February 10, 2000
gracious, great balls of fire! This weekend I had to read more
mail than Lois Lane did when she took over the Daily Planet's
advice to the lovelorn column in "The Wedding of Superman."
Although the show contained a few inaccuracies, almost everyone
found it to be informative and well-balanced. Here are some of
those letters. I posted some of them on Thursday, and new ones
will be added as they come in. The latest ones will always appear
at the top.
There are a few
items I should address. Several nice people have complained that
the website for The Adventures Continue was shown too
briefly. Still others suggested that I should have been included
on the show as well. Of course, both those suggestions appeal to
me very much, and I did supply information and receive credit,
but the most important thing is what the show did for George
Reeves, not for this website. Thanks, however, for all the nice
comments and for your trust in The Adventures Continue.
I sent a message to the
honchos using the feedback
their site. I've also posted that message on one of their
bulletin boards. You might want to see it:
March 4, 2000
Still more to follow
I really find it fasinating all the responses you
are getting to these segments focusing on George. I see new names
all the time, so I would have to guess your readership for TAC
continues to grow. I realize the A&E segment, although short
on detail, focused more on George's life and little on his
mysterious death, but I'm compeled to revisit elements I still
find confusing. So just a couple of observations regarding A&E's
Biography lack of providing or discussing.
A) I wasn't surprise it was mentioned Helen told young George
his biological father died as a result of a suicide which of
course we now know she lied to him. We learned from Jan Alan
Henderson's book Speeding Bullet that George became
emotionally upset at learning Don Brewer was alive and well and
further became very angry at his mother.
B) Since they did discuss his death, I was surprised there was
no mentioned of Edward Bennett Williams, (the Washington
attorney) if only for the fact he strongly advised Lenore not to
speak to the press.
C) Ben Weldon stated in an interview conducted in Filmfax
#13 dated Dec. 1988 that George pretended to shoot himself about
a year and a half before June 1959. What were these
circumstances? Was this a serious attempt or just clowning
around? In the book Hollywood's Unsolved Mysteries by John
Austin, dated 1990, Art Weisman states George liked to play
practical jokes by holding a gun to his head and firing the gun
loaded with blanks. Has anyone ever substantiated these remarks?
I still find this hard to believe that a gun loaded with blanks
is not going to cause injury, especially after both the John Eric
Hexum and Brandon Lee incidents. Therefore, if George played this
game all the time, wouldn't he have been hurt long before June
16, 1959. I wonder if Si Simonson, the special effects wizard,
ever had any opinion on this. This gun play was not never
mentioned in A&E.
So many questions and so few answers.
Overall the A&E segment was done very well considering
giving the amount of time. I really believe a real deep approach
cannot be conducted in less than 3 to 4 hours. I would like to
see more time devoted to people who actually knew George. Too
much bouncing around.
Best to you always,
Happy Monday Morning Jim!
Well, after seeing all the praise that you posted from so many
fans, I had to fire up the VCR and watch for myself. There are
two words that nobody likes to say, but I'll gladly say them now,
"I was wrong". Biography was really a well
balanced effort to portray George as a real human being. They
didn't dwell on his death, nor did they have any one theory to
promote. Of course all the "new" photos were a real
treat. Chuck and Jim Beaver, as usual, contributed many
interesting facts, but the real surprise of the whole show was
Whoopi Goldberg. She had the warmth and enthusiasm of a true fan.
She expressed so well what it felt like to watch George when we
were kids. When the show (and the world) were all new to us. I
only had to fast forward through "Stamp Day" scenes
twice, and it was really clever how they got around the copyright
problem by using a clip from "The Face and the Voice,"
since George was neither Superman or Kent in the bit they showed.
All in all George was treated with RESPECT. That rarely happens
and it was wonderful to see.
Have a good week. Thanks for all you continue to do to keep
the real George alive.--
I thought I would wait until the dust settled to
comment on A&E's Biography on George Reeves. Overall,
I was somewhat disapointed because I believed the documentary
fizzled out during it's second half. I did enjoyed the first half
of the program giving Reeves' life from before birth. However,
the second half seemed to peter out and leave many loose ends.
Even so, I am grateful for any interest and attention given to
the life and career of George Reeves. I was very pleased that A&E
allowed three possible causes for the sudden death of Reeves, two
homicide theories (Jan Henderson vs the Kashners), and one theory
for suicide. They did allow the viewer to draw his or her own
conclusions based on the evidence and testimony presented. Even
here the case laid out in the program seemed to favor homicide,
but by which girlfriend?
