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Today in History: Tuesday, April 20, 2021

© by Photo courtesy of United Artists

Television and Radio:
Comedian Jerry Lewis had a cameo appearance on ABC’s “Batman” in 1966 in the episode entitled “The Bookworm Turns.” Roddy McDowall played villain the Bookworm…The final episode of the controversial ABC sitcom “Soap” aired in 1981 after four seasons. The spinoff “Benson, starring Robert Guillaume, had a longer shelf life at seven seasons (from 1979 to 1986)…Classic fiasco: Geraldo Rivera opened Al Capone’s vault on live TV in 1986 and found nothing…The pilot episode of drama “Walker, Texas Ranger” starring Chuck Norris aired on CBS in 1993. Three episodes aired in the abbreviated first season, with “Walker, Texas Ranger” airing for eight full seasons (through May 19, 2001). The series returned in the form of a made-for television movie in 2005, and currently can be seen as a reboot called “Walker” starring Jared Padalecki on The CW… Four short-lived series launched: 1) Showtime private eye comedy-drama “Hard Knocks” in 1987 starring Bill Maher; 2) The WB sitcom “Kelly Kelly” in 1998 starring Shelley Long and Robert Hays; 3) Hallmark romantic comedy “Signed, Sealed, Delivered” in 2014 created by “Touched By An Angel’s” Martha Williamson; 4) Netflix computer-animated “Spy Kids: Mission Critical” in 2018…The CW first arrived in the U.S. territory of Guam in 2009 via the launch of local affiliate KTKB…”Raising Whitley“, the docuseries that followed the life of actress-comedienne Kym Whitley, debuted on OWN in 2013. It ran for four condensed seasons within a four-year span…Supernatural horror drama “Salem” debuted on WGN America in 2014. Starring Janet Montgomery, Shane West and Seth Gabel, it was the cable network’s first original scripted series and marked WGN’s transition from a Chicago-based superstation into a general entertainment network. The series ran for three condensed seasons…Four short-lived series concluded: 1 and 2) NBC sitcoms “Happy Family” and “Whoopi” in 2004; 3) ABC non-scripted “Oprah’s Big Give” in 2008; and 4) NBC comedy “Powerless” in 2017 starring Vanessa Hudgens.

Movies:
Best Picture Academy Award winning theatrical “Annie Hall,” directed by and starring Woody Allen and Diane Keaton, was released in 1977. The film won four Oscars including Keaton for Outstanding Actress in a Leading Role…“Shrek Forever After” featuring the voices of Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy and Cameron Diaz premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2010.

Music:
Elvis Presley’s first hit record, “Heartbreak Hotel”, rose to No. 1 on the Billboard charts in 1956…After 37 weeks Michael Jackson’s album “Thriller” is knocked off as top album by “Footloose” in 1984…Barbra Streisand recorded single “You’ll Never Know” in 1988.

Sports
Despite his Chicago Bulls losing to the Boston Celtics 135-131 in double overtime, Michael Jordan scored 63 points which set the single-game NBA playoff scoring record (a mark that remains, as of today) in 1986…Danica Patrick driving for Andretti Green Racing won the Indy Japan 300 in 2008. She was the first female driver in history to win an IndyCar Series race.

Celebrity Birthdays:
Original “Star Trek” actor George Takei is 84; actor Ryan O’Neal is 80; two-time Oscar winner Jessica Lange is 72; actor Clint Howard is 62; actor Crispin Glover is 57; actor Andy Serkis (“The Lord of the Rings”) is also 57; “S.W.A.T.” star Shemar Moore is 51; “Baywatch” star Carmen Electra is 49; actor Joey Lawrence (“Melissa & Joey”) is 45.
 
Did You Know?:
George Takei, of course, is known as his original “Star Trek” character Sulu. But, from 2007 to 2010, he had the recurring role of Kaito Nakamura on NBC drama “Heroes”Clint Howard’s claim to fame (other than making small appearances in his director brother Ron’s films) was in 1967-69 half-hour drama “Gentle Ben. The series chronicled the adventures of Clint as young Mark Wedloe and his lovable black bear Ben.