On This Day in Showbiz History… January 26

sinatraaOn this day in 1974, The Exorcist took the Academy Award for best picture, the first and only horror film to do so, while on this day in 1980 some 175 000 people paid to hear Frank Sinatra (pictured) sing in Rio de Janeiro.

Ellen DeGeneres turns 59 today and Eddie van Halen turns 62. Others having birthdays today include actor Scott Glenn (76) and David Straitham (68). And, had he not died, aged 83, in 2008, Paul Newman would have turned 92.

This day in 1988 marked the opening on Broadway of the Andrew Lloyd Webber classic, Phantom of the Opera, with Michael Crawford and Sarah Brightman in the lead roles. And this day in 1996 marked the off-Broadway opening of the musical Rent which then went to Broadway and won awards.

The song Innuendo by Queen was Britain’s top-selling song on this day in 1991. Just saying…