On This Day: March 30


Warren Beatty has his very first brush with his favorite place on Earth! Plus, a madman delays the Oscars... for the love of a movie star... who then goes on to win an Oscar... in the very same movie that denies Beatty a statuette. If you can link 'em all together, you might be able to win at Jeopardy. And that's in the mix, too. As is Lauren Bacall's hit Broadway gay bar experience. Same day, different years. Confused? You won't be once you make the jump.

1937 -- Warren Beatty leaves the birth canal. He likes what he sees on the way out and makes a note to do around 13,000 comparison studies over the next 73 years. That's dedication.

1964 -- Jeopardy debuts on NBC-TV. Host Art Fleming won't miss even one of the next 2500 tapings. Also dedicated.

1970 -- The musical adaptation of All About Eve opens at the Palace Theater on Broadway. It's called Applause, stars Lauren Bacall, and will run for 896 shows. A quarter of a century later, the story will be loosely translated back to the big screen. It's called Showgirls, stars Elizabeth Berkley, runs approximately three weeks (but will live in our hearts forever).


1981 -- With just four hours' notice, the Oscars are delayed by a day after the assassination attempt on Ronald Reagan leaves the President undergoing emergency surgery. Unbalanced gunman John Hinckley Jr has been inspired by Taxi Driver and hopes his rather hardcore publicity stunt will impress its star, Jodie Foster, who he's been stalking long-term. Reagan, who has taken a slug under the armpit, puncturing his lung, quotes Jack Dempsey by telling wife Nancy "Honey, I forgot to duck!" when she arrives at George Washington University Hospital. Later in the day he pays homage to W.C. Fields in a scribbled note. (Twenty years later, the events will be replayed in imaginatively titled telemovie The Day Reagan Was Shot, in which the Commander In Chief will be played by Richard Crenna). This delay to the Oscars marks the third time the Academy Awards have been postponed. They'd been held back by two days in 1968, following the assassination of Dr Martin Luther King, and by a week in 1938 when Los Angeles suffered heavy flooding.

1986 -- James Cagney, legendary tough guy, dies of a heart attack at his Dutchess County farm in New York. Ronald Reagan, who'd been friends with Cagney since they co-starred in 1938's Boy Meets Girl and who'd awarded him the Presidential Medal Of Freedom in '84, eulogizes Cagney as "the classic American success story, lifting himself by determination and hard work out of poverty to national acclaim."

1992 -- The Silence Of The Lambs becomes only the third film to win all five major Oscars, with Anthony Hopkins besting Warren Beatty for Bugsy on the latter's 55th birthday. Strangely, Lambs' landmark achievement will be forgotten by those organizing the gormless "horror tribute" at the 2010 Oscars, which forces clueless Twilight presenters to lament that the genre hasn't graced the podium since The Exorcist ... before showing clips of Hopkins' Hannibal and Jodie Foster's Clarice. Say whaaaaa?