Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland
Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland can arguably be called the two greatest musical talents in cinema history. They first met in the fall of 1933 when both were attending the Lawlor School for Professional Children. According to TCM’s book “Leading Couples”, the first day Judy and Mickey met, he got his comb stuck in his hair and she helped him disentangle it. They would pass love notes to each other during math class and even appeared in the school’s Christmas show together. Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland became great lifelong friends and went on to make eight movies together, becoming America’s favorite teen couple.
Though they were both married many times, they were reportedly never lovers themselves. Whenever asked why they were never married, Mickey Rooney would reply, “It would be like marrying my sister.”
During an interview in the documentary film, When the Lion Roars, Rooney describes their friendship:
“Judy Garland and I were so close we could have come from the same womb. We weren’t like brothers or sisters but there was no love affair there, there was more than a love affair. It’s very, very difficult to explain the depths of our love for each other. It was so special. It was a forever love. Judy, as we speak, has not passed away. She’s always with me in every heartbeat of my body.”
Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland made their first film together in 1937, “Thoroughbreds Don’t Cry”. Besides three of the Andy Hardy films, where Garland portrayed Betsy Booth, a younger girl with a crush on Andy, they also appeared together in a string of successful musicals, including the Oscar-nominated “Babes in Arms” (1939). The following are stills and/or promo shots from each of the eight films they made together: