This Week in Film History, 9.21.14

September 21, 1927: MGM’s iconic lion Leo uses up one of his nine lives when he survives the crash of his L.A.-New York publicity flight in Arizona.

September 25, 1936: A third trial results in the acquittal of legendary musical director Busby Berkeley on second-degree murder charges stemming from a 1935 auto accident.

September 24, 1939: Pioneering film executive Carl Laemmle, founder of Universal Pictures, dies at age 71. His son, producer Carl Laemmle, Jr., would pass away on the same date 40 years later.

September 25, 1954: After winning the Best Actress Oscar for Roman Holiday earlier in the year, Audrey Hepburn marries actor Mel Ferrer in Switzerland. Their union would end in divorce 14 years later.

September 26, 1961: Paul Newman is brilliantly convincing as drifting pool shark “Fast Eddie” Felson in Robert Rossen‘s modern-day Greek tragedy, The Hustler.

September 25, 1963: “The urge meets the surge” with the opening of the first of many teen beach comedies starring Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello, Beach Party.

September 27, 1965: Silent screen sexpot and “It Girl” Clara Bow, whose career stalled with the advent of sound, dies in seclusion at 60.

September 21, 1974: Walter Brennan, beloved winner of three Best Supporting Actor Academy Awards, dies at the age of 80.

September 26, 1975: Following its London debut, 20th Century-Fox’s The Rocky Horror Picture Show–based on a hit stage show–opens here to lackluster business and vanishes, never to be heard from again.

September 26, 1986: American audiences say “g’day” to Aussie actor Paul Hogan with the release of “Crocodile” Dundee.

September 25, 1987: Academy Award-winner Mary Astor, co-star of The Maltese Falcon, passes away at 81.

September 23, 1994: The prison drama The Shawshank Redemption, based on a Stephen King story, debuts to modest success but would gain greater popularity and cult status on home video.

September 22, 1999: George C. Scott, who famously turned down his Best Actor Oscar for the title role in Patton, dies from an aortic aneurysm at 71.

September 26, 2010: Actress Gloria Stuart, whose career stretched from The Invisible Man to Titanic, dies a few months after marking her 100th birthday.