I enjoyed seeing Jan Henderson, Jim Beaver, Jim Hambrick, and
Chuck Harter on the special, and the showing of the 'TAC'
website. Unfortunately, A&E has presented more entertaining
Biogaphy shows on other celebrities, like the ones they
made for Haloween 1997 on Boris Karloff, Lon Chaney Jr.,
Lorre and Bela Lugosi. For me the most overall entertaining,
accurate program on the life,
career and mysterious death of
George Reeves, is the E! Channel program Hollywood Mysteries &
Scandals. It was also an effective tribute to a man who is
still remembered and beloved by friends and fans 40 years after
Keep up the great work, and I eagerly await the next issue of
The Adventures Continue.
Thanks for letting us fans know about the biography
of George Reeves. I usually watch the show when I get a chance,
but thanks to your e-mail I did not miss this one. Actually my
wife taped the show for me while I was at work. When I was
buzzing the cassette back to the beginning, I stopped
occasionally to see where it was, and it seemed that there was a
preponderance of talk by Sam Kashner and Nancy Schoenberger,
authors of Hollywood Kryptonite. My first thoughts were
that this was going to another tabloid treatment. Fortunately, as
I watched the episode, it did present a good overview of Reeves'
career and life. It was good to see Jay Alan Henderson
interviewed also, to balance out the Hollywood Kryptonite
treatment. The controversy and conspiracy surrounding his death
seemed to be treated with some skepticism, and rightly so. The
most poignant portion of the episode was when Jack Larson told
his opinion of what drove George to end it all; as much as we all
love conspiracies sometimes, I think Jack was probably
Hope you're doing well. Though late (as usual), I
wanted to turn in my two cents worth on the A&E
about George. If space permits, feel free to post my comments on
your website if you like.
When I first learned of the upcoming Biography on
George, I was elated. When I saw the promos and
it would be part of "Foul Play" week, I became
skeptical as to the show's focus. In addition, since Biography
is an ABC production, I began to wonder if we would see something
akin to the 20/20 fiasco. I'm very happy to say it was
almost the exact opposite.
I think it was a great program, though not without it's
faults. I hated to again see the involvement of
and Kashner, but was happy that their comments were more
controlled than in the past
(undoubtedly by Biography
and not by themselves). There were a few inconsistencies, the
most apparent being in the segment dealing with George's death.
There were far more positives though than negatives.
It was interesting to see most of the people who appeared,
including a childhood friend of George's, a
(along with Fred Crane, who has been on another show about George
in the past), Jan Henderson, Jim Beaver, Chuck Harter, and of
course Jack and Noel. It would have been nice if Phyllis Coates
had been included as well as yourself, Jim (In fact, you should
have been on INSTEAD of Schoenberger and Kashner!) It was also
great to see the many photographs of George, and I took special
notice of the photo used for the Variety tribute.
Even with the faults, it was wonderful to finally see a show
which talked more about George's life than his death. It was a
relatively well balanced look at the life, career, and of course
the untimely passing of a great man. We as fans as well as those
who have only a passing interest, were given a look at the humble
beginnings, the emotionally difficult days, and the giving nature
of a very kind and gentle person. George was not without his
faults; he was like each of us are - human. We all make mistakes,
and we all carry burdens. So did George. But how many of us can
rise above those burdens to care for and about others, to the
extent of affecting the lives of an entire generation of people?
Not very many I dare say.
Thanks Jim, and best wishes!
I thought Biography was very good. I
thought everyone came across extremely well and professional. My
major disappointment was that Jim Nolt was not included, with the
exception of a quick clip of TAC's website with Randy Garrett
I was surprised Jack continued with the From
Here to Eternity story caliming George was cut from the
print. I recall either Jim Beaver or Michael Hayde disputing this
not too long ago in TAC. It was stated the scenes in the film
were confirmed to be fully intact and uncut.
I tip my hat to Jack Harris and Dr. Leonard Emery, both
friends of George and both very supportive of George's
credibility. I would bet they have a lot more to say. You should
try securing interviews with these gentlemen for TAC. I'm sure
they would love to add more. I don't recall them ever before in
any text, do you?
Although we've learned Whoopie Goldberg has expressed an
interest in George's story for a film, I never expected her
appearance. It is obvious she loves George's version of Superman.
She seemed very excited about taking about him. Oh, and pin a big
gold badge on Ms. Goldberg, she is probably the first to
recognizes George's personal appearances for hospitalized
children on national TV. Let's hope we see more of her
It was great they recognized Eleanor Needles, but the segment
could have reframed from speculating on the reason they divorced.
To date, Ms. Rose has not fully commented publicly on her
relationship with George. I feel she deserves the respect to tell
her story herself and when she feels the time is right.
Overall the photo's, mixed with some new ones were terrific.
They could have done away with moving in close on photo's with
large pixels. The pixels proportionately got larger and distorted
the clarity as the camera moved in.
It's too bad the segment fit into only an hour presentation,
it seems so much more could be talked about. George's
relationships with his friends, the Vacio's, Walter Reed, Phyllis
Coates, Gene Labelle, agent and friend Art Weissman, the Shaynes,
the Ellsworths, Gig Young and Alan Ladd just for
That's all for now, if I think of anything else, I'll let you
now. By the way, my check is in the mail for the Superman
Litho.Look for it in the next couple of days.
Best to you,
Had the opportunity to watch the A&E Bio on
George Reeves, and for the most part was quite pleased as it gave
many of us the opportunity to know more about and have a greater
perspective concerning the man who to this day still fascinates
Like many of your correspondents, I
recorded and will save this work.
controversy surrounding the death of George Reeves, I noticed
that there were "gaps" in what was reported on the A&E
Bio and what has been revealed in various readings. I don't even
consider myself a student of this mystery, but did notice these
Even before his untimely death, George Reeves had a
magnetic personality and an aura that attracted us viewers to the
the Adventures of Superman and was responsible for making
this TV series a success beyond anyone's imaginings---the
unfortunate tragedy of his life's ending has only intensified
this aura and has created a mystique about the man. To paraphrase
from one of his TV lines, "Nobody, but nobody can do the
things that Superman does,"------EXCEPT GEORGE REEVES! May
he be in peace!
Since A&E aired the Bio on George
Reeves, it might be better to do a story on the death of Mr.
Reeves on Bill Kurtis' A&E Investigative Reports. A
story like this needs more attention than what otherwise was
supposed to have been a biography on the life of GR.
one last note. We had communicated a couple of months ago
concerning Mr. Leon Askin who guested on the Superman. By
chance I came across a Website that interviewed Mr. Askin back in
1994. By clicking on to the link below, you can see the
interview. However, unless you are proficient in German (I am
not, even though I am of German descent) you can not read the
interview as it is done in the German language----in any event,
you still may want to click on to the link as there is a picture
of Mr. Askin. I had E-mailed the person who gave the interview
and he advised that Mr. Askin is still living today (he will be
97 this year) and has since retired to the home of his birth,
namely Vienna, Austria. I was trying to get a translation of this
interview but the person advised me in an E-mail that his English
is limited and to get a translation would be costly.
Jim, must sign off. Hope this note finds you well and happy. Keep
up the great work at TAC---I am sure GR is smiling down on you
and saying "thanks." Take care!
reading this is proficient in German and would be willing to
translate the interview with Leon Askin, I'd surely like to read
Biography was balanced and entertaining. I had
never seen pictures of Don Brewer before, so this was a real
plus. The Brewer house shown in Woolstock was not the one I
photographed (was this standard mid-west stock footage??), but I
do seem to recall from my 1986 visit that the Brewers may have
had two homes in Woolstock.
The baby pictures of Reeves were great---the "eyes"
really had it. So nice also that a friend is still around to
reflect on Reeves' early career.
We were left with the hope that thoughts of a Reeves film bio
are still alive---let's hope that will happen to bring Reeves
talk to a new level.
Shown above is the boyhood
home of George Reeves. Photo courtesy of Rick Spector.
Three cheers for the fine job A&E did with
their profile of George Reeves on Biography. It was
thorough, objective and very informative. I was delighted that
they chose to keep Kashner and Schoenberger on a short leash,
giving them little opportunity to present their absurd hit man
theory. Too bad A&E did not do the same with Hambricks
equally preposterous claim concerning Leonore Lemmon. I was
especially moved by the film footage of George playing on his bed
with Sam, his pet schnauzer. It was almost too bittersweet to
watch. Although we may never know exactly what happened in the
early morning hours of June 16, 1959, I feel the evidence is
quite compelling that the only person who fired the gun that
evening was George himself... along with his three closest
friends at the time - alcohol, pain-killers, and boredom. The
strongest piece of evidence for a self-inflicted wound is the
position of the wound itself, which, despite all the wishful
thinking to the contrary, cannot reasonably be explained away by
special pleading in favor of accident or murder. It is so sad,
when you compare George's tragic end to the full life of Clayon
Moore, who, born the same year as George, outlived him by 40
years, and kept the flame burning right up to the very end. If
only things could have been different :(
The biography on George was great. Finally George has some
positive light cast on him again. I also noticed the striking
resemblance between George and the young Helen Lescher. Looking
at the photos of George as a child is surrealistic in knowing
that George the man has been gone for over forty years, and yet
photos of his California home taken as he grew up look as if they
were taken recently. Facts, as well as misinformation, were
presented, but Jim Beaver, Whoopee, Jack and Noel anchored it
For the most part, I thought the George Reeves
Biography was well-crafted and, on the other hand, it
could have been much, much better without too much effort. As
with many things in the media today,
people do not check facts
or lack experience and perspective. No offense, I wish there were
more media "experts" than Chuck Harter, Jim Beaver, Jan
Alan Henderson. They did fine, but this is like quoting Michael
Jordan about the Chicago Bulls and their six NBA championships.
"Yeah, we were great." When Bill Russell or other NBA
greats say the Bulls were a true league dynasty, now those
statements have more creedence. George Reeves buffs talking about
Goerge Reeves buffs will
not convince the general public how
talented he was and what a great show the Adventures of
Superman was (is). That's why, I surmise, the producers of
the Reeves Biography used the authors of Hollywood
Kryptonite so much. They, as much as I despise them, might be
more objective, even though Harter, Beaver, etc., knew more and
researched the subject thoroughly as fans. You know the old
saying "never argue with fans." Why didn't they mention
some of his prominent actor friends in Hollywood and the other
products of the Pasadena Playhouse? The narration about the charm
of the Superman TV series, describing the "magical"
powers was poorly done. Magical?
There were a lot of stills that I had not seen. The picture of
the little kid in his Superman suit holding the LA newspaper the
day after George's death was poignant. The shots of him in
costume with the
children and the looks on the children's
faces from "Stamp Day for Superman" were marvelous. He
loved the kids. We loved him. Where did the shot on the title
"George Reeves. The Perils of a Superhero" come from?
Great shot. Looks outdoors --- makes Superman look real (as
opposed to the color seasons outdoors on those lousy indoor sets.
Yes, I wish they'd use other footage than the prints of "Stamp
Day." I'm sure Warners charged an arm and a leg for
highlights from "The Face
and the Voice" and
whomever owns the rights from "From Here to Eternity."
(Didn't anyone at ABC have the clout to interview Ernest Borgnine
or Burt Lancaster about Reeves or being typecast?) Why not show
some of the wonderful highlights from some of the greatest
episodes so you can see how he was Superman. Facing Luke Benson
and bending his rifle from Superman and the Molemen.. The
Nazi speech to the mob from the same movie. Talking to the
scientists at the atomic plant, saying: "It's new and you
don't know how to handle it." The heroic scenes from "Crime
Wave." This is vintage 1950s Superman and the powerful
message that worked on all of us at the time. Just the fact that
Superman was the top syndicated TV series for years and years.
That's basic research. I am sure those ratings are available. The
juxaposition of the stills could have been tied to the narration
better. When they talked about the series finishing production,
there's a shot of Superman punching Benson from 1951. Thought the
points about the wool uniform and his stuntwork were done well.
The still shot of the
Superman crew was good. Assume it was a
cast and production crew shot at a party. Wasn't that Noel Neill
in an attractive black dress (where was her pill box hat?)?
Again, overall, a balanced version of Reeves' life. On the other
hand, why does George's Biography segment have to be on
Foul Up Week? Amazed at the resemblance between George and his
mom. Good point about his mom chanaging his birthdate. I've
watched it twice (taped it twice). At some point, I will review
it and take closer notes. As always keep up the good work.
How are you? I have been on your web site, and have
enjoyed reading comments from other TAC readers. All in all I was
suprised by the piece on George. I thought it was fairly done and
that it tried to deal with his life more. I enjoyed, Jan Alan
Henderson's comments and Jim Beaver's. On the negative, why do
they have to even interview the Hollywood Kryptonite
writers? I'd just as soon not even hear their input. At the end
they had a quick comment of George Reeves web sites but no
mention of you,
my friend. My question is why? You have the
best site on the web regarding George, and you're fair,
open-minded, and always informative. Why aren't you getting the
credit, you richly deserve? I don't understand the national
media, Jim. You deserve more credit. I will look forward to
reading your comments on the web page. Take care, my friend,
After having read all of the comments that were posted
on your web page, I felt that I needed to add my 2¢ worth. I
know your feelings about the way that the media focuses on June
16, 1959, so I won't dwell on that point too much. Overall, I
believe that the operant word for the way that A&E handled
the program was BALANCE. They seemed to focus on various aspects
of George's life, without minimizing much of anything. I came
away with a generally positive regard with the way that the story
was handled. I was especially grateful that A&E avoided the
grizzly photos of George in repose. I feel that a little bit more
attention to his high regard for children could have been
emphasized more, as could his apparent tireless efforts in
helping charities (not to mention all of the personal
With all of the work that you've put into TAC, I'm sure that
the minimal mention of your web page has to be disappointing, but
to those of us who know of your work, we appreciate your efforts.
Before the broadcast, I had never seen pictures of George's
first wife. I was impressed with her outward beauty. How sad they
couldn't make a longer go of the marriage. I would like to have
seen more exploration of dialog with the childhood friend of
George's. To me, those type of segments seem to humanize the
person that is featured, even more.
Finally, it's good to know that George did possess more
clothes besides his caped costume and a gray suit. Every time
they showed him in a variety of clothing, I had to do a double
take to make sure it was the same person. Before I came across
TAC and other related web sites, I had never seen him in
clothing other than the Clark Kent/Superman wardrobe.
I hope that your health is continuing to improve, and that you
The A&E Biography on George Reeves was
overall a great job. I'm surprised Phyllis Coates was not
interviewed, although it was wonderful to see Jack Larson and
Noel Neill. My dislike and mistrust for Leonore Lemmon has grown
stronger while my love and respect for George Reeves remains
strong because of his warmth, generosity, and that wonderful
smile of his. Also, he did such a superb job of portraying
Superman. I'll keep watching the tapes over and over again.
New Braunfels, TX
Just finished viewing the tape of Biography from
Wednesday night. Finally, a program that did George Reeves the
actor justice!! I viewed it with a friend and we both agreed that
it was the most complete
work on George Reeves that has ever
been done. At last a complete story was told, not just the focus
on his death. It was nice to see a clip of your web site on the
program. Perhaps the only thing missing was a few scenes from
some of the 104 episodes.
I notice all the shows seem to have available to them is the
worn Stamp Day for Superman clips. I guess Time-Warner is keeping
a tight hold on the regular episodes.
All in all Biography was wonderful viewing.
All the best,
I watched the A&E biography on George Reeves and
it rekindled my memories of him. Our sons asked about him and the
show, and they kid me that I can still recite the show's opening
voice-over. I don't know what it is/was about Reeves but his good
American boy looks and acting made you believe that he was
Superman and you just knew he believed in his role. My mom still
kids me about "flying" around the house with a towel
pinned around my neck and the number of towels I ruined with the
pins ripping holes in them. I am now 45 years old and a police
officer, and the "truth, justice, and the American
saying and memory of Reeves still give me the drive to help
others when I can. Great website. I appreciate all of your work.
While I'm certainly not an authority on the life
of George Reeves, I found A&E's Biography to be even
handed and fair. I was so happy that the the majority of the
program focused on the positive aspects of his life. After much
that has been written and implied over the years, not to
mentioned the public's insatiable appetite for the "dark
side", I think many of us were expecting a smear job or at
the very least a lurid tale of a wasted life.
Instead there was positive focus on his life, his friends, his
charitable work and his love for children as well as their love
for him. I think that is George's true legacy. He brought joy to
children, and to this day his picture has the ability to bring a
smile to the face of even the most jaded among us... I don't
think there are many who can lay claim to that.
On another note my father,a part time actor who lives in
Hollywood, called me last week to ask if I still collected
Superman memorabilia... (As if its something less than a
life-long obsession...) Of course, I told him YES!!!...
He then told me that he was having a conversation with a women
friend of his and they were talking about my little obsession. My
father mentioned a picture of George that I keep in a prominent
place in my apartment...
Well this brought a big smile to her face and she told my
father that her mother was married to George for almost 10 years
in the 1940's... yes, she is the daughter of Ellanora Reeves
Rose... She was not too keen on the upcoming biography, worrying
that it would be less than fair to George. Needless to say I was
astounded and told my father about your web site and your
assurance that the story was supposed to be fair. He called her
to tell her about the news and she was already familiar with you
and your site which she told my father she thinks highly of. It
seems that she too still shares her love for George.
Well, I guess she was happy for the news and she told my
father she had something of George's that she wanted to send to
me. I was flabbergasted and thrilled at the same time. If its
something I can share with my fellow Superman/George Reeve's fans
you'll be hearing from me in the not too distant future.
Jim, Thanks again for the monthly news letter I really enjoy
it. I hope your health is good and I hope to be contacting you in
a few weeks with some good news.
I taped Biography, so that I could watch
it---and stop, rewind, and watch segments over, and let it settle
in to my vision of George Reeves, the man who has been, still is,
and always will be, my Superman.
I have been a fan of the series since the first time I saw it,
which I figure must have been in 1954, when I was 3.
I have read two biographies on George, and was glad to see 3/4
of this program focused on the more positive aspects of his life
As for his demise, I will never forget the shock I received
when some kid told me, on the playground of 53rd Street School in
Milwaukee, that "Superman killed himself." I was 8; and
I was devastated.
I find it interesting that some of the comments you posted
from others still dwell on "conspiracy" theories of his
death: 'Toni did it, Lenore did it," etc.
The comment I found most telling came from Jack Larson, who I
feel knew George best, and had a real love and respect for the
man: George felt (like the song says) " trapped in the old
I had the opportunity last fall of hearing Don McLean
("American Pie") sing "Superman's Ghost" at
UW-Whitewater, my Alma Mater where I have been alumni director
the past 23 years...the lyrics to this tune are haunting. I can
understand how George would tear out the "S" to his
costume at the end of a season, and immolate the rest...
Isn't it ironic: such a nice story in TV Guide recently about
Clayton Moore. How he realized he "was" the Lone Ranger
and embraced, and grew old with the character, and we, his fans.
And why he did it---"for the children of America."
Much the same can be said of George. If only he could have
realized how really important he was to us...and could have grown
old with Superman, and us...
Jim, Thanks for all that you do...the Adventures Continue!
I was pleasantly surprised overall by last night's
show. Given that it was part of "Foul Play Week," I was
really expecting more coverage on his death. I was telling people
at work that I was expecting the death to cover the first ten and
the final twenty minutes. I'm very glad that wasn't the case. I'm
also glad that your site was visible at the very end.
for the minuses, I'm distressed that some of the same myths were
given coverage. I'm especially ticked about the From Here to
Eternity story. Jim Beaver was interviewed, so was Chuck. You
were consulted. What can we do to put a stop to Jack's misguided
story about that film?
Well, here's my suggestion: how
about adding a page to your site that debunks the myths. It could
be formatted like the Urban Legends site, showing the myth,
stating its falsehood, and detailing the proof. I'll be happy to
help write it up, but I'll probably need a week or so. Let me
I watched Biography almost all the time, so
I was thrilled to see George Reeves as their subject last night.
With the theme of Foul Play Week, I was afraid we would get the
same tired rehash of June 16, 1959. Thankfully, the first 45
minutes actually provided some new insights for me. The program
really seemed to bring out the George most of his ardent fans
have already discovered... a very kind and generous man who was
well liked by the people around him. There were inaccuracies, of
course. Most TAC followers already know them, so why dwell on the
As a real Biography fan, I had to laugh out loud when
Harry Smith, after Nancy Schoenberger related Helens' hiring of a
thug to assault George to dissuade him from a boxing career,
remarked in his narration --" This may or may not have
happened." Mr. Smith knows the stretching of the truth when
he hears it. As to Sam Kashner.--I am quite certain if I had
written a book on a subject, I would have known how to pronounce
one of the characters names. The name is Lenore--not Leanore.
Nice job Sam.
Jim Beavers' credibility was first rate. The rest were fine,
but I really wish Jim Nolt could have been included. Who really
has more passion on the subject? And I have always liked Michael
Hayde's contributions in TAC. The line had to be drawn somewhere,
I guess. Biography usually has cuts from interviews with
the subject of the evening. I wish they had found one with
George. What a private man he was. I had never seen a picture of
Ellenora. I know she has an unpublished book about their life
together. I'm sure she has some stories to tell. Didn't Helen and
George look alike? I had never noticed that before. In any
case--what a fun hour I had last night.
