Bizarro Files

Common Superman Misconceptions

By Steve Younis

Here is a collection of common mistakes or misguided ideas the general public has in regards to Superman related topics.



Christopher Reeve

George Reeves and Christopher Reeve are NOT related

Many people incorrectly spell Christopher's surname with an "s" on the end. And then incorrectly assume that he must be related to George Reeves because the two men starred as Superman.

Christopher's surname is REEVE, not REEVES. The two surnames are different. The two actors are not family relations in anyway.

Actually, REEVES isn't even George's original surname. He was born George Keefer Brewer. Then when his mother re-married he was George Bessolo. But it was decided that Bessolo was not a suitable name for a leading man and late in 1939, George Bessolo became George Reeves.

The only thing they have in common is that George Reeves starred as Superman in the 1950s TV series "The Adventures of Superman", while Christopher Reeve starred as Superman in four films, the first being "Superman: The Movie" in 1978.



George Reeves Dies

George Reeves did NOT jump to his death

For some reason many people think that George Reeves died because he went crazy, thought he was really Superman, and jumped off a building.

NOT TRUE!

George Reeves died from being shot in the head. The official police report claims that it was suicide, though many people dispute these findings.

Regardless, he died from being shot in the head (whether self-inflicted or otherwise). He did NOT jump to his death.



Kirk Alyn

There is NO Superman Curse!

Believing in curses to begin with is ridiculous! However many people think that there is a Superman curse which befalls those who play the role of the Man of Steel.

Their proof?

Kirk Alyn played Superman in two Serials in the early 1940s and couldn't get any other work afterwards.

George Reeves was also typecast after playing Superman in the 1950s TV series and later killed himself.

Christopher Reeve played Superman in four movies and then was paralyzed in a horse riding accident before dying 9 years later aged 52.

Dean Cain's career went nowhere after playing Superman in the TV series "Lois & Clark".

The problem with their "proof"?

Dean Cain While Kirk Alyn did have problems getting work after playing Superman, he benefited from a wave of nostalgia for the Superhero in the '70s, when he found himself in demand on the college circuit and at comic book conventions. Kirk lived to the ripe old age of 88.

The basis for the supposed curse is mostly due to the tragic death of George Reeves. While Reeves was bitter about his being typecast by his role as Superman, his life was by no means cursed. He lived a charmed life and was much-loved by all who knew him.

Christopher Reeve went on to star in many movies after his debut in Hollywood as Superman in 1978. While none of them were as successful as "Superman: The Movie", he achieved A-list billing upon his debut. Something many actors never achieve in their career. While Christopher's spinal injury was indeed tragic, the strength and will of the man to battle on and champion the cause of finding a cure for paralysis is nothing short of inspirational.

Before being cast as Superman, Dean Cain was a injury-retired football player. Starring in "Lois & Clark" was a blessing for his career, not a curse. If not for Superman Dean Cain may never have achieved half of what he has since. He has appeared in several films since hanging up the cape, was the host of "Ripley's Believe It or Not" TV show, and recently went on to star in a new TV series "Clubhouse".



Superman IV

There are FOUR Superman Movies starring Christopher Reeve, NOT THREE

For some reason it is commonly reported that there were only three films starring Christopher Reeve as Superman. I have seen numerous newspaper and magazine articles (especially around the time of Christopher Reeve's death in 2004) that listed him starring in only 3 Superman films. There were actually 4.

1978 - "Superman: The Movie"
1980 - "Superman II"
1983 - "Superman III"
1987 - "Superman IV: The Quest for Peace"

While "Superman IV" is indeed forgettable (as is "Superman III" to some degree), Christopher Reeve definitely starred in 4 Superman films.



Helen Slater is NOT related to Christian Slater

Here's another one where people hear two similar surnames and automatically assume the two must be related.

Helen Slater, the actress who played "Supergirl" in the 1984 film is NOT related to actor Christian Slater.

Helen's real name is Helen Rachel Schlacter. Her father and mother are a TV executive and an attorney respectively. Christian's real name is Christain Micheal Leonard Slater. He is the son of a casting director mother and a father who is an actor.

The only connection the two have, is that they both starred in The Legend of Billy Jean, which is considered a much liked cult classic.