The actor who brought the 1938 film Boys Town to life passed away over the weekend at the age of 93. John Mollison is the vice president of the Boys Town Alumni Association and a 1964 graduate of the Nebraska community. He remembers inviting Mickey Rooney who played the bad boy Whitey Marsh back to Boys Town in 2003 for the film’s 65th anniversary.
Mollison says Rooney accepted the invitation and was able to visit with others in the film including residents of Boys Town who were extras. He says it was then Rooney was inducted into the Boys Town Alumni Association and a bronze plaque was dedicated and placed in the same building where his character was elected mayor. Mollison says he often traveled with Rooney on speaking engagements on satellite Boys Town locations and that Rooney remained a strong supporter of the “home for wayward boys”.