Make that movie, Whoopie!
Thank you for advising us of the A&E biography on
George. I was very pleased that this hour long program was more
of a celebration of his life rather than dwelling on his death.
It was really great to see some stunning photos from George's
youth prior to his arrival in Hollywood and to hear from some who
knew him and whom we had not heard from before. I thought it was
also nice to have a variety of interviews that presented a
balanced look at his life. If anyone had any doubts that George
truly kind person, they should watch this program and
note that no one had an unkind thing to say about him.
It might have been nice to include comments from Phyllis
Coates and the late Bob Shayne from earlier interviews but
overall I was impressed with the quality of the program. Being
only six months old when George died, I obviously could not have
had the chance to ever know him personally, but from all the
biographies, articles, and especially TAC contributors, I feel I
know George well enough to know he would have been pleased with
this effort to help us know the man who, despite some
adversities, never failed to brighten the lives of so many people
of all ages and continues to do so as his memory lives on.
you again Jim for truly doing an outstanding job of helping to
keep George's memory alive. God Bless.
I like the fact that they focused on George's
life, but I didn't care for seeing Kashner and Schoenberger.
They're the ones who spun the story about Leo Boroskin (the guy
who divined that a man who was watching an episode of Superman
was the hitman who killed George). So how could they be credible?
If I was up to me, I'd put you in charge of putting together the
show, and have you on it. After all, featuring Kashner and
Schoenberger on a biography on George is like phoning Clark in
his office to get Superman and then having Boulder show up.
I hope your feeling well. I enjoyed the segment last night,
the first 30 minutes concentrating on George's early career was
presented fairly, with pictures that I had never seen before. The
Superman section was
also well done, except that it perturbed
me that they kept going back to Nancy whatshername. She reminded
me of the 'Grim Reeper' with her black hair and the dark lighting
that shadowed her. I also wondered if she could 'prove' anything
she alleged. Overall the show was good and ultimately sad..
I thought the biography on George Reeves was fair and
balanced for the most part. The first half of the show ended at
the point just before George skyrocketed to TV Stardom as
Superman. As the second half began we saw the beginnings of our
beloved classic the Adventures Of Superman and what it
meant to us and so many other children. The show will live
forever. The closing part of the show focused upon George's
tragic and untimely passing. Therefore I think that the way that
Biography "divided the subject pie." Showing
that George's pre-Superman life warranted almost 50% of the
program showed A & E's sensitivity. The interviews and
video clips were wonderful. Congratulations on the brief
reference to TAC. In closing, let me say that I enjoyed Biography
because it showed that, despite how George left us (and I
wouldn't feel any better no matter what the truth is because he
left us too soon), George will always be the (Super) man.
How strange life can be. I just got in from a
business trip to California today. After looking at the Daily
Planet building (L.A. City Hall) everday for the last week,
George was fresh in my mind. When I received your E-mail about
Biography I couldn't believe the coincidence. If that
wasn't enough, we were staying in Pasadena, and we passed the
Pasadena Playhouse twice a day. It was great just imagining what
it would have been like to have seen George perform live. Thanks
for keeping the memory of the Great White Bird alive.
Thank you Jim,
I enjoyed it very much. So much footage I
had never seen before.Over all, I think George came out of it
looking very good. I just wonder why there are always so many
conflicting comments between the various productions. For
instance they said George's body was found on the floor. I
thought it was established that he was on the bed. At any rate I
thought it was good.
Once again, thanks for reminding us that Biography was
portraying the life of George Reeves on A&E. I wouldn't have
missed it for the world. All in all, it was done quite well. The
most disappointing segment for me was when they spoke about how
much George hated the role of Superman; but in the form of a true
star, he continued his work for the kids who loved him so. I feel
that Biography has stirred a renewed interest in George,
and I would love to see a movie come out on his life. He was
truly a great star who never got full credit for the incredible
work he did. He was, however, a Super Man! Keep up the good work.
I watched yesterday's Biography on George Reeves. I
liked it. It was a great program on George's life. I have watched
various episodes in the Biography series in the past and
have always enjoyed them. They're well done, and the George
Reeves edition was no exception. I just can't believe its taken
them this long to do one on George in the first place! I
personally didn't have any problems with the people they chose to
be interviewed. I was startled to see Nancy Schoenberger.
