Mickey Rooney's wife, estate tussle over actor's remains

Wed Apr 9, 2014 7:28pm EDT
 
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By Eric Kelsey

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The estranged wife of actor Mickey Rooney and his estate are locked in a legal tussle over the remains of the late Hollywood movie star, who left an estate of only $18,000, according to court documents.

Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge James Steele will decide at a hearing on Friday whether Rooney's remains will be released from an area mortuary to his wife, Janice Rooney, or to his conservator.

The versatile character actor, who was one of Hollywood's biggest stars in the 1930s, died at age 93 on Sunday from natural causes. He disinherited his wife and all his children in a will dated March 11, leaving his estate to stepson Mark Rooney, who with his wife served as Rooney's caregiver.

Rooney's conservator, Michael Augustine, was granted a court order on Tuesday stopping Janice Rooney from removing the actor's remains from a mortuary in Glendale, California.

Augustine said Rooney wanted to be buried at Los Angeles' Hollywood Forever cemetery, where many Hollywood actors are buried, or at a cemetery for U.S. veterans. Rooney served in the military as an entertainer during World War Two.

He also has a burial plot in Westlake Village, California.

"We think we'll be able to cut a deal, a deal being between me and her," Augustine said.

An attorney for Janice Rooney was not immediately available to comment.   Continued...

 
Actor Mickey Rooney (L) and his wife Janice arrive at the American Museum of Natural History for the premiere of the movie "Night at the Museum" in New York in this file photo taken December 17, 2006. REUTERS/Eric Thayer