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Today in History: Saturday, October 21, 2023

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Television and Radio
CBS anthology series “Climax!” presented the first screen adaptation of an Ian Fleming James Bond novel in 1954. The novel was “Casino Royale,” Fleming’s first published work, and James Bond was played by Barry Nelson. In the live “Climax!” adaptation, Bond is an American agent working for “Combined Intelligence,” and is frequently referred to as “Jimmy,”…Actor Harry Anderson made his first appearance on NBC sitcom “Cheers” in 1982 in his recurring role as Harry the Hat. He would later star in the sitcom “Night Court”…Also in 1982: Former talk show host Mike Douglas and personality Zsa Zsa Gabor guest starred on CBS prime time soap “Knots Landing“…Fantasy sitcom “Jennifer Slept Here” debuted on NBC in 1983. The series, which starred Ann Jillian and Georgia Engel, only lasted 13 episodes…Even successful showrunners stumble on occasion and two of them had short-lived series that launched on this day. The first was CBS newsroom sitcom “Ink” from Diane English (“Murphy Brown”), which starred and was co-produced by Ted Danson and Mary Steenburgen. The second was Fox legal drama “Girls Club” from David E. Kelley (“Ally McBeal”) in 2002 starring Gretchen Mol and Chyler Leigh.

“Stormy Weather, starring Bill RobinsonLena Horne and Fats Waller singing “Ain’t Misbehavin'” opened in theaters in the United States in 1943…“The Quiet Man” directed by John Ford and starring John Ford and Maureen O’Hara was released in the UK in 1952…The Oscar-winning U.S. space drama “The Right Stuff” starring Ed Harris was released in 1983…Also in 1983, the Tom Cruise football drama “All the Right Moves“…Before Julia Roberts hit it big with 1990’s “Pretty Woman”, she starred in the young adult comedy “Mystic Pizza” which opened in 1988. The title of the film was inspired by a pizza shop in Mystic, Connecticut…“Guardians of the Galaxy,” starring Chris Pratt and Zoe Saldana, premiered in Hollywood in 2014….Based on the plot of this 1985 film, today is considered “Back to the Future” Day.

Rocker Meat Loaf released his iconic second studio album “Bat Out of Hell” in 1977. It featured the hit songs “You Took the Words Right Out of My Mouth (Hot Summer Night)“, “Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad” and “Paradise by the Dashboard Light“…A storm cut short Diana Ross’ free concert in New York City’s Central Park in 1983.

In 1991, Apple released the PowerBook 100 laptop computer at the introductory price of $2,300 USD.

Shortly after the release of her album “Erotica”, Madonna premiered her photo book “SEX” in 1992. The provocative work also featured Isabella RosselliniNaomi CampbellBig Daddy Kane and Vanilla Ice …”Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows,” the final book in the series by J.K. Rowling was published worldwide in 2007.

Boston Red Sox catcher Carlton Fisk blasted a walk-off home run in the bottom of the 12th inning at Fenway Park to give Boston a 7-6 Game 6 victory over the Cincinnati Reds and forced a Game 7 of the World Series in 1975. The iconic video of Fisk’s arms waving to try to keep his fly ball to left field fair was due to a rat running over the legs of NBC camera operator Lou Gerard inside the Green Monster scoreboard and he accidentally followed Fisk with his camera. The moment pioneered the baseball player reaction shot on TV.

Celebrity Birthdays:
“The Honeymooners” star Joyce Randolph is 99; Judge Judy Sheindlin is 81; singer Elvin Bishop is also 81; Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu is 74; Patti Davis (the daughter of President Ronald Reagan) is 71; director Catherine Hardwicke (“Twilight”) is 68; actor Ken Watanabe (“The Last Samurai”) is 64; actress Melora Walters (“Big Love”) is also 64; YES Network baseball analyst John Flaherty is 56; actor Jeremy Miller (“Growing Pains”) is 47; actor Will Estes (“Blue Bloods”) is 45; Kim Kardashian is 43; Houston Astros pitcher Zack Greinke is 40; rapper Shéyaa Bin Abraham-Joseph (aka 21 Savage) is 31; country singer Kane Brown is 30.

Did You Know?
Joyce Randolph was not the first actress to play Thelma “Trixie” Norton.  Elaine Stritch originated the role in a “Honeymooners” sketch opposite Jackie Gleason, Art Carney and Pert Kelton on “Cavalcade of Stars, hosted by Gleason, on the DuMont network.  The character of Trixie was originally a burlesque dancer, but the role became more wholesome once Randolph stepped in…After Glenn Scarpelli was told his presence on the original “One Day At a Time” would be downgraded to guest star in the ninth — and final — season, he exited for a role on NBC sitcom “Jennifer Slept Here.