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Legendary Actor Mickey Rooney Lives On At Baltimore’s Senator Theatre

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Mike Schuh joined WJZ Eyewitness News as a general assignment reporter...
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BALTIMORE (WJZ)—Legendary actor Mickey Rooney has died at the age of 93.

As Mike Schuh reports, when he was 80 he paid a visit to a Baltimore landmark to screen one of his most loved movies.

The 30s and 40s was Mickey Rooney’s hey-day. He was Hollywood’s top box office draw.

And even into his 80s he continued to bring people to the theatre. This time it was the Senator Theatre.

“The Govans Ecumenical Development Corporation started a series of fundraisers in partnership with the Senator while I was their president,” said Rev. Jack Sharp, GEDCO.

And one of the things the ownership of the Senator was famous for was to memorialize any big events with a sidewalk square.

The paint has faded, but Rooney’s square remains. It says “National Velvet,” one of Rooney’s biggest movies.

The cement dried in 2001 when “we showed the film ‘National Velvet’ and our star was Mickey Rooney,” Sharp explained.

Rooney unveiled the square, went to the packed movie, met with fans and answered questions.

He was one of eight stars the church group brought in to raise money.

“He was very gracious about it. He was really happy to be here and gave his time really freely to everybody,” Sharp said.

While Rooney was paid to appear, the reverend says it was a treat to see a star from his childhood.

And Rooney was a big draw.

“We probably made $60,000-70,000 when a star came in. We paid for dinner, we paid for the catering, the theatre and all of the publicity for this to be put in,” Sharp said.

Rooney’s work lives on in film. And if you’re by the Senator, stop by to see his signature in stone.

That community organization no longer brings stars in for such galas, saying the costs had gotten too high.

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