Did Superman Kill George Reeves?

By Linda Speckhals
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.