American Vaudeville Museum

All material © 1998-2011 American Museum of Vaudeville, Inc.  Page 10

Julia Rooney

1887 – 1990

Julia Rooney was not as well know as her father (Pat Rooney Sr.), her brother (Pat Rooney Jr.) or even her nephew (Pat Rooney III), but her career was as successful as theirs and certainly longer.

Julia debuted at five, was featured with her sister Josie in vaudeville and a Ziegfeld show by the time she was 15 and played prestigious European bookings before she was 20. Her very successful solo vaudeville career as a singer-dancer-pianist rose along with vaudeville, and in 1915 she and husband-singer-bandleader Walter Clinton formed a double act. With the collapse of big time vaudeville, Julia, in her mid forties, opened a Hollywood dance studio while Walter toured with the band. They occasionally played nightclubs and stayed wed until his death in 1966.

By 1942, Julia Mooney began her longest run as one of the stars of Ken Murray’s Blackouts (1942-49). One of her last major engagements was on television in Johnny Carson’s Sun City Scandals (Julia was 82). On her hundredth birthday, those who attended to celebrate her centennial were treated to Julia singing and playing piano and even doing a few dance steps.