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Tuesday, April 8, 2014

It Was The Best Of Mickey Rooney.....

Yes, the man had character flaws:
Boorishness, especially in public, and I'm told, in private.
Poor judgment.
A total lack of discipline.
Yet, he probably had more raw talent than anyone else who ever lived.
When "The Odd Couple" was being planned as a TV series, it was Tony Randall's choice as to who would play Oscar.
Tony had performed the play in Las Vegas opposite Mickey.
Tony thought Mickey was the greatest thing since sliced bread, even though Mickey had a tendency to stray from the page and the action.
But Tony easily guided him back to civilization.
And to Tony, it was worth the effort.
That's how much he thought of him.
So when Garry Marshall asked Tony who he wanted as Oscar, Tony immediately shot back with Mickey Rooney.
On the TV stage, it was easier to yell "Cut!", and eliminate the straying.
After major wincing, Garry proposed that Tony write down on a piece of paper any other name, and sight unseen, Garry would be fine with him.
And that's how Jack Klugman was born.
Garry had worked with Mickey on a TV movie called "Evil Roy Slade".
Mickey did some really good work in "Evil Roy Slade".
Garry just couldn't stomach being around him.
As Jack Klugman was quite instrumental in launching my career, it must at least be somewhat attributed to how much people didn't want to be around Mickey Rooney.
So I owe him that.
But all of this is transcended by the wonderful work he displayed over a career that outspanned everyone else's.
 Where to start?
I guess chronologically.
"A Midsummer Night's Dream", where still  child, he played Puck.
"Boy's Town", opposite Spencer Tracy.
Exceptional.  Easily sharing the screen with Tracy.
"Young Tom Edison".  Great.
All those Andy Hardy movies, which I've always been a sucker for.
Evocative of a time in this country that probably never existed, but boy, did you wish it did.
The Mickey-Judy "Let's put on a  show" musicals.
She was his female match when it came to talent, and I was always in awe watching the two of them together.
"The Human Comedy".  The film adaptation of the William Saroyan play, where as a young teenager, Mickey had a job at Western Union, delivering telegrams.
This was during World War Two.
And I'll never forget the scene that depicted the first time that he had to deliver a telegram to a family, informing them that their son was killed in battle.
It seemed to torture Mickey's character more than the family.
It has always been haunting to me.
There will be a part two of this, because we have barely scratched the surface.
You'd think maybe I'd covered it, but really I haven't
And we will eventually get around to "The Worst of Mickey Rooney"

My books ,"Show Runner" and it's sequel, "Show Runner Two", can be found at the Amazon Kindle Store.
Along with the newer ones, "The Man Is Dead", and "Report Cards".
You can search by typing in my name, Cindy Williams, Laverne and Shirley, The Odd Couple, or Happy Days.
Check them out.
You don't need a Kindle machine to download them.
Just get the free app from Kindle, and they can be downloaded to an IPhone, IPad, or Blackberry.
The paperbacks, "Mark Rothman's Essays" and my new novel, "I'm Not Garbo" are not
e-books. But they are available for people without Kindle.
I have many readings and signings lined up for those, and the thing about Kindle is you can't sign one. If you'd like one of the paperbacks, personally autographed, contact me at
And now, we've got my reading of my "Laverne and Shirley Movie" screenplay on YouTube, and my 4-hour interview at the Television Academy's Emmy TV Legends Website.
Here's the link:
Add to this, my new Kickstarter project, "Another Network".  Please check it out at


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About Me

Hi. I am, according to my Wikipedia entry,(which I did not create) a noted television writer, playwright, screenwriter, and occasional actor. You can Google me or go to the IMDB to get my credits, and you can come here to get my opinions on things, which I'll try to express eloquently. Hopefully I'll succeed. You can also e-mail me at Perhaps my biggest claim to fame is being responsible, for about six months in 1975, while Head Writer for the "Happy Days" TV series, for Americans saying to each other "Sit on it."