PLAYBILL VAULT'S Today in Theatre History: JUNE 26

By David Gewirtzman
and Ernio Hernandez and Robert Viagas
June 26, 2014

1890 (probably) Actress Jeanne Eagels, best known for playing Miss Thompson in Rain, is born today.



1911 Irving Berlin makes his Broadway debut with the fifth edition of the Ziegfeld Follies. His songs include "Woodman, Woodman, Spare That Tree" and "You've Built a Fire Down in My Heart."

1951 Amidst the red scare of the Cold War era, actor J. Edward Bromberg refuses to answer questions at a hearing before the House of Un-American Activities Committee. A member of the Group Theatre, Bromberg's acting credits include Awake and Sing! and THe Big Knife.

1975 George C. Scott stars as Arthur Miller's tragic hero Willy Loman in a revival of Death of a Salesman at Circle in the Square on Broadway. The play, directed by Scott, also features Teresa Wright, Harvey Keitel and James Farentino as the Loman family.

1982 Theatre marries music as legendary stage and film director Elia Kazan ties the knot with Frances Rudge, former wife of the manager of The Rolling Stones. The controversial director's many credits include the original Broadway outings of Death of a Salesman and A Streetcar Named Desire, as well as such classic films as "On The Waterfront" and the film version of "Streetcar."

1991 George Bernard Shaw's Getting Married is revived on Broadway at Circle in the Square. Stephen Porter directs a cast that includes Elizabeth Franz, Patrick Tull, Simon Jones, Madeleine Potter and Walter Bobbie. The production will play 70 performances and close Aug. 25.

2001 Luke Perry, star of TV's "Beverly Hills 90210," joins the cast of Broadway's The Rocky Horror Show.

2002 Dolores Gray, sultry-voiced Tony-winning actress (Carnival in Flanders) who starred on Broadway in Two on the Aisle, Destry Rides Again and 42nd Street, dies today in New York. Her birth year has been variously reported as 1924 and 1930.

2002 Ira Eaker, co-founder and co-publisher of the entertainment trade paper Back Stage, dies in Tamarac, Florida, at age 80.

2008 Cirque Dreams Jungle Fantasy, the family-friendly theatrical, acrobatic and musical adventure that evokes the exotica of untamed places, opens at the Broadway Theatre for a ten week run.

2012 Nora Ephron, the Academy Award-nominated writer of "Heartburn," "When Harry Met Sally" and "Sleepless in Seattle," who brought her wit and intelligence to projects in a variety of writing fields, dies at age 71. Her writing for the theatre included the plays Imaginary Friends, Lucky Guy and Love, Loss, and What I Wore.

Today's Birthdays Sidney Howard 1891. Joyce Ebert 1933. Kevin Adams 1962. Chris O'Donnell 1970.