Billy Crystal remembers Mickey Rooney: 'He was a tremendous talent'
Billy Crystal knows funny and he knows talented, so it's no wonder he was a "tremendous" fan of the late Mickey Rooney's, as he noted during a visit to TODAY Monday.
Billy Crystal: Rooney was 'tremendous talent'Play Video
Kylo Ren is star in new 'Star Wars' trailer
Fandango expert picks the best movies to see this holiday season
Miranda Lambert speaks out for first time about divorce from Blake Shelton
Thanksgiving 'Piecaken' takes over social media
"He was a tremendous talent, and someone at 5 foot tall that everybody looked up to," said Crystal.
He noted that the actor, who died Sunday at age 93, was always up for a performance. Crystal hosted one of Rooney's final appearances, a 50th anniversary celebration for 1963's "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World" in July 2012 (he also noted it was one of the late Jonathan Winters' last appearances as well), and recalled how Rooney was escorted on stage in a wheelchair.
But he didn't stay in it, said Crystal. "He got out of the chair and did a time step (dance) for about a minute —brought the house down," he said. "And Jonathan said to him, 'Don't do that again, or you'll die!'"
To Crystal, Rooney really had it all. "He was the No. 1 box-office champion I believe seven years in a row. He could sing great, tap dance great, he did Shakespeare, he was a phenomenal talent."