Today in Entertainment History

On Jan. 20, 1965, disc jockey Alan Freed in Palm Springs, California, died of kidney and liver disease. He was 42. He’s credited with coining the phrase “rock and roll.”

In 1973, Jerry Lee Lewis made his debut at the Grand Ole Opry. Opry officials allowed him to perform as long as he didn’t use profanities and played only country music. By the end of the set, Lewis broke both agreements.

In 1982, singer Ozzy Osbourne bit the head off a live bat during a concert in Des Moines, Iowa. He claimed he thought it was a toy thrown to him by an audience member.

In 1984, Johnny Weissmuller, an Olympic champion who went on to movie stardom as “Tarzan,” died in Acapulco, Mexico, at age 79.


In 1988, Beach Boy Mike Love hurled insults at Paul McCartney, Diana Ross, Bruce Springsteen and Mick Jagger while the Beach Boys were being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

In 1990, actress Barbara Stanwyck, known for her role on “The Big Valley,” died of heart failure. She was 82.

Also in 1990, comedians Roseanne Barr and Tom Arnold were married. They have since split up.

In 1993, actress Audrey Hepburn died of cancer in Switzerland at the age of 63.

In 1998, singer Alice Nutter of Chumbawamba said on “Politically Incorrect” that the band advocated fans stealing copies of their album. Virgin Megastores reacted by pulling their albums from the shelves and putting them behind the counters.

In 2012, singer Etta James died of complications from leukemia at the age of 73.

Today’s Birthdays: Singer Eric Stewart (10cc, Wayne Fontana and the Mindbenders) is 75. Director David Lynch is 74. Drummer George Grantham of Poco is 73. Guitarist Paul Stanley of Kiss is 68. Bassist Ian Hill of Judas Priest is 68. TV host Bill Maher (MAR) (“Politically Incorrect”) is 64. Actor Lorenzo Lamas is 62. Actor James Denton (“Desperate Housewives”) is 57. Bassist Greg K. of The Offspring is 55. Country singer John Michael Montgomery is 55. Actor Rainn Wilson (“The Office”) is 54. Actress Stacey Dash (“Clueless”) is 53. Actor Reno Wilson (“Mike and Molly”) is 51. Singer Edwin McCain is 50. Actor Skeet Ulrich is 50. Drummer Questlove of The Roots is 49. Drummer Rob Bourdon of Linkin Park is 41. Singer-songwriter Bonnie McKee is 36. Country singer Brantley Gilbert is 35. Singer Kevin Parker of Tame Impala is 34. Actor Evan Peters (“American Horror Story”) is 33.

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