This Day in Showbiz History… December 31

Had he not died in a plane crash in 1997, singer John Denver (pictured) would have turned 74 today, and the late Donna Summer, the disco diva who passed in 2012, would have celebrated her 69th birthday.

Actor Val Kilmer turns 58 today, Anthony Hopkins turns 80, Ben Kingsley turns 74, Bebe Neuwirth turns 59 and Gangnam Style hit-maker Psy turns 40. Celebs who died on this day include actor Cesar Romero (1994) and musician Hank Williams (1953).

It was on this day in 1879 that the Gilbert and Sullivan classic, The Pirates of Penzance ,had its world premiere in New York; and on this day in 1996 that the king of musicals, Andrew Lloyd Webber, became a Lord.

This day in 2011 saw the London stage production of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert close after 1 000 performances, having opened at the West End’s Palace Theatre in March 2009.

The song crowning South Africa’s Springbok Radio singles chart this week in 1988 was Locomotion by Kylie Minogue, which spent 11 weeks at number one. Just saying…