Remembering George Reeves

Ed Gross at CloserWeekly.com has published an article and podcast dedicated to the memory of George Reeves and his role as Superman in the 1950s “Adventures of Superman” TV series.

“As I got older, I saw how George Reeves brought the character to life in those early episodes,” says Michael Hayde, “and if there’s any drawback to them, it’s that Superman is all fists and fury and a serious demeanor. And later on Reeves got to bring more of himself into the role and became more of a personality and less the super traffic cop.”

Whatever misgivings George may have had early on, his appeal in the role is absolutely undeniable, whether you were a first generation viewer or not. “I think one of the big strengths was his portrayal of Clark,” suggests Steve Younis, who runs the Superman Homepage, the most popular site in the world devoted to the Man of Steel. “Clark Kent was obviously the dominant character in that series. Superman would show up to save the day, but Clark was doing the investigating and had the relationship with Lois and Jimmy, and then Perry White. I guess Clark almost played a father figure role, not just in the way the viewers of the show saw him, but the characters of the show, too. He was that guy that was looking out for everybody. He was just kind of endearing.”

You can read the full article at CloserWeekly.com.

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7 Comments
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afriend
February 28, 2019 1:47 am

A lot of actors have a “boomerang” of emotions when they get closely associated with a part. First they’re excited for a steady job and (depending on the actor/part) enjoy the adulation. Then a switch gets flipped; maybe they want to do something else, maybe they just get tired of people calling them by their character name, maybe it’s a financial thing (especially for actors known for heavily syndicated shows from before the SAG/AFTRA residuals rules changed in the 1970s), and maybe they just consider the part an old shame. Then they circle back around and embrace it, and the… Read more »

Superman2878
February 28, 2019 11:41 am
Reply to  afriend

I saw his Superman series on dvd a few years ago. I can definitely see why he was the Superman of his generation. His Superman was strong and good. Also a parental figure to the audience.

MattComics
March 2, 2019 8:33 am
Reply to  afriend

Yeah there seems to be conflicting accounts on George’s view of the role. From Noel Neil saying he was looking forward to more to Jack Larson recalling George saying “Welcome to the bottom of the barrel!” Though I think one has to remember that in those days there was a degree to which television wasn’t taken seriously and I guess the thought was “real” actors are in movies. Also it seems like George had a lot of personal stuff going on in his life that had nothing to do with the show but may have affected his general outlook. I… Read more »

sundevil82
February 28, 2019 4:44 pm

Above all else, he was charismatic in the role. That is something that has been lacking in the last two cinematic versions. There are reasons people still go back to George Reeves and Christopher Reeve’s versions of the character. Yes the special effects were lacking in both, but boy were they charming in the role. So charming in fact you could look past all of the shortcomings of their respective movies or shows. Character over spectacle is how the recent movies have missed the mark. Neither Routh nor Cavill were allowed to be charismatic in their roles and that, to… Read more »

jer
jer
February 28, 2019 8:08 pm

George Reeves = The Blue Print:

I was in total AWE of Superman the character (growing up and now) and I was in total AWE of George Reeves.

NO ONE has every portrayed the character of both Clark and Superman any better, he more than just became the character, so much so, to the point that he really IS Clark Kent aka Superman!

NeoRanger
February 28, 2019 10:29 pm

I’ve seen very little of George Reeves (because of availability problems with the series), but from what little I saw, he became my favorite Superman the moment I laid eyes on him. He had the charm, he had the posture and I always loved how “dad-like” his Superman was. He was a kind of Superman I don’t necessarily think would work today, considering how the character has evolved, but he’s still at the top of my list. I should note that the link to the article doesn’t work for me; it returns that I don’t have authorization to view the… Read more »

JasEl
March 1, 2019 10:32 pm

I used to watch this on Nick at Nite when I was a kid