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On a mid-autumn night, Mickey Rooney's puckish glory

Mickey Rooney takes the stage at the Harman Center for the Arts gala on Sunday. (Kevin Allen)

Seventy-four years after he starred as Puck in the 1935 film version of "A Midsummer Night's Dream," Mickey Rooney briefly revisited the role at Sunday's Harman Center for the Arts gala. The actor, 89, got a standing ovation when he unexpectedly appeared onstage -- bald as a cue ball, same impish grin -- then showed he still had the acting chops when he recited one of Shakespeare's soliloquies.

Rooney was just 15 when director Max Reinhardt cast him as the fairy jester. The actor told the audience a few rambling stories about making the film, gave a shout-out to the troops, and greeted fans at the post-performance dinner at the National Building Museum alongside wife No. 8, Jan. Said Shakespeare Theatre Artistic Director Michael Kahn: "We think you're the Puck of all Pucks."

By The Reliable Source  |  October 27, 2009; 1:03 AM ET
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