Events in Film & Television in 1981

  • Jan 5 "Nightline" with Ted Koppel extended from 20 mins to 30 mins
  • Jan 12 Soap opera "Dynasty" produced by Aaron Spelling and starring John Forsythe, Linda Evans and Joan Collins premieres on ABC-TV
  • Jan 15 "Hill Street Blues" premieres on NBC-TV

Music awardsMusic Awards

Jan 30 8th American Music Awards: Barbra Streisand & Kenny Rogers win

Singer-songwriter & Actress Barbra Streisand
Singer-songwriter & Actress
Barbra Streisand
Country Singer Kenny Rogers
Country Singer
Kenny Rogers

Film tv awardsFilm and TV Awards

Jan 31 38th Golden Globes: Ordinary People, Robert De Niro, & Mary Tyler Moore win

  • Feb 6 "Brady Brides" debuts on NBC TV

Film release premierFilm Release

Feb 6 Crime film "Fort Apache: The Bronx" starring Paul Newman released amid protests in the US

Actor & Entrepreneur Paul Newman
Actor & Entrepreneur
Paul Newman

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Feb 21 Charles Rocket clearly says "fuck" on "Saturday Night Live"

Television Producer Lorne Michaels
Television Producer
Lorne Michaels

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Mar 6 Walter Cronkite signs off as anchorman of "CBS Evening News"

Broadcast Journalist Walter Cronkite
Broadcast Journalist
Walter Cronkite
  • Mar 7 1st homicide at Disneyland, 18 year old is stabbed to death
  • Mar 9 Dan Rather becomes primary anchorman of CBS-TV News

Film tv awardsFilm and TV Awards

Mar 9 7th People's Choice Awards: Clint Eastwood, Jane Fonda & Goldie Hawn win (Motion Picture) and Alan Alda & Carol Burnett win (TV)

Actor and Director Clint Eastwood
Actor and Director
Clint Eastwood
Actress Jane Fonda
Actress
Jane Fonda
  • Mar 24 "Nightline with Ted Koppel" premieres on ABC
  • Mar 30 "Chariots of Fire" directed by Hugh Hudson and starring Ben Cross and Ian Charleson premieres at a Royal Command Film Performance (Best Picture 1982)
  • Mar 31 1st Golden Raspberry Awards: "Can't Stop the Music" wins
  • Mar 31 53rd Academy Awards: "Ordinary People", Robert De Niro & Sissy Spacek win

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Apr 1 CNN airs a videotape that shows that Tamara Rand predicted that Reagan is in danger from someone named Jack Humley (a hoax)

US President & Actor Ronald Reagan
US President & Actor
Ronald Reagan
  • Apr 20 Final performance of TV show "Soap" airs
  • Apr 28 "We’re Fighting Back" premieres on CBS in the US, based on the formation of the Guardian Angels
  • May 15 SCTV Network 90, sequel to Second City Television, debuts on NBC

Music release#1 in the Charts

May 16 "Bette Davis Eyes" by Kim Carnes hits #1 for next 9 weeks

Actress Bette Davis
Actress
Bette Davis
  • May 21 Kim Seelbrede, (Ohio), crowned 30th Miss USA
  • May 27 34th Cannes Film Festival: "Man of Iron" directed by Andrzej Wajda wins the Palme d'Or
  • May 30 "Nightline" extends from 4 nights to 5 nights a week (Friday)

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Jun 2 Barbara Walters famously asks Katharine Hepburn “If you were a tree, what kind of tree would you be?”

Actress Katharine Hepburn
Actress
Katharine Hepburn
Broadcast Journalist Barbara Walters
Broadcast Journalist
Barbara Walters

Film release premierFilm Premier

Jun 12 "Raiders of the Lost Ark", the first Indiana Jones film directed by Stephen Spielberg, produced by George Lucas and starring Harrison Ford premieres

Actor Harrison Ford
Actor
Harrison Ford
Film Director George Lucas
Film Director
George Lucas
Director Steven Spielberg
Director
Steven Spielberg
  • Jun 14 No Nukes concert at Hollywood Bowl
  • Jun 23 NYC Mayor Koch turns down a $7,500 offer to perform comedy

Film release premierFilm Premier

Jun 24 "For Your Eyes Only", 12th James Bond, starring Roger Moore and 1st drected by John Glen premieres in London

Film release premierFilm Premier

Jul 10 "Escape from New York" directed by John Carpenter and starring Kurt Russell and Donald Pleasence, premieres in the US

Actor Kurt Russell
Actor
Kurt Russell
Horror film director John Carpenter
Horror film director
John Carpenter
  • Jul 20 Irene Saez, of Venezuela, crowned 30th Miss Universe
  • Jul 23 14th San Diego Comic-Con International opens at El Cortez Hotel
  • Aug 1 MTV premieres at 12:01 AM
  • Aug 13 Last broadcast of "The Waltons" on CBS-TV

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Aug 18 Jerry Lewis appears on "Donahue" to defend Telethons

Comedian Jerry Lewis
Comedian
Jerry Lewis
  • Sep 2 38th Venice Film Festival: "Die bleierne Zeit" directed by Margarethe von Trotta wins Golden Lion
  • Sep 4 Newscaster David Brinkley is released by NBC
  • Sep 7 Jerry Lewis' 16th Muscular Dystrophy telethon raises $31,500,000
  • Sep 12 Elizabeth Ward (Arkansas), 20, crowned 54th Miss America 1982

Television DebutThe Smurfs TV Debut

Sep 12 "The Smurfs" animated cartoon series by Hanna-Barbera first broadcasts in North America
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  • Sep 13 33rd Emmy Awards: Taxi, Hill St Blue, Judd Hirsh & Isabel Sanford win
  • Sep 14 Entertainment Tonight premieres on TV
  • Sep 27 "Day in Hollywood, A Night.." closes at John Golden NY after 588 performances

Music releaseMusic Single

Sep 28 “Physical” single released by Olivia Newton-John (Billboard Song of the Year 1982)

Singer and actress Olivia Newton-John
Singer and actress
Olivia Newton-John
  • Oct 31 1st live US radio drama in 25 years (Halloween Story on NBC)
  • Nov 12 Pilin Leon of Venezuela, crowned 31st Miss World
  • Nov 21 Olivia Newton-John's "Physical" single goes #1 & stays for 10 weeks
  • Dec 4 "Falcon Crest" premieres on CBS-TV
  • Dec 31 CNN Headline News debuts