SELLER: Mickey Rooney
LOCATION: Westlake Village, CA
SIZE: 2,413 square feet, 4 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms
YOUR MAMAS NOTES: We don’t know if it has anything at all to do with the scandalous allegations of elder abuse that he made in 2011 against his step-son but The Bizzy Boys at Celebrity Address Aerial whispered to Your Mama that nonagenarian actor Mickey Rooney popped his surprisingly modest lake front home in a 24-hour guard-gated community in the upscale suburban community of Westlake Village, CA on the market last December with a $1,075,000 asking price.*
Born in Brooklyn to vaudevillian parents and raised in Hollywood by a single mother, Mister Rooney has been in The Big Business of Show since before he could properly walk or talk. At 92, the still-working actor has appeared in—literally—hundreds of films, animated features, made for t.v. movies, television programs and stage productions including but hardly limited to the Mickey McGuire series (1927-1934), National Velvet (1944), Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961), Sugar Babies (1980) The Fox and the Hound (1981), Bill (1981), Night at the Museum (2006) and The Muppets (2011).
The man may only be just barely more than five feet tall but, in case some of you youngsters don’t know your Hollywood history, he’s a goddamn giant in Tinseltown. He’s recipient of an Emmy (and four more nominations), two Golden Globes and four Oscar nominations plus a Juvenile Academy Award and an honorary Oscar for his nine-plus decades long Showbiz career. He received a Tony nomination for his lead role in the Broadway musical Sugar Babies and has no fewer than four stars on Hollywood Walk of Fame, one for radio, another for television, a third for films and a fourth for Live Theater.
Mister Rooney, either a real cocksman or a terrible husband, has been married eight times including, ever so briefly, to Ava Gardner in the 1940s. He’s the father of nine biological children and at least one step-child. It’s his step-son, Chris Aber, the biological son of his current and long time 8th wife Jan Chamberlin Rooney, that Mister Rooney accused of elder abuse. Court documents and press reports show that Mister Rooney claimed his step-son—who also worked as his long time personal assistant—committed elder abuse over a period of years that deprived him of food and medication, stripped him of his small fortune and left him unable to make basic decisions about his own life. Curiously, Eighth Missus Rooney—that would be Jan—denied the claims of elder abuse by her husband, a sticky situation that surely must have made conversation a bit tense at dinner time.
Anyhoo, property records show Mister and 8th Missus Rooney, married 30-plus years now, purchased the humble if not exactly inexpensive abode way back in June 1981 for an unknown amount of money.
Listing details show the nondescript two-story 1970s contemporary has four bedrooms and three bathrooms in 2,413 square feet of updated—if uninspired—interior space. There’s one bedroom downstairs and the second floor master suite has a long and narrow balcony that cantilevers over the deck below and looks directly out to the narrow finger of Westlake Lake that runs along the backside of the .12 acre postage stamp-sized parcel.
Mixy-matchy beige and brown tile floors run throughout the main living spaces that include an open plan living/dining room with vaulted ceiling and a mottled red brick fireplace shoved uncomfortably up into the corner next to a wide glass door that slides open to a small deck that overlooks the lake.
The eat-in kitchen, according to listing information, is “newer with lovely cabinets” and has a curved breakfast counter, hausfrau-grade white appliances, flecked counter tops that may or may not be granite or some sort of quartzite and a large lake view window hung with those horrid vertical blinds that always make Your Mama shudder and shiver with decorative mortification. We know that vertical blinds are ubiquitous but—from a decorative stand point, as far as Your Mama is concerned—they’re really no better than tacking up a cheap sheet.
A deck runs the full width of the back of the house and steps down to a wee patch of grass that ends at the bulk headed water’s edge. Listing information indicates there is a private dock where residents and their guests can tie up their watercraft.
Property records indicate this isn’t the first house in Westlake Village owned by Mister and Eight Missus Rooney. In March 1994 they sold a much larger 6,192 square foot mock-Med McMansion with six bedrooms and 7 bathrooms on just over half an acre for $735,000.
Current listing information available online shows Mister Rooney’s residence is currently in escrow. Your Mama has no idea what Mister Rooney’s future real estate plans may be and, even though Your Mama may not care for his rather righty-tighty politics when it comes to social issues, we very sincerely hope he’s headed to comfortable circumstances where he’ll be well provided for and taken care of by people he can trust.
*Most listings indicate the asking price if $1,075,000 but at least one digital listing shows it at $1,070,000.
listing photos: Prudential California Realty