Mickey Rooney's kids are contesting the late movie veteran's will, insisting he faced "undue influence" when he signed it weeks before his death. Seven of Rooney's biological children have filed suit in Los Angeles seeking that their father's will be invalidated.
They lost out when the actor's documents were made public after his death last month (Apr14) - he named his stepson and caretaker Mark Aber as the beneficiary to his estate, which is valued at $18,000 (GBP11,250).
Rooney's kids claim Aber and the estate's current executor, attorney Michael Augustine, took "advantage" of their father.
In the legal papers they have filed, the siblings claim Aber and Augustine "suggested and dictated the contents of the (will)" and "arranged for the execution of the document" at a time when Rooney was "wholly under the influence" of the two men.
Augustine's lawyer Richard Petty tells People.com, "We think the contest is utterly without merit and that there is no truth at all to any of the allegations."
Late actor Mickey Rooney cut his estranged wife and children from his will by leaving his estate worth $18,000 (£10,751) to his stepson, Mark Rooney.
The Hollywood legend died on Sunday (06Apr14) at the age of 93 due to natural causes, including complications related to diabetes. Rooney's will was filed in Los Angeles Superior Court on Tuesday (08Apr14), nearly a month after he signed it, leaving his stepson Mark, and Mark's wife, as the sole beneficiaries of his $18,000 estate. He designated his attorney, Michael Augustine to be the executor, specifically detailing that he did not want any of his relatives handling his last affairs.
Rooney had been a working actor for more than 80 years and one of Hollywood's highest paid actors in the 1940s, but he blamed his small fortune on financial mismanagement by his other stepson Chris Aber, Mark's brother. At the time of his death, Rooney was living with Mark, who served as his caretaker. Rooney disinherited his estranged wife Janice and his eight surviving children from his eight marriages in his will. His wife will receive his social security benefits and some of his pension earnings, but agreed to waive any right of inheritance.
Meanwhile, plans for Rooney's final resting place are being made, as an agreement was reached on Tuesday not to remove his body from a Los Angeles mortuary until a court hearing on Friday (11Apr14) to determine where the actor will be buried.
The literary form of autobiography dates back as far as the Fourth Century, when figures like St. Augustine pioneered a pride in self-documentation. Ever since, the art of telling one's own story has become commonplace, with written memoirs coming from every celebrity with a career of note (or one that can be sold as such). But the auto-documentary is another story — we haven't seen too many artists get behind the camera to chronicle their lives and work. That's one of the most interesting facets of the forthcoming HBO doc about and directed by Beyoncé Knowles.
Below is the first trailer for the movie, which features a sequence of clips of the music artist performing, placed beneath a brief narration about the fears and concerns that have plagued and encouraged her throughout her professional climb. The film will mark Beyoncé's directorial debut.
Obviously, one must approach the idea of an artist's autobiographical documentary with a bit of apprehension. Immediately, the idea of objectivity is tossed out the window. No matter how honest, self-aware, and well-intentioned a figure might be in the crafting of his or her own auto-doc (not this kind), no human being can achieve total objectivity when looking at or discussing itself. Sensationalism, slanting either positive or negative, is an inevitability.
That said, there's not exactly zero to be gained from an "inside perspective" on Beyoncé. If nothing else, people do love her. They want to know what it's like inside her head, and what her career and personal life have felt like. Where this movie might prove victorious is in the artist's honesty: bearing in mind how colossal a cultural idol she is, Beyoncé's greatest achievement here would be to deliver a candid, inspiring piece about the artistry and the climb. Encouragement balanced with realism. And a recharge of her longstanding messages about self-love, empowerment, and tolerance would be a good thing to tack on as well.
The documentary will air on Feb. 16, 2013, on HBO.
[Photo Credit: WENN]
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The Alien star portrays botanist Grace Augustine in the futuristic 3D movie, which has become the highest-grossing film of all time and the only release in history to break the $2 billion mark.
Cameron is currently writing a follow-up to the box office smash and Weaver insists Augustine will be resurrected for the forthcoming installments.
Speaking to movie blog ComingSoon.net, Weaver claims Cameron promised that "no one ever dies in science fiction", adding, "Don't worry, I will be back."
The first Avatar sequel isn't expected for at least three more years - but the veteran actress is adamant it will be worth the wait.
Weaver says, "He's told me the stories for the next two movies and I have to say that they're absolutely wonderful. Now we just have to make them."