32 years ago today: Sean Connery returned to play Bond in ‘Never Say Never Again’

When Sean Connery stepped down from the role of 007 after 1971″s “Diamonds Are Forever,” he said he would “never again” play James Bond. Well, he hasn”t played the spy in a canon Bond film since “Diamonds,” but he did return to the role for 1983″s “Never Say Never Again,” which was released in theaters 32 years ago today.

The film is not considered part of the canon of the Bond franchise since it wasn”t made by EON Productions. It was released a mere four months after the canon film “Octopussy,” starring Roger Moore – a situation that the media dubbed the “Battle of the Bonds.”

Other notable October 7 happenings in pop culture history: 

• 1950: “The Frank Sinatra Show” premiered on CBS. The musical variety show lasted two seasons.

• 1955: Allen Ginsberg read his poem “Howl” for the first time, at the Six Gallery in San Francisco.

• 1960: Stanley Kubrick”s “Spartacus” opened in theaters.

• 1961: “Bye Bye Birdie” ended its original run on Broadway.

• 1968: The Motion Picture Association of America announced the film rating system that ranged from “G” to “X.”

• 1969: The Jackson 5 released their single “I Want You Back,” which went on to top the Billboard Hot 100. 

• 1978: In the season 4 premiere of “Saturday Night Live,” Bill Murray replaced Dan Aykroyd as co-anchor of Weekend Update, and The Rolling Stones performed “Beast of Burden” and “Shattered.”

• 1982: “Cats” had its Broadway opening. It closed in 2000 after 7,485 performances and remains the third longest-running show in Broadway history.

• 1989: The final episode of “American Bandstand” aired on USA Network.

Birthdays: “American Idol” judge and producer Simon Cowell (turns 56 today), “Smallvile” actor Aaron Ashmore (36), “The Following” actor Shawn Ashmore (36), “Spider-Man 2” actor Dylan Baker (56),  “Love Boat” actress Judy Landers (56), “Quantico” actor Jake McLaughlin (33), musician John Mellencamp (64)