Mickey Rooney, whose long Hollywood career began as a child star in the 1930s, has died at the age of 93, US media has reported.

Rooney had been ill for some time, US entertainment media reported. The celebrity website TMZ said that Rooney died of natural causes.

Rooney rose to fame as the plucky diminutive lad in the successful "Andy Hardy" film series of the late 1930s and early 1940s.

Rooney, who spent almost his entire life in show business, teamed up with Judy Garland in the 1939 movie muscial "Babes in Arms." He also starred with Elizabeth Taylor in 1944's "National Velvet," which launched Taylor's career, according to Reuters news agency.

Rooney - born Joe Yule Jr. on September 23, 1920 in New York - more recently appeared in the 2006 comedy "Night at the Museum," and in the 2011 movie "The Muppets."

Credited with performances in more than 200 films, Rooney was awarded an honourary Oscar in 1982 for lifetime achievement.

Rooney was married eight times, the first time to screen beauty Ava Gardner. Asked once if he would marry all his eight wives again, he said, "Absolutely. I loved every one of them".

Source: Agencies