Did Superman Kill George Reeves?

By | May 10, 2022

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American actor George Reeves (1914 - 1959), as Superman, stands with Phyllis Coates, as Lois Lane, in a still from the television series, 'Adventures of Superman,' c. 1952. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Courtesy of Getty Images)

George Reeves started acting and singing while he was still in high school and continued during his time at Pasadena Junior College. He studied acting at the Pasadena Playhouse, where he met his future wife, Ellanora Needles. The couple married on September 20, 1940, but divorced 10 years later. Reeves was cast as one of Scarlett O’Hara’s suitors in Gone With the Wind and continued appearing in a number of additional films. After his appearance in So Proudly We Hail (1942), he was inspired to enlist in the U.S. Army. After the end of the war, he was in a few small roles, and in 1953, he played Sergeant Maylon Stark in From Here to Eternity, and when it won the Academy Award for Best Picture, Reeves had the distinction of being in two “Best Picture” films. In 1951, he was offered the role of Superman in Adventures of Superman, the role which he became best known for. Although he was dissatisfied with the role and wanted to move on after two seasons, he stayed on when they offered him an increase in pay. He continued to play the role until 1958. 

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Source: (IMDb).

Reeves Died From A Single Gunshot Wound

Reeves became engaged to Leonore Lemmon and was to be married in 1959, but on June 16, 1959, days before the wedding, he died in his home in the early morning hours from a gunshot wound. Shortly after, the conspiracy theories began as people tried to figure out who to blame for the death of the actor.

At the time, Lemmon, William Bliss, Robert Condon, and Reeves’ neighbor Carol Van Ronkel were in Reeves’ home. It is unclear what happened during the evening prior to Reeves’ death; according to some, Lemmon, Condon, and Reeves went to dinner that evening, where Lemmon and Reeves argued, although Lemmon denied the dinner happened later while talking to Reeves’ biographer. Others have said that the three attended a wrestling match. In either case, upon returning home, Reeves went to bed. Bliss and Van Ronkel came to the house around midnight and started to party. Reeves went downstairs because of the noise and shortly went back upstairs. It was soon after that the group heard the gunshot and found Reeves dead, with a .30 caliber Luger pistol at his feet. They delayed calling the police, and once they did, they claimed it was because of their shock, intoxication, and the late hour. Reeves’ death was ruled a suicide, although not everyone believed it.