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Today in History: Wednesday, February 28, 2024

© by MeTV

On this day in 1955 on “I Love Lucy”: Lucy (Lucille Ball) was determined to own a Don Loper gown and winds up being part of a “Hollywood Wives” fashion show, wearing a scratchy tweed suit while having a bad sunburn…ABC’s “Happy Days” introduced Mork (Robin Williams), an alien who sought to collect an average Earthling to study back on his home planet of Ork in 1978. Mork selected Richie Cunningham (Ron Howard) to be that Earthling but Fonzie (Henry Winkler) stopped that plan by rumbling with the alien at the restaurant Arnold’s. Williams would then continue his alien character in the ABC sitcom “Mork & Mindy”, which co-starred Pam Dawber and became an instant hit when it debuted in the fall of 1978….Inane NBC variety hour “The Chuck Barris Rah Rah Show” debuted on NBC in 1978. Patterned after “The Gong Show” and featuring Jaye P. Morgan, this short-lived fiasco featured a quick succession of unusual acts…A record 106 million viewers tuned in to watch “Goodbye, Farewell and Amen, the two-and-one-half hour series finale of CBS’ “MASH” in 1983. The series ran for 11-seasons, producing 256 episodes in total…ABC sitcom “Coach,” starring Craig T. Nelson, opened its nine season run in 1987. A total of 200 episodes were produced. Recent talks of a revival series never moved forward…Two short-lived NBC series debuted: single-cam comedy “Leap of Faith” starring Sarah Paulson, Ken Marino, Lisa Edelstein, Regina King and Tim Meadows in 2002; and, following the closing ceremony of the Vancouver Winter Olympics in 2010, celebrity panel game show “The Marriage Ref” produced by Jerry Seinfeld, hosted by Tom Papa and narrated by Marv Albert.

In 1940, Hattie McDaniel became the first African American to win an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance in “Gone With the Wind”“The Return of the King”, the last installment in the film adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s epic fantasy “The Lord of the Rings”, received was the recipient of 11 Academy Awards. Comparably, that tied the record held by “Ben-Hur” (1959) and “Titanic” (1997).

The legendary Michael Jackson won eight awards at the 26th Grammy Awards show in 1984. This was for Best R&B Vocal, Male for ‘Billie Jean’, Best R&B Song (Songwriter) for ‘Billie Jean’, Best Rock Vocal, Male for ‘Beat It’, Producer of the Year (Non-Classical), Best Pop Vocal, Male for ‘Thriller‘, Best Video Album for ‘Thriller’, Best Recording for Children (Quincy Jones & Michael Jackson) for ‘E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial’, Record of the Year ‘Beat It’, and Album of the Year for ‘Thriller’. Drawing 51.7 million viewers that night on CBS, it still remains as the most-watched Grammy Awards in U.S. TV history… Reaching No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart: “Bridge Over Troubled Water” by Simon & Garfunkel in 1970, “Theme from S.W.A.T.” by Rhythm Heritage in 1976, “I Love A Rainy Night” by Eddie Rabbitt in 1981, and, debuting at No. 1, “My Heart Will Go On (Theme from ‘Titanic’)” by Celine Dion in 1998.

Egypt was declared an independent country in 1922.

Celebrity Birthdays
Actor-director-dancer Tommy Tune is 85; auto racing champion Mario Andretti is 84; actress Kelly Bishop (“Gilmore Girls” is 80; actress Stephanie Beacham (“Dynasty”) is 77; actress Bernnadette Peters is 76; actress Mercedes Ruehl (“The Fisher King”) is 76; actress Ilene Graf (“Mr. Belvedere”) is 75; actor John Turturro is 67; B-52’s singer Cindy Wilson is 67; chef Ainsley Harriott is 67; actor Rae Dawn Chong (“The Color Purple”) is 63; actor Robert Sean Leonard (“House, M.D.”) is 55; singer Pat Monahan of Train is 55; author Lemony Snicket (aka Daniel Handler) is 54; actor Rory Cochrane (“24,” ″CSI: Miami”) is 52; former Philadelphia Flyers forward Eric Lindros is 51; actress Ali Larter (“Legally Blonde”) is 48; country singer Jason Aldean is 47; All-Star Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic is 25.

-Did You Know?:
Bad career move: Stella Stevens was originally offered the role of Major Margaret “Hot Lips” Houlihan on “MASH,” but turned it down, because she wanted to focus on her film career. That role, of course, went to two-time Emmy Award winner Loretta Swit.