Today in Entertainment History

On Feb. 28, 1966, the Cavern Club in Liverpool, England, where the Beatles began their climb to fame, closed because of financial problems. The next day, dozens of people protested at the club in hopes of keeping it open.

In 1968, singer Frankie Lymon was found dead of a heroin overdose in New York. He was 25. As the frontman for The Teenagers, he had a hit song with “Why Do Fools Fall In Love.”

In 1974, singer-songwriter Bobby Bloom died by suicide in West Hollywood, California. He was 28. Bloom’s biggest hit was “Montego Bay.”

In 1979, “talking horse” Mr. Ed died.

In 1983, the final episode of “MASH” aired, bringing in the biggest TV audience of all time to that date.

In 1984, Michael Jackson won a record eight Grammy Awards, including album of the year for “Thriller” and record of the year for “Beat It.” Jackson lost to Sting of The Police in the song of the year category, when “Every Breath You Take” won. Culture Club was named best new artist.

In 1986, singer George Michael announced Wham! was breaking up.

In 1993, actor Tony Curtis married his fourth wife, Lisa Deutsch.

In 2000, The Pretenders played a concert in their hometown of Akron, Ohio, for the first time.

In 2005, opening statements began in Michael Jackson’s child molestation trial. He was later acquitted.

In 2008, singer-keyboardist Mike Smith of The Dave Clark Five died of pneumonia in London, less than two weeks before the band was to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Today’s Birthdays: Actor Gavin MacLeod (mih-KLOWD’) is 90. Singer Sam the Sham is 84. Actor-director-dancer Tommy Tune is 82. Actor Frank Bonner (“WKRP in Cincinnati”) is 79. Actor Kelly Bishop (“Gilmore Girls”) is 77. Actor Stephanie Beacham (“Beverly Hills, 90210,” ″SeaQuest DSV”) is 74. Writer-director Mike Figgis is 73. Actor Mercedes Ruehl (ROOL) is 73. Actor Bernadette Peters is 73. Actor Ilene Graff (“Mr. Belvedere”) is 72. Comedian Gilbert Gottfried is 66. Actor John Turturro is 64. Singer Cindy Wilson of The B-52′s is 64. Actor Rae Dawn Chong (“The Color Purple”) is 60. Actor Maxine Bahns (“The Brothers McMullen”) is 52. Actor Robert Sean Leonard (“House, M.D.”) is 52. Singer Pat Monahan of Train is 52. Author Lemony Snicket (AKA Daniel Handler) is 51. Actor Tasha Smith (“Empire”) is 50. Actor Rory Cochrane (“24,” ″CSI: Miami”) is 49. Actor Ali Larter is 45. Country singer Jason Aldean is 44. Actor Geoffrey Arend (“Madam Secretary”) is 43. Actor Melanie Chandra (“Code Black”) is 37. Actor Michelle Horn (“Family Law,” ″Strong Medicine”) is 34. Actor True O’Brien (“Days of Our Lives”) is 27. Actor Madisen Beaty (“The Fosters”) is 26. Actor Quinn Shephard (“Hostages”) is 26. Actor Bobb’e J. Thompson (“The Tracy Morgan Show”) is 25.

Feb. 29 birthdays: Actor Joss Ackland (“A Kid in King Arthur’s Court,” “The Mighty Ducks”) is 93. Actor Antonio Sabato Jr. is 49. Rapper Ja Rule is 45. Singer Mark Foster of Foster The People is 37.

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