1941 Broadway producer Sam H. Harris, a longtime associate of George M. Cohan, dies today in New York at age 69. Collaborations between the two included Little Johnny Jones and Forty-Five Minutes From Broadway. Among Harris' other producing credits was the Pulitzer Prize winning You Can't Take It With You.
1947 A diva is born! Actress-singer Betty Buckley, who will become one of Broadway's leading ladies, is born today. After making her debut in 1776, Buckley will win the 1983 Tony Award for Featured Actress in a Musical for her turn in Cats. Other memorable stage moments will include Song and Dance, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, Carrie, Sunset Boulevard and Triumph of Love.
1957 A young Broadway talent is lost as Judy Tyler dies today in an auto accident. Tyler, age 24, had a major role in the Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II musical Pipe Dream. She had also recently completed shooting on the Elvis Presley film "Jailhouse Rock."
1970 Happy birthday to actress Audra McDonald, who will win five Tony Awards for acting, both in plays and musicals including, Ragtime, Carousel, Master Class, A Raisin in the Sun and The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess. She will also receive Tony nominations for her performances in Marie Christine and a revival of 110 in the Shade.
1999 The Roundabout Theatre Company revival of Cabaret marks its 500th Broadway performance. The production that received four Tony Awards (including Best Musical Revival), three Drama Desk Awards, three Outer Critics Circle Awards, a Theatre World Award, an Astaire Award and a special award from the New York Drama Critics) opened on Broadway March 19, 1998.
2012 Andy Griffith, who carved out a particularly American television persona as the beloved star of the series "The Andy Griffith Show" and "Matlock," dies at age 86. Mr. Griffith appeared on Broadway in No Time for Sergeants and Destry Rides Again, and received Tony nominations for both performances.
More of Today's Birthdays: Leon Errol 1881. Franz Kafka 1883. Leueen MacGrath 1914. David Shire 1937. Patrick Wilson 1973. Alexander Gemignani 1979.