The Life and Tragic Death of Superman Actor George Reeves

Ed Gross at CloserWeekly.com has published an article dedicated to the memory of George Reeves and his role as Superman in the 1950s “Adventures of Superman” TV series, which includes direct quotes from the actor himself.

For several generations, George Reeves is the definitive Superman, having played the character on the big screen in the 1951 film Superman and the Mole Men, and then on the small from 1952 to 1958 in the syndicated Adventures of Superman. So powerful was the connection with his fans that he felt trapped, stifled by the part, and lost in the sense that his career was over, while being unaware of the impact that he was having and would continue to have for years to come.

In a 1956 interview with the Akron Beacon Journal, George confirmed, “The only rub in playing Superman is that I have a tough time finding other roles. Most movie producers feel I’m too closely identified with Superman, so won’t use me.”

“George never fully realized how loved he was,” offers Jim Nolt, webmaster of the long-running site devoted to both Reeves and the series, The Adventure Continues. “He wanted to be admired for his talent and never knew the recognition he would have received if he had been around just a little while longer.”

You can read the full article at CloserWeekly.com.

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5 Comments
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MattComics
October 29, 2019 10:40 am

I think that if George had lived we would have seen how much the kids who grew up on his show would remember him into their adulthood and appreciate him as an actor and how new generations would find it he would have felt much less like being on tv was the “bottom of the barrel”. Taking on directing would have probably given him another avenue creatively.

afriend
October 29, 2019 11:26 am

I first really became aware of the hoopla surrounding George Reeves’ death from an old episode of Unsolved Mysteries when I was eight or nine years old. When I looked it up on the dial up internet around the turn of the Millennium, that seemed to be all the various Geocities sites wanted to talk about. While I still have an opinion, these days I care much more about his work and life than his death. He left us 103 great episodes (I know there are 104, but I really hate “Mister Zero”), a short, though fun Superman feature, a… Read more »

sman1938
October 29, 2019 4:32 pm

I can assure you that if he had lived, there would be Comic Con Billboards announcing his guest appearances. He didn’t just bring Superman to the tv, he brought fantasy, showed that special effects on a tv budget could be done, and got people who didn’t read comics another way to enjoy Superhero’s in another medium.

NeoRanger
October 30, 2019 3:38 pm

Jack Larson’s account of George talking about the “monkey suit” has stuck with me. It always saddened me, because I didn’t grow up on that show; I’ve only actually seen bits and pieces of the first season and yet George is my favorite Clark Kent/Superman. he brought such warmth, character and presence to the character in both his personas in a way that no other actor has managed to do. I understand it from his perspective. Chris did get work after Superman and he was also a very talented actor, but arguably he never escaped being Superman either. Still, had… Read more »

supergepetto
November 1, 2019 12:58 am
Reply to  NeoRanger

George Reeves was murdered pure and simple. The then corrupt LA Police Dept. found nothing strange about two additional bullets found in the floor fired by the same gun, no fingerprints on the gun, and no powder marks on Reeves’ hand. Plus, a week earlier he was chatting happily with Noel Neil while he was being fitted for a new costume for the additional 29 episodes that were to start filming in a month. On top of that, Reeves was planning to direct around a third of those new episodes. The Keystone Kops would have done a more thorough and… Read more »