Events in Film & Television in 1961

  • Jan 21 KIFI TV channel 8 in Idaho Falls, Idaho (NBC) begins broadcasting
  • Jan 23 Supreme Court rules cities & states have right to censor films

Conference of Interest

Jan 25 1st live, nationally televised presidential news conference with JFK

Film Release

Jan 25 Walt Disney's animated film "101 Dalmatians", based on the novel by Dodie Smith and directed by Clyde Geronimi and Hamilton Luske is released in the US

  • Jan 27 "Sing Along with Mitch" [Miller] premieres on NBC TV
  • Jan 30 Bobby Darin is youngest performer to headline a TV special on NBC
  • Jan 30 KAET TV channel 8 in Phoenix, AZ (PBS) begins broadcasting

Film Premiere

Jan 31 "The Misfits" premieres in NYC, final movie for both Clark Gable and Marilyn Monroe

  • Feb 6 KOAP TV channel 10 in Portland, OR (PBS) begins broadcasting

Film & TV History

Feb 7 Jane Fonda made her acting debut in the NBC drama "A String of Beads"

Music Recording

Feb 13 Frank Sinatra launches Reprise label under Warner Bros Records

Music Single

Mar 9 The Supremes release singles "I Want A Guy" and "Never Again"

  • Mar 29 KCPT TV channel 19 in Kansas City, MO (PBS) begins broadcasting
  • Mar 31 8th National Film Awards (India): "Anuradha" wins the Golden Lotus
  • Apr 3 Jacques Offenbach and Yip Harburg's musical "The Happiest Girl in the World", starring Cyril Ritchard and Justine Rule, opens at Martin Beck Theatre, NYC; runs for 97 performances
  • Apr 14 1st live television broadcast from Soviet Union
  • Apr 15 Meredith Willson's musical "The Music Man", starring Robert Preston and Barbara Cook, closes at Majestic Theater, NYC. after 1375 performances, 5 Tony Awards, and a Grammy

Academy Awards

Apr 17 33rd Academy Awards: "Apartment" wins best film, Burt Lancaster & Elizabeth Taylor win best actor, actress

Film & TV History

Apr 17 Jimmy Stewart accepts an honorary Oscar on behalf of his friend Gary Cooper, who is too ill to attend

Music History

Apr 23 Singer Judy Garland appears in concert at Carnegie Hall, NYC; event is recorded for a double live album, wins Grammy Award for Album of the Year (the first such win by a female artist)

  • Apr 29 ABC's "Wide World of Sports" debuts
  • May 15 "Bonanza" by Al Caiola Orchestra hits #19

Emmy Awards

May 16 13th Emmy Awards: Jack Benny Show, Raymond Burr & Barbara Stanwyck win

  • May 18 14th Cannes Film Festival: "The Long Absence" directed by Henri Colpi and "Viridiana" directed by Luis Bunuel jointly awarded the Palme d'Or

Film Premiere

May 29 "A Raisin in the Sun", film adaptation of Lorraine Hansberry's stage play, starring the Broadway cast including Sidney Poitier, Ruby Dee, John Fiedler, and Ivan Dixon premieres

  • Jun 11 "Winston Churchill" last airs on ABC-TV
  • Jun 13 Billy Barnes' musical revue "Billy Barnes People", starting Ken Berry, Dave Ketchum, and Jo Anne Worley, opens at Royale Theater, NYC; runs for 7 performances
  • Jun 16 Dave Garroway is fired as host of NBC's "Today Show"
  • Jun 17 Billy Barnes' musical revue "Billy Barnes People", starting Ken Berry, Dave Ketchum, and Jo Anne Worley, closes at Royale Theater, NYC, after 7 performances
  • Jun 18 CBS radio cancels Gunsmoke
  • Jun 18 KBMT TV channel 12 in Beaumont, Texas (ABC) begins broadcasting
  • Jun 23 11th Berlin International Film Festival: "The Night" wins the Golden Bear
  • Jul 1 KNDU TV channel 25 in Richland-Pasco-Kennew, WA (NBC) 1st broadcast
  • Jul 4 Walt Disney is one of the two main speakers on the Independence Day in The Rebuild Hills at Skørping in Denmark
  • Jul 5 KUSD TV channel 2 in Vermillion, SD (PBS) begins broadcasting
  • Jul 19 1st in-flight movie shown on TWA
  • Jul 22 WBNB TV channel 10 in Charlotte Amaile, VI (CBS) begins broadcasting
  • Aug 20 22nd Venice Film Festival: "Last Year at Marienbad" directed by Alain Resnais wins Golden Lion

Radio Premiere

Sep 4 Carol Burnett-Richard Hayes Show premieres on CBS radio

  • Sep 9 Maria Beale Fletcher (NC), 19, crowned 34th Miss America 1962
  • Sep 16 WLKY TV channel 32 in Louisville, Kentucky (ABC) begins broadcasting
  • Sep 23 1st movie to become a TV series, "How to Marry a Millionaire" premieres
  • Sep 25 KTPS TV channel 62 in Tacoma, WA (PBS) begins broadcasting
  • Sep 28 "Doctor Kildare" debuts on NBC-TV

Television Debut

Sep 28 "Hazel" starring Shirley Booth debuts on NBC-TV

  • Sep 28 American medical drama series "Dr. Kildare", starring Richard Chamberlain and Raymond Massey, premieres on NBC-TV
  • Sep 28 Walt Disney's movie "Grey Friars Bobby" premieres
  • Sep 29 "Detectives" TV Crime Drama; moves to NBC-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 and Mary Tyler Moore premieres on CBS-TV

  • Oct 3 KMED (now KTVL) TV channel 10 in Medford, OR (CBS) begins broadcasting

Music Premiere

Oct 3 Noël Coward's musical "Sail Away", starring Elaine Stritch, opens at Broadhurst Theater, NYC; runs for 167 performances

  • Oct 3 TV sitcom "Mr Ed" premieres on CBS

Film Premiere

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

  • 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)

  • Oct 21 Barbra Streisand opens in "Another Evening with Harry Stones"
  • Nov 13 WCBB TV channel 10 in Augusta, ME (PBS) begins broadcasting
  • Nov 20 WPLG TV channel 10 in Miami, FL (ABC) begins broadcasting

Film & TV History

Nov 22 Producers Albert R. Broccoli and Harry Saltzman announce expensive publicity campaign to make Sean Connery (James Bond) a star

  • Nov 27 KHAW TV channel 11 in Hilo, HI (NBC) begins broadcasting
  • Dec 4 WXGA TV channel 8 in Waycross, GA (PBS) begins broadcasting

Film Premiere

Dec 13 "The Young Ones" directed by Sidney J. Furie, starring Cliff Richard, Robert Morley and Carole Gray premieres in London

  • Dec 15 Equal access rule, political parties get TV broadcasting time
  • Dec 18 KAIL TV channel 53 in Fresno, CA (IND) begins broadcasting
  • Dec 23 KICU TV channel 43 in Visalia-Fresno, CA (IND) begins broadcasting