MGM’s roster of female stars constituted the greatest collection of beautiful and talented women the world has ever known.
One of the greatest was Ava Gardner.
As an emerging starlet in the early 1940’s, before she made a single movie the breathtaking Southern beauty was the talk of the town.
Mickey Rooney was MGM’s golden boy, a versatile star equally adept at musicals, comedy and drama. His signature role as the small-town youngster Andy Hardy made him something of a cash cow for the studio. The Hardy movies were cheap to produce and earned enormous profits.
In his compulsively readable autobiography, Life is Too Short, Rooney claims that his mother worked as a prostitute in order to put food on the table during the depths of the Depression. Thus, it’s not surprising that Rooney pursued women with an obsessive compulsion, seeking affection and love in all the wrong places: call girls, ambitious actresses and mature women–including Irving Thalberg’s widow Norma Shearer–were smitten by Rooney’s brash boyish charm.