TODAY   |  April 07, 2014

Billy Crystal: Rooney was ‘tremendous talent’

The actor tells TODAY that the late Mickey Rooney was “one of the most talented actors ever in the history of movies,” and shares some personal stories about the Hollywood legend.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> as you know passed away. i know you were a big fan of his work.

>> tremendous. i did one of his last personal appearances at the 50th anniversary of "it's a mad mad mad mad world ." i hosted an evening at the academy with the surviving members of the cast. the late jonathan winters was there, too. i think john's last appearance. and mickey, first of all, he's one of the most talented actors ever in the history of the movies. he was the number one 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. and we brought him out onstage. he was in a wheelchair and he got out of the chair and did a time step for about a minute. brought the house down. and jonathan said to him, don't do that again or you'll die. [ laughter ] but he was a tremendous talent. and someone at five foot tall that everybody looked up to.

>> he was incredible.

>> perfect.

>> by the way, i want to mention that we're going to hang out this afternoon. we're going to spend some time talking about "700 sundays." looking forward to that.

>> me, too.

>> i'd also like to declare you the best trending celebrity guest ever.

>> you set the bar.

>> what do i get for that?

>> not a thing.

>> you get to come back.