On This Day

January 1931 in Film & Television

Events in Film & TV

  • Jan 22 VARA begins experimental TV broadcast in Diamantbeurs Amsterdam
  • Jan 26 "Cimarron" directed by Wesley Ruggles and starring Richard Dix and Irene Dunne premieres in New York. 1st western to win Best Outstanding Production/Picture (1931)

Film release premierFilm Premier

Jan 30 "City Lights", American silent romantic comedy film directed by Charlie Chaplin, starring himself and Virginia Cherrill, premieres at Los Angeles Theater

Comedian, Actor and Filmmaker Charlie Chaplin
Comedian, Actor and Filmmaker
Charlie Chaplin

Birthdays in Film & TV


Person of interestRobert Duvall

Jan 5 Robert Duvall, American award winning actor and filmmaker (The Godfather, Apocalypse Now, MASH, Great Santini, Taxi Driver), born in San Diego, California

  • Jan 6 P J Kavanagh [Patrick Joeseph], British poet, actor and journalist (The Perfect Stranger), born in Worthing, Sussex (d. 2015)
  • Jan 11 Ed Hall, American actor (Mannis, baby... I'm Back!, Medical Center), born in Roxbury, Massachusetts
  • Jan 13 Charles Nelson Reilly, American actor, comedian and gameshow panelist (Match Game, Ghost & Mrs Muir), born in NYC, New York (d. 2007)

Person of interestRip Taylor

Jan 13 Rip Taylor, American actor and comedian (Gong Show, $1.98 Beauty Show), born in Washington, D.C. (d. 2019)

Comedian and Actor Rip Taylor
Comedian and Actor
Rip Taylor
  • Jan 13 Ian Hendry, British actor (The Avengers, The Lotus Eaters), born in Ipswich, Suffolk (d. 1984)
  • Jan 14 Caterina Valente, Italian singer, dancer, and actress (Bon soir, Kathrin!, The Entertainers), born in Paris, France
  • Jan 15 Thomas Hoving, American news correspondent (20/20), born in NYC, New York
  • Jan 16 Vladimír Škutina, Czechoslovakian writer and actor (Hvezda jede na jih), born in Prague, Czechoslovakia (d. 1995)
  • Jan 17 James Earl Jones, American actor (Darth Vader, Exorcist II, Soul Man), born in Arkabutla, Mississippi
  • Jan 19 Robert MacNeil, news anchor (NBC Weekend News, 1965-67), born in Montreal, Quebec
  • Jan 25 Dean Jones, American actor (Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo, The Love Bug), born in Decatur, Alabama (d. 2015)
  • Jan 25 Harold Lloyd Jr., American actor, singer and son of famous silent film actor Harold Lloyd sr (Frankenstein's Daughter), born in Beverly Hills, California (d. 1971)
  • Jan 25 "Stikkan" Stig Anderson, Swedish actor, music entrepreneur and co-founder of Polar Music (ABBA), born in Hova, Sweden (d. 1997)
  • Jan 26 Mary Murphy, American actress (A Man Alone, Maggie-Investigators), born in Washington, D.C. (d. 2011)
  • Jan 27 John Hopkins, English TV, film and stage writer (Z-Cars), born in London (d. 1998)

Deaths in Film & TV

  • Jan 4 Arthemus "Art" Acord, American silent film actor and rodeo champion (Arizona Kid, Hard Fists), commits suicide by poison at 40
  • Jan 9 Wayne Munn, wrestler (b. 1896)
  • Jan 22 Alma Rubens, American actress (Humoresque), dies of Lobar pneumonia and bronchitis at 33