TAC Table of Contents
'Superman' Is Just Quiet Fellow From Ashland
Herald-Advisor, January 1, 1956
Almost everyday at the message boards, Richard Potter brings attention to various moments from the calendar featuring the events of George Reeves' life. One interesting entry he brought to our attention was of the title you see above. The entry initiated the inquisitive mind of Colete Morlock and the diligent search investigation to find the article by Serena Enger. You'll note the article shown below lists George's birthplace as Ashland, Kentucky. We know from many years of knowledge that George was born in Woolstock, Iowa. Immediately after Helen divorced Mr. Don Brewer she stayed with relatives for a very short time in Ashland before venturing on to Pasadena, California.
Unfortunately, this copy is not the best quality, but I'm sure that is hardly a concern. As for the article itself and the information it contains, I've my own reasons for why it refers to George being from Ashland, since by this time George was well aware of his Iowa roots. I also have speculations as to who contributed information to Mrs. Ray Anderson's article. Regarding other aspects, Colete kicked off some research regarding an entry directly realated to Fred Crane. As for other portions, I'll leave it up to you good folks to wonder and speculate on your own and should you wish to do so, fell free to e-mail me at email@example.com your comments. I can post your words to the Readers Response page. If you prefer it not be listed please be sure to let me know. For now, enjoy the article, courtesy of and thanks to Colete and Serena.
George studying his library in his Devon Street apartment, circa, 1953.
I'm sure by this point you found several interesting statements. One stand out is George being called to perform a "dual role" as both Tarleton Twins in Gone With the Wind. Colete took a moment to write to Fred Crane's wife Terry to get the "skinny" on the subject. Fred as we all know played George's twin brother, Brent, or is it Stuart? Well, which ever it is Fred and Terry have a real eye-opener response with the "dual role" issue. Terry also gives a logical explanation of which of the two, regardless of screen credit played Brent.
I'm not sure I understand what the article means by "the second Tarleton, incidentally, retired from the stage after the fall of Atlanta..." I am assuming that they mean after GONE WITH THE WIND was filmed.
Right after GWTW, Fred was cast in the role of President Franklin D. Roosevelt for the Hollywood Theatre Alliance, cast by J. Edward Bromberg, a famous character actor. George Bessolo Reeves and then girlfriend, Ellanore, were actors at the Pasadena Community Playhouse.
In 1940, Fred married his first wife,
Marcelle. (George was Fred's best man.) Shortly thereafter, they
discovered that his wife, Marcelle, was with child, so he began
looking for a steady job in order to provide security for his new
family. (The sporadic work of an actor made one rich one day and
then poor for a month.) A friend of Marcelle's, Jack O'Fearna,
nephew of director, John Ford, recommended Fred to the machine
shop at Criterion Machine in Beverly Hills. He began his new
steady job burring parts for aircraft. It was certainly timely
because World War II broke out a year or so later. On the day
"that will live in infamy" (President Franklin D.
Roosevelt on December 7, 1941), all those who supplied parts for
the Armed Forces were locked on their jobs by the Draft Board.
Otherwise, Fred's bones may have been bleaching on the beach in
some faraway land during World War II.
As I told you previously, Fred was cast first as both Tarleton Twins. Selznick had been looking for Tarleton Twins for a couple of years. When Fred was cast, he didn't even know he was a contender for a part in the movie. He was only at the Selznick Studios as a "tagalong" with a cousin, silent film actress, Leatrice Joy, and her daughter, Little Leatrice Joy Gilbert, who was going to audition for the part of Suellen O'Hara. Fred certainly had no Hollywood agent at the time. When GWTW director, George Cukor, heard Fred's southern accent and asked him to read some lines from the opening scene of GONE WITH THE WIND, Cukor brought Fred by the hand up to Selznick's office. Also in Selznick's office was Vivien Leigh who was negotiating for how much money she would take for playing the part of Scarlett. David Selznick asked Fred to read the opening lines with Vivien. They read them so naturally, as if they had been rehearsing the scene a hundred times together. Selznick smiled at Cukor. Selznick asked his assistant, Marcella, to bring in a stock contract and said to Fred, "Sign here." The rest is history. He was cast originally as both Tarleton Twins. Selznick was planning to do process shots in the scenes that required the Tarleton Twins, but this would have limited the movement in the scenes. George had an agent who presented him to Selznick a couple of weeks later. George was the same height as Fred (both were 6' 1/2") and they could pass as brothers, so George was cast. Fred and George became the "Tarleton Boys" in the film, GONE WITH THE WIND, eliminating the need for complicated process shots. By the way, neither of them were red heads. That's Hollywood!
Just remember, Colete, don't take
newspaper articles, magazine articles, or books as "the
Gospel" as quite a few of them contain flaws. It's like you
tell one person a story. That person tells another...and on and
on. By the time, it gets back to the one that told the original
story, the story is so changed that you don't even recognize it!
One said, "One Tarleton Twin went on to become Superman and
the other sadly committed suicide."
Another excerpt from that same book, WHITE COLUMNS IN HOLLYWOOD, stated "George Bessolo is one twin and Fred Crane is the other, but nobody knows which is who. They both have mops of red hair and though they are not exactly alike, they are both so funny that we didn't bother to remember one from t'other."
By the way, the cover of the aforementioned book has a picture of Sue Myrick with Fred and George on each arm. Both Fred and George are in costume and Sue has the Cecil B. deMille look. All are grinning. It's a cute picture. A copy of this photo, as well as a lot of other "skinny" will be in our book, FROM TARA TO TARLETON OAKS...A GONE WITH THE WIND SCRAPBOOK.
Thanks for writing, Colete. Hope this clears up the descrepancies.
Thank you Colete. Please extend our best wishes to both Terry and Fred for giving of their time.
"Like The Only Real Magic -- The Magic Of Knowledge"