Today in Entertainment History

On Oct. 31, 1926, magician Harry Houdini died in Detroit of gangrene and peritonitis resulting from a ruptured appendix. He was 52.

In 1967, The Stooges played their first concert, at a Halloween party at their house in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

In 1970, singer Michelle Phillips of The Mamas and The Papas married actor Dennis Hopper. They divorced after eight days.

In 1986, Pink Floyd guitarist Roger Waters filed suit in London to dissolve Pink Floyd and retain the rights to the name. The other members of the band were granted temporary rights to the name and later full rights.

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In 1988, actor John Houseman died at the age of 96 in Malibu, California. He’s probably best known for his work on “The Paper Chase.”

Also in 1988, singer Debbie Gibson held a séance at her Halloween party to contact Liberace (lih-ber-AH’-chee) and Sid Vicious.

In 1991, Joseph Papp, the producer who brought “A Chorus Line” to Broadway, died in New York. He was 70.

In 1993, movie director Federico Fellini died in Rome at age 73.

Also in 1993, actor River Phoenix died after collapsing outside a Los Angeles nightclub. He was 23.

In 1996, Elizabeth Taylor’s divorce from Larry Fortensky was finalized.

In 1997, more than 200 counterfeit tickets were confiscated when Jane’s Addiction reunited for a show in New York. Hundreds of fans were turned away, and refunds were given to legitimate ticketholders.

Today’s Birthdays: Actress Lee Grant is 94. Anchorman Dan Rather is 88. Folk singer Tom Paxton is 82. Actor Ron Rifkin (“Alias”) is 81. Actress Sally Kirkland is 78. Actor Stephen Rea (“The Crying Game,” ”V For Vendetta”) is 73. Actress Deidre Hall (“Days Of Our Lives”) is 72. Journalist Jane Pauley is 69. Broadway performer Brian Stokes Mitchell is 62. Director Peter Jackson (“Lord of the Rings”) is 58. Drummer Larry Mullen Junior of U2 is 58. Guitarist Johnny Marr of Modest Mouse (and The Smiths) is 56. Actor Dermot Mulroney is 56. Drummer Mikkey Dee of Motorhead and of Scorpions is 56. Country singer Darryl Worley is 55. Actor Rob Schneider is 55. Actor Mike O’Malley (“Glee”) is 54. Guitarist Ad-Rock of the Beastie Boys is 53. Musician Adam Schelsinger (SHLES’-in-jer) of Fountains of Wayne is 52. Musician Rob Van Winkle (Vanilla Ice) is 52. Guitarist Rogers Stevens of Blind Melon is 50. Singer Linn Berggren of Ace of Base is 49. Reality show host Troy Hartman (“Extreme Survival,” ”No Boundaries”) is 48. Gospel singer Smokie Norful is 46. Actress Piper Perabo (PEER’-uh-boh) is 43. Keyboardist Tay Strathairn of Dawes is 39. Actor Eddie Kaye Thomas (“American Pie”) is 39. Guitarist Frank Iero (My Chemical Romance) is 38. Actor Justin Chatwin (“American Gothic”) is 37. Actress Holly Taylor (“The Americans”) is 22. Actress Danielle Rose Russell (“Legacies,” “The Originals”) is 20. Singer-actress Willow Smith is 19.

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