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Today in Entertainment History

On Dec. 30, 1942, a near-riot of bobby-soxers in Times Square in New York greeted Frank Sinatra's singing engagement at the Paramount Theater.
In 1944, Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys made their first appearance on the Grand Ole Opry.
In 1962, singer Brenda Lee was slightly injured when she tried to rescue her dog from her burning home in Nashville. The dog died of smoke inhalation.
In 1979, composer and lyricist Richard Rodgers died in New York at the age of 77. His musicals include "The King and I" and "The Sound of Music."
Also in 1979, Emerson, Lake and Palmer announced they were splitting up. They later reunited.
In 1981, XTC played their first American concert, in Philadelphia.
In 1999, an intruder broke into George Harrison's home outside London and stabbed Harrison and his wife. Michael Abram was later found innocent by reason of insanity.
Also in 1999, singer Johnny Moore of The Drifters died on his way to a London hospital after having breathing difficulties. He was 64.
In 2002, singer Diana Ross was arrested for drunk driving in Tucson, Arizona.
In 2020, "Gilligan's Island" actor Dawn Wells died of COVID-19 in Los Angeles. She was 82.

  • Today's birthdays: Actor Russ Tamblyn is 87. Singer Noel Paul Stookey of Peter, Paul and Mary is 84. Director James Burrows ("Cheers," "Taxi") is 81. Actor Fred Ward ("The Right Stuff") is 79. Actor Concetta Tomei (toh-MAY') ("Providence," "China Beach") is 76. Singer Patti Smith is 75. Musician Jeff Lynne is 74. TV host Meredith Vieira (vee-AYR'-ah) ("Today," "The View") is 68. Actor Sheryl Lee Ralph ("Moesha") is 66. Country singer Suzy Bogguss (BAHG'-us) is 65. Actor Patricia Kalembar ("Sisters") is 65. Former "Today" show anchor Matt Lauer is 64. Actor-comedian Tracey Ullman is 62. TV host Sean Hannity is 60. Actor George Newbern ("Providence") is 58. Singer Jay Kay of Jamiroquai (jah-MEER'-oh-kway) is 52. Drummer Byron McMackin of Pennywise is 52. Actor Meredith Monroe ("Dawson's Creek") is 52. Actor Daniel Sunjata ("Rescue Me") is 50. Actor Maureen Flanigan ("7th Heaven") is 49. Actor Jason Behr ("The Grudge," "Roswell") is 48. Actor Lucy Punch ("Ben and Kate") is 44. Singer-actor Tyrese is 43. Actor Eliza Dushku (DOOSH'-koo) ("Dollhouse," "Buffy the Vampire Slayer") is 41. Guitarist Tim Lopez of Plain White T's is 41. Actor Kristin Kreuk (CROOK) ("Smallville") is 39. Singer-guitarist Wesley Schultz of The Lumineers is 39. Singer Andra Day is 37. Actor Anna Wood ("Falling Water," "Reckless") is 36. Singer Ellie Goulding (GOL'-ding) is 35. Actor Caity Lotz ("DC's Legends of Tomorrow") is 35. Actor Jeff Ward ("Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.") is 35. Guitarist Eric Steedly of LANCO is 31. Drummer Jamie Follese (FAHL'-eh-say) of Hot Chelle (SHEL) Rae is 30.