Today in Entertainment History

On July 3, 1969, former Rolling Stones guitarist Brian Jones was found dead in his swimming pool at home in England at the age of 27. The coroner’s report cited death by misadventure.

Also in 1969, John Wayne won his first Oscar after 200 films for playing Rooster Cogburn in “True Grit.”

Also in 1969, for the first time, the Newport Jazz Festival in Rhode Island featured rock artists. Jeff Beck, Led Zeppelin and Ten Years After were among the acts that performed.

In 1971, Doors singer Jim Morrison died of heart failure in Paris. He was found in his bathtub. News of Morrison’s death was not made public until days after his burial in a Paris cemetery, leading many fans to believe he was still alive.


In 1973, David Bowie retired for the first time in London.

In 1986, singer Rudy Vallee died at age 84 at his home outside Los Angeles.

Also in 1986, singer Teddy Pendergrass was critically injured when the specially equipped van he was driving hit a utility pole in Philadelphia. Pendergrass was paralyzed in a 1982 auto crash.

In 1989, actor Jim Backus died. He’s best known for playing Thurston Howell on “Gilligan’s Island” and for providing the voice for Mr. Magoo.

In 1995, members of TLC filed for bankruptcy. Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes (LOH’-pez) faced a $1.3 million payment for burning down the mansion of her boyfriend, Andre Rison (RY’-zuhn).

Also in 1995, Scott Weiland (WY’-land) of Stone Temple Pilots pleaded innocent to drug charges.

In 1999, singer Mark Sandman of Morphine collapsed on stage during a show in Rome and died of a heart attack. He was 46.

Also in 1999, “Posh Spice” Victoria Adams of the Spice Girls married soccer star David Beckham at an estate outside Dublin, Ireland.

Today’s Birthdays: Actor Michael Cole (“The Mod Squad”) is 80. Singer Judith Durham of The Seekers is 77. Actor Kurtwood Smith (“That 70s Show”) is 77. Country singer Johnny Lee is 74. Writer Dave Barry is 73. Actress Betty Buckley is 73. Actress Jan Smithers (“WKRP In Cincinnati”) is 71. Actor Bruce Altman (“Blue Bloods”) is 65. Talk show host Montel Williams is 64. Country singer Aaron Tippin is 62. Synthesizer player Vince Clarke of Erasure is 60. Actor Tom Cruise is 58. Actor Thomas Gibson (“Criminal Minds,” ″Dharma and Greg”) is 58. Actress Hunter Tylo is 58. Actress Connie Nielsen (“Gladiator”) is 56. Actress Yeardley (YARD’-lee) Smith (“The Simpsons”) is 56. TV chef Sandra Lee is 54. Singer Ishmael “Butterfly” Butler of Digable Planets is 51. Keyboardist-guitarist Kevin Hearn of Barenaked Ladies is 51. Actress Shawnee Smith (“Saw,” ″Becker”) is 51. Actress-singer Audra McDonald (“Private Practice”) is 50. Country singer Trent Tomlinson is 45. Actress Andrea Barber (“Full House”) is 44. Comedian Julie Klausner (“Difficult People”) is 42. Singer Tonia Tash of Divine is 41. Actress Olivia Munn (“The Newsroom”) is 40. Actress Shoshannah Stern (“Jericho”) is 40. Singer Elle King is 31. Actor Grant Rosenmeyer (TV’s “Oliver Beene”) is 29. Actress Kelsey Batelaan (“Nip/Tuck”) is 25.

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