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The Man Who Filled in For The Man of Steel ?

Well here's a hoot of a story for you TAC readers. This is an item printed in Los Angeles Times back in 1979. Reader responses, plus responses from Whit Ellsworth and Jack Larson follows article. Lou


READER RESPONSES: Response From Jack Larson at bottom of this page.

From Colete Morlock: When I first read this, I thought to myself, "Who is he kidding?" From the photo alone, this man resembles Jackie Gleason more than George. I find it hard to believe that GR did not enjoy crashing through those walls, especially the way his costume looked upon doing it. It's at that point that the director would have said, "Cut". And then George would get cleaned up and re-enter in a new costume or they would have filmed the next segment the following day. Do I believe that Art Weisman would have looked at this guy and called him George? Not a chance....unless Weisman was stoned blind drunk and couldn't tell the difference. And we know George was suspended on wires and what happened with a 30-foot drop. That's when Si Simonson was brought in for special effects and developed the pan. You have to wonder...even if this were true, it would have been in the first season and wasn't Dale Van Sickle doing some of his stunt work? And I know there was a concern with George doing his own because if anything happened to the star, what would they do? And yet, look at the way George Jumps over that iron bar rail in "No Holds Barred". I may be heralded as a "Doubting Thomasina", but I think this whole thing is wishful thinking on this guy's part. -- Colete

From Bruce Dettman: Man, you come up with the most fascinating material!!!!!!!!!! Your digging and research is terrific.I sure appreciate your efforts! -- Bruce

From Mike Goldman: I've got 3 comments to make regarding Mr. Wilcoxen's claims: 1) I'm not related to the author of the LA Times story. 2) I quote Mr. Wilcoxen, and this just about sums it up: "But I saw everyone cashin' in on the craze, and I just figured, Hell..." 3) Doing integral parts of scenes, doing the flying, superimposed head...GREAT CAESAR'S GHOST!!!!

There's only one Superman, and only Superman can do all those super things.

From Whit Ellsworth in his letter to Jim Nolt dated August 30, 1980: Jim, The Superman question you really wanted answered in your last letter concerned the bird in San Francisco who was going around claiming it was he who did all the super stunts for Reeves, and that he also did the opening sequence in which Kent metamorphosed into Superman and back again, to say nothing of the "flying figure" shots which we superimposed on various backgrounds.

The simple answer is that his "stories" are just that: stories. There is no truth in them. There are holes in his narrative large enough to drive a truck through.

It's amazing to me that supposedly good and reliable newspapers will pick up and publish such trash of so obviously spurious a nature, and without making the slightest effort to check it out. An almost identical story appeared years ago in the Boston area, the "hero" of this one being a bartender. Lord knows how many such characters much have surfaced over the years in how many newspapers all over the world.

It galls me particularly to have people like this claiming to have done dangerous stunts that Reeves "wasn't about to do." As I've told you before, our problem with Reeves was never getting him to do his own stunts, but in getting him *not* [Ellsworth's emphasis] to do them. I suppose I should feel sorry for the obviously sick persons who have such a desperate need to be what they are not. -- Whit

From Richard Potter: It reminds me of the time I did some stand-in double work for Sean Connery in "Dr. No". That was the scene where Ursula Andress comes out of the water in her bikini and James Bond looks at her with his mouth open and his eyes popping out. They didn't feel Connery's eyes bulged out properly, so they asked me to fill in for him. And then there was the time I substituted for the real Santa Claus. But that's another story. -- Richard

From Mistressomirth: I don't think I quite buy this fella's story. Just a feeling. He doesn't respect George for one thing and I've never seen that with anyone who ever spoke of him. Even Ed Lozzi didn't come out and dis George personally. Nah...this guy never met George...that's my bet.

From Lou Koza: Pardon me while I have a perpetual long lasting good laugh with Old George.

From Jack Larson:

Thanks for Watching.

Lou (May 10, 2010)   

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