This Day in Showbiz History… January 9

aaronDurban funnyman, award-winning actor Aaron McIlroy (pictured), celebrates his birthday today, while Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page turns 73 and singer Joan Baez turns 76.

On this day in 1959, a young Clint Eastwood’s first cowboy vehicle, Rawhide, premiered on CBS TV, while on this day in 1996, the hit TV series Third Rock From the Sun had its first screening on America’s NBC.

On the theatre scene, Playbill reports that 2005 Tony
Award-winner Idina Menzel was to have played her final performance, as the green witch Elphaba, in Wicked, on this day in 2007. However, Playbill adds, Menzel missed the show after suffering an injury the day before, but rewarded disappointed fans by coming onstage – dressed in a red track suit – to complete the final scene of the musical.

Also on this day, in 2002, The Phantom of the Opera played its 7 486th performance on Broadway, surpassing Cats to become the longest-running show in Broadway history.

This week in 1985 saw the Lionel Richie hit, Say You, Say Me enjoy the first of its five weeks topping South Africa’s Springbok Radio singles chart. The song is from the film White Nights.