Love Finds Andy Hardy (1938)
Playing Andy in 15 movies made Rooney a huge box office star. Love paved the way for many popular pairings with Judy Garland. (Most of these classics are available on Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Google Play.)
Boys Town (1938)
Rooney switched gears to play the ruffian who rebels against Spencer Tracy’s Father Flanagan.
Babes in Arms (1939)
This hit Rooney-Garland musical featured the song “Good Morning” and snagged Rooney his first Best Actor Oscar nomination.
The Human Comedy (1943)
Rooney earned another Oscar nod playing a high school kid who witnesses war’s devastating costs on the home front.
The Black Stallion (1979)
Echoing his National Velvet role 35 years earlier, Rooney starred as an ex-jockey who sees the horse as his ticket back to the winner’s circle.
In an Emmy-winning turn, Rooney played a mentally challenged man who struggles with independence after more than 40 years in institutions.