On This Day

October 1961 in Film & Television

Events in Film & TV

  • Oct 1 KGIN TV channel 11 in Grand Island, NB (CBS) begins broadcasting
  • Oct 1 WOLO TV channel 25 in Columbia, SC (ABC) begins broadcasting
  • Oct 1 WYAH TV channel 27 in Portsmouth, VA (IND) begins broadcasting
  • Oct 2 American medical drama series "Ben Casey", starring Vince Edwards and Sam Jaffe, premieres on ABC-TV
  • Oct 2 WETA TV channel 26 in Washington, D.C. (PBS) begins broadcasting
  • Oct 2 WHRO TV channel 15 in Hampton-Norfolk, Vitginia (PBS) begins broadcasting

Television Premiere

Oct 3 "The Dick Van Dyke Show" created by Carl Reiner starring Dick van Dyke premieres on CBS-TV

  • Oct 3 TV sitcom "Mr Ed" premieres on CBS
  • Oct 3 KMED (now KTVL) TV channel 10 in Medford, OR (CBS) begins broadcasting

Film Premier

Oct 5 "Breakfast at Tiffany's" film, based on the novella by Truman Capote, directed by Blake Edwards, and starring Audrey Hepburn, George Peppard, and Buddy Ebsen, premieres

Musical Finale

Oct 7 Charles Strouse and Lee Adams' musical "Bye Bye Birdie", starring Dick Van Dyke, Chita Rivera, and Dick Gautier, closes at Martin Beck Theater, NYC, after 607 performances and 4 Tony Awards

Television Premiere

Oct 10 Variety TV show "The Bob Newhart Show" premieres on NBC in the US

Film Release

Oct 18 Film adaptation of the 1957 Broadway musical "West Side Story", directed by Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins, and starring Natalie Wood, debuts (Academy Award - Best Picture, 1962)

Music History

Oct 21 Barbra Streisand opens in "Another Evening with Harry Stones"


Birthdays in Film & TV

  • Oct 1 Robert Rey, Brazilian-American plastic surgeon and television personality
  • Oct 4 David W Harper, American actor (The Waltons - "Jim Bob"), born in Abilene, Texas
  • Oct 4 Mary Ellen Stuart, American actress (Frannie Crawford-As the World Turns), born in Little Rock, Arkansas
  • Oct 7 Brian Mannix, Australian rock singer (Uncanny X-men - "How Do You Get Your Kicks?"), and actor, born in Melbourne, Australia
  • Oct 9 Jean Sagal, American actress (Kate-Double Trouble; Grease 2), born in Los Angeles, California
  • Oct 9 Liz Sagal, American actress (Allison-Double Trouble; Grease 2), born in Los Angeles, California
  • Oct 10 Jodi Benson, American voice actress (Ariel-The Little Mermaid), born in Rockford, Illinois
  • Oct 11 Neil Buchanan, English television presenter (Finders Keepers), born in Aintree, Liverpool, England
  • Oct 14 Melanie Wilson, American actress (Jennifer-Perfect Strangers), born in Los Angeles, California
  • Oct 14 Isaac Mizrahi, American fashion designer and TV presenter, born in Brooklyn, New York City
  • Oct 16 Randy Vasquez, American actor
  • Oct 19 David Egerton, English rugby union #8 (7 caps; Bath Rugby) and broadcaster (BBC), born in Pinner, England (d. 2021)
  • Oct 20 Michie Tomizawa, Japanese voice actress (Sailor Moon), born in Maruko, Japan
  • Oct 21 Mark Finch, film festival organiser
  • Oct 22 Robert Torti, American actor
  • Oct 23 Don and Ron Harris, American professional wrestlers
  • Oct 26 Dylan McDermott, American actor (The Practice, American Horror Story), born in Waterbury, Connecticut
  • Oct 29 Randy Jackson, American singer and musician, ninth Jackson brother (Jackson 5-ABC), born in Gary, Indiana
  • Oct 30 Dmitry Muratov, Russian journalist (Novaya Gazeta, 2021 Nobel Peace Prize), born in Kuibyshev, Russia, Soviet Union

Peter Jackson

Oct 31 Peter Jackson, New Zealand film director (Lord of the Rings - Academy Award, Best Director, 2003), born in Wellington, New Zealand


Deaths in Film & TV

  • Oct 1 Donald Cook, American actor (Too Young To Go Steady), dies at 60
  • Oct 11 Leonard "Chico" Marx, comedian (Marx Brothers), dies at 74
  • Oct 13 Maya Deren (born Eleanora Derenkowskaia) American filmmaker dies of a brain hemorrhage aged 44
  • Oct 13 Zoltan Korda, Hungarian-British film director (Jungle Book, 4 Feathers), dies at 66
  • Oct 18 Tsuru Aoki, Japanese-born American silent film actress (The Dragon Painter) dies at 69