Mickey and Judy Hold
by Bob Thomas
Show business folk, who dearly
love sentiment, got a feast of it this week at the onstage reunion of Judy
Garland and Mickey Rooney after 18 years. The event took place at
Television City, where Garland taped the first of 32 variety shows she
will do for CBS next season. Lucille Ball, Dick Van Dyke, Jack Benny,
Natalie Wood, Van Heflin and others watched the show. They glowed
with comments of "Judy's the greatest" and "Mickey's all talent".
It was a revelation to watch
the pair working together again. You're not supposed to know what
the show contains, since it won't be telecast until Sept 29.
But I can report that Garland
and Rooney show why they have been stars for 30-odd years (he is 42, she's
41) without using gimmicks to evoke nostalgia. "Over the Rainbow"
"I remember the day I met
this girl," Rooney said. "Frances Gumm - how could I forget a name
like that? WE were both going to a professional school in Hollywood
and we were about 6. I went home that day and told my Mom, 'I met
a girl today named Frances Gumm; she was kinda sticky.' The joke
didn't go over so well then, either."
Their first movie together
was "Love Finds Andy Hardy" in 1938, followed two years later with "Andy
Hardy Meets a Debutante".
They also made a flock of
musicals together - "Babes in Arms", "Babes on Broadway", "Strike Up the
Band", "Girl Crazy" and their last screen pairing a number in "Ziegfeld
"I love this girl," said
Mickey. "I've always loved her. Not with a romantic love, but with
a love that is more than like. We clung to each other like two in
a family, because neither of us had family. We were always working.
I felt terribly protective for her. I'd see her pass out cold after
we had done either shows a day at the Capitol Theatre in New York.
I'd try to help her, to spare her."
Garland and Rooney went their
separate ways. Now they are reunited, and both are wondering why
they didn't do it sooner.
"We're talking about a picture
together," Mickey said. "I told Judy we should have done 'Days of
Wine and Roses'. I'm looking for a good drama, and a musical too.
I want to work with Judy again. I love this girl."
Teaming with Mickey Rooney
Stirs 'Andy Hardy' Memories
by Hedda Hopper
When the pros turn out to
watch their fellow performers, you can be sure something special's on the
agenda. Judy Garland taped her first TV show with Mickey Rooney,
and the CBS Studio was packed with greats: Jack Benny, Van Heflin,
Lucille Ball, the Beverly Hillbillies (Including producer Martin Ransohoff),
Cara Williams and all the critics, plus a few who think they are.
It was the most nostalgic
thing Judy's done since she sang the lover letter to Mr. Gable. She
ended by tackling "Old Man River", first time I ever heard a woman try
it. Later she told me, "I've always thought it was beautiful.
I've tried everything else - why not that?"
Rooney singing "Thank Heaven
for Little Girls" a la Maurice Chevalier, with a couple of cute youngsters
sitting on his knees, gave you a lump in your throat that couldn't be swallowed.
Watching Garland and Rooney
sing, clown, ad lib and dance took you right back to the old Andy Hardy
days, when she first fell under his spell. At that time Mick felt
grownup and considered her just a kid. Lots of girls used that series
as a springboard to the top - Lana Turner, Ava Gardner, Esther Williams,
Donna Reed, Kathryn Grayson, Ann Rutherford. It wasn't the script
or director but Mickey's help that sent them on their way.
CBS has gone all out to keep
Judy in the mood. Her dressing room is a huge trailer atop the roof.
She makes her entrance on stage through an enchanted garden, walking along
a path to match painted by loving hands.
Despite the competition,
a new star came shining through in Jerry Van Dyke, who not only announces
but plays a sort of stumbling lover throughout. His brother Dick,
applauded harder than anybody. At the little supper following, I
asked Jerry where he'd been all my life. "In night clubs," he said.
"But I don't go to them" I told him. "Your misfortune," said he.
Corny Jackson added, "He's a fine tennis player too."