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Today in History: Friday, June 18, 2021

© by Photo courtesy of Flickr

Television and Radio:
In 1961, CBS Radio canceled western “Gunsmoke” despite its ongoing popularity at the time on CBS. “Gunsmoke” on television ran for 20 seasons, from 1955 to 1975, and prior to “Law & Order: SVU” was the longest-running scripted drama in television history…Police detective drama “Bodies of Evidence,” starring Lee Horsley and George Clooney, premiered on CBS in 1992. Created by David Jacobs (“Dallas” and “Knots Landing”), it lasted two half seasons. The series Clooney booked next would be his most popular: “ER”…Reality competition “Paradise Hotel” debuted on Fox in 2003. Its initial run lasted only four-and-a-half months. Subsequent reboots — one for MyNetworkTV in 2008 and most recently, on Fox again in 2019 — each lasted even shorter…Two short-lived sitcoms concluded in 1994: “Getting By” on NBC starring Cindy Williams and Telma Hopkins (premiered on ABC in the spring of 1993), and “Harts of the West” on CBS starring the father-and-son duo of Lloyd and Beau Bridges….Syndicated adventure series “Xena: Warrior Princess” starring Lucy Lawless concluded its six-season run in 2001. The drama, a spin-off from the also-successful “Heracles: The Legendary Journeys”, became one of the signature syndicated hits of the 1990’s. The series was co-developed by Sam Raimi who had created the “Evil Dead” horror film series in the 80’s and directed the first “Spider-Man” film trilogy in the 2000’s…The characters of Luke and Laura (Anthony Geary and Genie Francis), the most famous couple from ABC’s “General Hospital”, signed divorce papers on the daytime drama in 2001…Legendary comedian Rodney Dangerfield made his final appearance as a talk show guest in 2004 on CBS’ “The Late Late Show with Craig Kilborn. Throughout his career, Dangerfield had appeared more than seventy times as a guest on NBC’s “The Tonight Show“…Four short-lived series premiered: NBC romance competition “Age of Love” and TNT medical drama “Heartland” — both in 2007; ABC reality competition “The Glass House” in 2012; and ABC drama “The Astronaut Wives Club” in 2015…“America Says”, hosted by John Michael Higgins, debuted on Game Show Network in 2018. The game show that involves two teams of four contestants attempting to guess the top answers of fill-in-the-blank survey questions also entered syndication in the fall of 2019…Also in 2018 was the launch of dating competition “The Proposal” on ABC. The series that was created by Mike Fleiss (“The Bachelor”) and hosted by season five “Bachelor” Jesse Palmer only ran for ten episodes.
 
Movies:
“Our Gang” short “Hide and Shriek, the final Hal Roach entry in the long-running theatrical series, was released in 1938. It featured Carl Switzer (Alfalfa), Billie Thomas (Buckwheat), Eugene Lee (Porky) and Darla Hood…”The Wild Bunch, directed by Sam Peckinpah and starring William Holden and Ernest Borgnine, was released in theaters in 1969…The movie musical version of “Annie” starring Albert FinneyCarol Burnett and Bernadette Peters debuted in 1982… Arnold Schwarzenegger experienced a then-rare summer box office stumble with “Last Action Hero” which opened in 1993…“The Fast and the Furious” movie franchise was born in 2001, with the first film starring Vin DieselPaul Walker and Michelle Rodriguez released…Cult comedy classic “Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story” starring Vince Vaughn and Ben Stiller was released in 2004.

Music:
“(Everything I Do) I Do It for You” single was released by Bryan Adams in 1991. It was named the Billboard Song of the Year…Toni Braxton‘s second studio album “Secrets” was released in 1996. It featured the No. 1 hits “You’re Makin’ Me High” and “Un-Break My Heart“…Recovery, the seventh studio album by Eminem, was released in 2010…Hitting No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100: “Dreams” by Fleetwood Mac in 1977; and “Together Forever” by Rick Astley in 1988.

Sports:
Yankees manager Billy Martin and Yankees outfielder Reggie Jackson get into a heated argument in the dugout that nearly resulted in a brawl during a nationally-televised New York Yankees-Boston Red Sox game at Boston’s Fenway Park in 1977.

News:
In 1928, Amelia Earhart became the first woman to fly across the Atlantic Ocean… British Prime Minister Winston Churchill gives his famous “this was their finest hour” speech to the House of Commons for the purposes of urging perseverance for the United Kingdom during the Battle of Britain in 1940…In 1983, Dr. Sally Ride became the first American woman in space.

Celebrity Birthdays
Musician Paul McCartney is 79; actress Constance McCashin (“Knots Landing”) is 74; actress Linda Thorson (“The Avengers”) is also 74; actress Isabella Rossellini is 69; actress Carol Kane (“Taxi”) is also 69; actor Brian Benben (“Dream On”) is 65; actress Andrea Evans (“The Bold and the Beautiful”) is 64; singer Alison Moyet is 60; actress Kim Dickens (“Fear the Walking Dead”) is 56; actress Mara Hobel (“Mommie Dearest”) is 50; singer Nathan Morris of Boyz II Men is also 50; singer Ray LaMontagne is 48; country singer-“The Voice” coach Blake Shelton is 45; actress Alana de la Garza (“FBI”) is also 45; actor David Giuntoli (“Grimm”, “A Million Little Things”) is 41; actor Richard Madden (“Game of Thrones”, “Bodyguard”) is 35; actress-singer Renee Olstead (“The Secret Life of the American Teenager,” “Still Standing”) is 32; actor Jacob Anderson (“Game of Thrones”) is 31.

Did You Know?
Many of the former “Our Gang” kids had short lives, unfortunately. But series creator Hal Roach, who passed away on Nov. 2, 1992, made it to 100…Gena Rowlands won an Emmy for her portrayal of former First Lady Betty Ford in the 1987 made-for-TV movie “The Betty Ford Story“…After “Knots Landing,” Constance McCashin has a recurring role on CBS sitcom “Brooklyn Bridge” as Rosemary Monahan from 1991 to 1993.