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Q&A: Andy Rooney has no plans to leave '60 Minutes'

Andy Rooney still taping shows

Where is 60 Minutes' Andy Rooney? Haven't seen him for a while. Is he sick, retired or other? Have not heard any mention of him on the show.

Andy Rooney has been delivering "A Few Minutes with Andy Rooney" on 60 Minutes since 1978. The network attributes his erratic appearance schedule to his illnesses and major news stories or segments that run longer than expected.

Still, at 92, Rooney is loath to acknowledge that he might be slowing down. When asked by the Rochester (N.Y.) Times Union if he was retiring, he said: "No, I'm not. Why would I do that? This is what I do. I don't need the money, but I love the work."

His producer, Susie Bieber, told the Times Union that they continue to tape a Rooney commentary each week, even though they don't know if it will air. She also said she doesn't sense any pressure from CBS to ease Rooney to the sidelines. "I believe he should be allowed to do what he wants to do until he can't do it anymore," she said. "But eventually, it might be out of his hands.

"People call and ask why he's not on every week and I say, 'He's 92.' I don't know of anyone else who's doing what he's doing at 92," Bieber told the Times Union.

You can see some of Rooney's recent TV work, including his commentary on the death of Osama bin Laden, at www.cbsnews.com/sections/60minutes/rooney/main3419.shtml.

Big names, short stature

I was surprised to hear that Paul Newman was sensitive about his short stature. Just how tall was he? What about these: Queen Victoria, Queen Elizabeth II, Judy Dench, Alan Ladd, Edward G. Robinson, James Cagney, George Stephanopolous, Dustin Hoffman, Napoleon, Tom Cruise, Claude Rains? Any others?

Though he was a giant of the big screen, Paul Newman always wished he had been taller. Officially he was 5 feet 9 1/2 inches tall.

Actor's listed heights have been known to be exaggerated, usually for men. Robert Redford is a reported 5-10 1/2, Tom Cruise is 5-7 3/4, Dustin Hoffman is 5-5 1/2. Sylvester Stallone is 5-9. Edward G. Robinson was reportedly 5-5, Jimmy Cagney 5-5. Claude Rains was 5-6. Alan Ladd was listed as just a hair over 5-6. Danny Devito is reportedly 4-10. Mickey Rooney? 5-1. There's even a website devoted to this topic: www.celebheights.com.

In the political arena, ABC's George Stephanopoulos is reportedly 5-6 1/2. Napoleon was thought to be about 5-6 or 5-7.

Queen Victoria was, by most accounts, about 4 feet 11 in her youth but dwindled to about 4-7 by the time she died. Queen Elizabeth II is said to be 5-4. Her mother, the Queen Mum, was reportedly 5-2. Judy Dench, who has played Queen Victoria and Elizabeth I in films, is a reported 5-1. Judy Garland was just over 5 feet.

Q&A: Andy Rooney has no plans to leave '60 Minutes' 06/13/11 [Last modified: Monday, June 13, 2011 8:24pm]
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