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Dispute over Mickey Rooney’s remains to be decided by Los Angeles judge

Posted Apr 10, 2014 12:05 PM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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Mickey Rooney. Joe Seer / Shutterstock.com

Mickey Rooney was the highest paid actor in Hollywood 70 years ago, but his personal property is valued at about $18,000, according to documents filed with his will.

Meanwhile, a dispute is looming over who has the authority to claim remains of the actor, who died Sunday at the age of 93. CNN, Reuters and the Los Angeles Times have stories.

On Tuesday a Los Angeles judge ordered Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Los Angeles to keep Rooney’s remains pending resolution of the dispute. A hearing is scheduled for Friday. Rooney’s conservator, Michael Augustine, says Rooney didn’t want to be buried in a cemetery plot purchased before he separated from his wife, Janice. Augustine says the remains should be released to him.

Augustine said Rooney preferred to be buried at a veteran’s cemetery or a Hollywood cemetery with other stars, according to the CNN account.

In his March 2014 will, Rooney left his personal property to stepson Mark Aber and his wife Charlene, who served as Rooney’s caregivers. Estranged wife Janice Rooney is entitled to some of Rooney’s pensions and Social Security under a separation agreement, according to Augustine.

Augustine said Rooney wanted another stepson, Christopher Aber, banned from his funeral. Rooney won a $2.8 million judgment against Christopher Aber, Rooney’s previous manager, CNN says. Reuters, however, says there was a settlement “worth millions.” In testimony before Congress, Rooney said he had been financially and emotionally abused. Rooney did not collect the judgment, Augustine said.

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