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This day in entertainment history

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On April 23rd, 1956, Elvis Presley made his Las Vegas debut, opening for comedian Shecky Greene. Presley's engagement was canceled after a week because of poor ticket sales, and he didn't return to Vegas for 13 years.

In 1969, the Los Angeles club the Ash Grove was destroyed by fire. Many artists, like Canned Heat and the Chambers Brothers, got their starts there.

In 1975, Peter Ham of Badfinger hanged himself. He was reported to be depressed about the band's financial problems. He was 27.

In 1987, singer Carole King sued record company owner Lou Adler for breach of contract. She claimed she was owed more than $400,000 in royalties and demanded the rights to her old recordings.

In 1991, guitarist Johnny Thunders of The New York Dolls died of a drug overdose in New Orleans. He was 40.

In 1996, actress Margot Kidder was found dazed and disheveled, hiding in bushes in a stranger's yard in Los Angeles after disappearing for three days.

In 2002, Jerry Lee Lewis announced he and his sixth wife, Kerrie, were divorcing after 17 years of marriage.

Today's Birthdays: Actress-turned-diplomat Shirley Temple Black is 85. Actor Alan Oppenheimer is 83. Actor David Birney is 74. Actor Lee Majors ("Six Million Dollar Man") is 74. Actress Blair Brown is 65. Actress Joyce DeWitt ("Three's Company") is 64. Actor James Russo is 60. Director Michael Moore is 59. Actress Judy Davis is 58. Actress Jan Hooks is 56. Actress Valerie Bertinelli is 53. Comedian George Lopez is 52. Drummer Gen (Jesus Jones) is 49. Actress Melina Kanakaredes (kah-nah-KAH'-ree-deez) ("Providence") is 46. Drummer Stan Frazier of Sugar Ray is 45. Guitarist Tim Womack of Sons of the Desert is 45. Actor Scott Bairstow (BEHR'-stow) ("Party of Five") is 43. Actor Kal Penn ("House M.D.," "Harold and Kumar") is 36. Singer Taio (TY'-oh) Cruz is 30. Actor Dev Patel (puh-TEHL') ("Slumdog Millionaire") is 23. Actor Matthew Underwood ("Zoey 101") is 23. Actor Camryn Walling is 23.

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