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Today in Entertainment History

March 24, 2020 GMT

On March 24, 1949, “Hamlet” was named best picture at the Academy Awards. Its star, Laurence Olivier, won the best actor award. Jane Wyman won best actress. The best song award went to “Buttons and Bows.”

In 1955, the Tennessee Williams play “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” opened on Broadway.

In 1958, Elvis Presley was inducted into the Army in Memphis, Tennessee. He was discharged in 1960.

In 1965, bassist Bill Wyman of the Rolling Stones was knocked unconscious by an electrical shock from a microphone stand on stage in Denmark.

In 1973, singer Lou Reed was bitten on his rear end by a concert-goer who leaped on stage in Buffalo, New York, and shouted “Leather!” Reed commented afterward that, in his words, “America seems to breed real animals.”

In 1986, the best picture award at the Academy Awards went to “Out of Africa.” Singer-songwriter Lionel Richie won an Oscar for “Say You, Say Me” from the movie “White Knights.”

Also in 1986, Van Halen released their “5150” album, their first with Sammy Hagar on vocals.

In 1991, the Black Crowes were dropped as the opening act on ZZ Top’s tour for repeatedly criticizing Miller Beer, who was sponsoring the tour.

In 1993, a jury in Los Angeles decided actress Kim Basinger was guilty of backing out of a verbal agreement to star in the movie “Boxing Helena.”

In 1997, singer Harold Melvin of Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes died in his sleep at his home in Philadelphia. He was 57.

Today’s Birthdays: Poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti is 101. Actor William Smith (“Conan the Barbarian,” “Any Which Way You Can”) is 87. Harmonica player Lee Oskar of War is 72. Singer Nick Lowe is 71. Bassist Dougie Thomson of Supertramp is 69. Comedian Louie Anderson is 67. Actor Robert Carradine is 66. Actress Donna Pescow is 66. Actress Kelly LeBrock is 60. DJ Rodney “Kool Kollie” Terry of Ghostown DJs is 59. TV personality Star Jones is 58. Guitarist Patterson Hood of Drive-By Truckers is 56. Actor Peter Jacobson (“House”) is 55. Singer-violinist Sharon Corr of The Corrs is 50. Actress Lauren Bowles (“True Blood”) is 50. Actress Lara Flynn Boyle is 50. Rapper Maceo of De La Soul is 50. Actress Megyn Price (“Rules of Engagement,” “Grounded For Life”) is 49. Actor Jim Parsons (“The Big Bang Theory”) is 47. Drummer Chad Butler of Switchfoot is 46. Actress Alyson Hannigan (“How I Met Your Mother,” “Buffy The Vampire Slayer”) is 46. Actress Amanda Brugel (“The Handmaid’s Tale”) is 43. Actress Olivia Burnette (“Sons of Anarchy”) is 43. Actress Jessica Chastain (“Zero Dark Thirty,” “The Help”) is 43. Actor Amir Arison (“The Blacklist”) is 42. Actress Lake Bell (“The Practice”) is 41. Bassist Benj Gershman of O.A.R. is 40. Bassist Jesse Phillips of St. Paul and the Broken Bones is 40. Actor Philip Winchester (“Chicago Justice,” “Chicago Med”) is 39. Dancer Val Chmerkovskiy (shmer-KAWV’-skee) (“Dancing with the Stars”) is 34. Actress Keisha Castle-Hughes (“The Nativity Story,” “Whale Rider”) is 30.