“Mickey Rooney has made a TV spot urging support of the Bakkers, the former PTL evangelists and proprietors of the collapsing Heritage USA….
” ‘Won’t you call Jim and Tammy now?’ Rooney says. ‘They need your friendship’….
“What you get for the price of your long-distance call is a two-minute recorded message from the Bakkers talking about their hopes and dreams — and troubles.
” ‘Do you really want PTL back?’ asks Tammy…. ‘I really don’t want to go back,’ he replies. ‘The Charlotte Observer has attacked us for 15 years straight. To go back there is going to be hell. We know that.’ ”
— From the Los Angeles Times, October 16, 1987
The entreaties by Rooney and the Bakkers would prove futile. Less than a month earlier, a federal grand jury had convened in Charlotte to begin considering a wide range of fraud charges against Jim Bakker that would send him to prison for four years.
Rooney, Ava Gardner’s last surviving ex-husband, died Sunday at age 93.