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Billy Crystal on Mickey Rooney: 'Five Feet Tall, and Everybody Looked Up to Him' (Video)

The "700 Sundays" comedian paid tribute by recalling one of Rooney's final public appearances, during which he performed a time-step and "brought the house down."

Billy Crystal Mickey Rooney Today Screengrab - H 2014

While Billy Crystal was on Today on Monday morning to chat about his one-man Broadway show, 700 Sundays, he took a moment to pay tribute to legendary actor Mickey Rooney, whose death was confirmed on Sunday. He was 93.

PHOTOS: Mickey Rooney's Career in Pictures

"I did one of his last personal appearances at the 50th anniversary of It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World. I hosted an evening at the Academy with the surviving members of the cast. The late Jonathan Winters was there too. It was, I think, John's last appearance."

Crystal told Today that he was a big fan of Rooney, who starred as Andy Hardy, America's boy next door, in 16 films for MGM, among his many roles throughout his nine-decade career. 

"Mickey, first of all, was one of the most talented actors ever in the history of movies. He was the number one box office champ, I believe, seven years in a row. He could sing great, tap dance great, he did Shakespeare, he was a phenomenal talent. We brought him out onstage -- he was in a wheelchair -- and he got out of the chair and did a time-step for about a minute. Brought the house down. And Jonathan said to him, 'Don't do that again or you'll die!' "

VIDEO: Mickey Rooney Gets Emotional, Reflects on His Career in One of His Final Interviews

Crystal concluded, "He was a tremendous talent -- someone who was five feet tall, and everybody looked up to him."

Watch the clip below:

Email: Ashley.Lee@THR.com
Twitter: @cashleelee