awards Nomination Best Actor - Also scored the Film)
1956 continued: Francis In The Haunted House 1957: Operation Mad Ball • Baby Face Nelson 1958: Andy Hardy Comes Home A Nice Little Bank That Should Be Robbed 1959: The Last Mile • The Big Operator 1960: Platinum High School The Private Lives Of Adam And Eve 1961: King Of The Roaring Twenties Breakfast At Tiffany's • Everything's Ducky 1962: Requiem For A Heavyweight 1963: It's A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World 1964: The Secret Invasion 1965: Twenty-Four Hours To Kill How To Stuff A Wild Bikini 1966: The Devil In Love • Ambush Bay 1968: Vienna • Skidoo 1969: The Extraordinary Seaman • The Comic 80 Steps To Jonah 1970: Cockeyed Cowboys of Calico County 1971: The Manipulator 1972: Richard • Pulp 1973: The Godmothers 1974: Rachel’s Man • Thunder County That's Entertainment 1975: Ace Of Hearts • From Hong Kong With Love 1976: Find The Lady 1977: The Domino Principle • Pete's Dragon 1978: The Magic of Lassie 1979: The Black Stallion (Academy Award Nomination Best Supporting Actor) Arabian Adventure 1981: The Fox And The Hound 1982: The Emperor of Peru 1985: The Care Bears Movie 1986: Lightning, The White Stallion 1989: Eric The Viking • Little Nemo 1990: That's Entertainment III 1991: My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys 1992: The Milky Life • Maximum Force The Magic Voyage • Sweet Justice Silent Night, Deadly Night 5 1993: The Legend of Wolf Mountain 1994: The Outlaws: Legend of O.B. Tagart . Making Waves • Revenge of the Red Baron 1996: Sinbad: The Battle of the Dark Knights Animals 1997: The First Of May •Boys Will Be Boys Killing Midnight • Kings of the Court 1998: Babe Pig In The City The Face on the Barroom Floor Sinbad The Battle of the Dark Knights Animals And The Toll Keeper Michael Kael in Katango 1999: The First of May • Holy Hollywood 2000: Internet Love 2001: Lady and the Tramp II 2002: Topa Topa Bluffs 2003: Paradise
2005: To Kill A Mockumentary A Christmas Too Many • The Last Confederate 2006: The Thirsting • The Happy Elf 2006 continued: Bamboo Shark The Yesterday Pool • Night At The Museum 2007: Stallion Hearts • Wreck The Halls 2008: Tropic Thunder . 2010 Muppet Movie . 2014 Night At The Museum 3