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Today in Entertainment History

April 17, 2021 GMT

On April 17, 1960, singer Eddie Cochran died after suffering severe head injuries in a car crash in England. He was 21. Musician Gene Vincent and Cochran’s girlfriend were injured.

In 1961, “The Apartment” won the Academy Awards for best picture and best director for Billy Wilder. Elizabeth Taylor won her first Oscar as best actress, for “Butterfield 8.” Burt Lancaster won best actor for “Elmer Gantry.” “Never on Sunday” won best original song.

In 1964, The Rolling Stones’ self-titled debut album was released in Britain.

In 1970, Paul McCartney released his first solo album, “McCartney.”

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Also in 1970, Johnny Cash refused to perform “Okie from Muskogee” at President Nixon’s request because it wasn’t his song. He performed “A Boy Named Sue” instead.

In 1974, guitarist Vinnie Taylor of Sha Na Na was found dead of a drug overdose at a hotel in Charlottesville, Virginia. He was 25.

In 1980, musician Bob Marley played at Zimbabwe’s independence day ceremonies, calling it the greatest honor of his life. Marley died a little more than a year later.

In 1991, Nirvana performed “Smells Like Teen Spirit” in public for the first time, during a concert in Seattle.

In 1993, singer Susanna Hoffs of The Bangles married screenwriter M. Jay Roach in Los Angeles.

In 1998, Paul McCartney’s wife, Linda, died of breast cancer. She was 56.

In 2019, professional sports gambler James Holzhauer won $131,127 on “Jeopardy,” setting a record for single-episode winnings. He beat his own record he had set the week before.

Today’s Birthdays: Actor David Bradley (“Game of Thrones”) is 79. Musician Jan Hammer (yahn HAH’-mur) is 73. Actor Olivia Hussey is 70. Actor Clarke Peters (“Treme”) is 69. Rapper Afrika Bambaataa is 64. Actor Sean Bean (“Lord of the Rings”) is 62. Actor Joel Murray (“Dharma and Greg,” ″The Artist”) is 59. Singer Maynard James Keenan of Tool and of Puscifer is 57. Actor Lela Rochon (LEE’-lah rohn-SHAHN’) is 57. Actor William Mapother (“Lost”) is 56. Actor Leslie Bega (“The Sopranos”) is 54. Actor Henry Ian Cusick (“Scandal,” ″Lost”) is 54. Actor Kimberly Elise is 54. Singer Liz Phair is 54. Rapper-actor Redman is 51. Actor Jennifer Garner is 49. Singer Victoria Beckham of the Spice Girls is 47. Actor Lindsay Korman (“Passions”) is 43. Actor Tate Ellington (“Quantico”) is 42. Actor Charlie Hofheimer (“24: Legacy”) is 40. Actor Rooney Mara (“The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo”) is 36. Actor Dee Dee Davis (“The Bernie Mac Show”) is 25.