Speaking of her, two weeks ago I found a copy of the paperback
edition of Hollywood Kryptonite at a local bookstore. I
just could not decide whether to buy the book or not. At the end,
I decided not to buy it. I don't understand why Phyllis Coates
wasn't interviewed. Just wondering, were you ever approached to
be interviewed for the show? I look forward to seeing other
people's comments regarding Biography on your website.
Feb 10, 2000
First thank you so much to reminder me about the special on
A&E last night about the biography of Geoge Reeves as
Superman. I really appreciate it. I would probably have missed it
because we have to move, so I am pretty busy these days! But
nothing could keep me away last night. I taped it once on the
VCR, and the second time I watched with all of my family.
It seems that Jack Larson is almost positive that George
Reeves took his own life? Well I don't think so, but of course
thats my opinion, and everybody on this subject will have his
own, right? One thing they
didn't mention too much about was
his feature length movie, Superman and the Mole Men. I
realy love that movie. I think they did a excellent job for one
hour slot, Its hard to cover everything, especially a great man
like him, and a great superman hero, that everybody loves so much
within our hearts.Thanks again so much for telling me about it.
And I hope you're a well.
Ok Jim, until nest time, you're doing a fantastic job for us,
and I mean for all of us, and especially for George Reeves, I
know his looking down at all of us! Take care all the best,
I saw the George Reeves profile on A&E's
Biography program last night. I plan to watch it again,
but my first impression is that it was a positive look at
George's life. George was paunted as a talented,
well-liked person, who struggled with a number of complex issues,
both personal and professional.
Despite those challenges, and his dislike for certain aspects
of the Superman role, he made a tremendous impact on young
people. I think he had higher career aspirations than "Superman,"
but he is better remembered then many of the movie stars who were
big in the 1950's. Children, across generations, can still see
George saving the day as Superman, can still sense his respect
for others and his basic decency.
I don't think we will ever have a satisfactory answer as to
what happened on June 16, 1959. We don't really know his state of
mind (was he drepessed or happier than anyone had seen him
years); there is
conflicting information regarding his career
prospects (was he planning to direct feature films? Was he going
to film more Superman episodes? Or was he forever typecast and
unemployable?); was he happy with Lenore? Or was he ready to make
a change?. And finally, did George's outgoing, generous, caring
personality wage an internal war with a darker side, that could
really pull the trigger and end it all.
We don't know. But in the end, I think George's work and all
that he projected, not the manner of his death, is what is
important. I think the A&E program managed not to overplay
the fact that George died in violent and suspicious
I'm glad this show was produced. It is the best documentary on
George I've seen.
Thanks Jim. I hope you are well.
Kudos to A & E for providing an outstanding
hour of programming on the life of George Reeves. As a somewhat
casual fan of Mr. Reeves, I was fascinated by his story and the
ups and downs of his interesting life. I was saddened to learn of
all the hardships he endured, especially in his once promising
career. I have not seen a lot of George's work outside of the
Adventures of Superman but after viewing last night's
Biography, my interest is peaked. I can see just from the
few clips provided that Mr. Reeves was a fine actor in his own
right who deserved better than to be ignored and then typecast by
the studios and the public.
Again, what a fine episode the folks at Biography put
together. Finally someone told me about George Reeves - the
man.....not just George Reeves - the man with a mysterious death.
He deserved to have his full story told, and it was long overdue.
I thought that the A&E Special on George Reeves was
intresting. Here was a man who wanted to make it in the movies,
But went to television and was so big little kids were trying to
test him to see if he was really Superman. The show went into
detail about how he came to be, from his birth, to the best
movie ever made 'Gone With The Wind', to a show he
really didn't like doing, the Adventures Of Superman,
Within a matter of weeks George Reeves captured every kid's dream
of seeing Superman on the small screen. Within a few years George
would be so famous for that roll, that he was always being
type-cast. No one wanted Superman in their movies. On July16th
1959 George Reeves went
up to his bedroom and around midnight
was gone. Headlines everywhere said that Superman had killed
himself. But others think that wasn't the case and that he was
murdered. The A&E Special on George Reeves was very very
good. Would George go on to do other shows or would he made more
Superman television shows? We will never know. But with
television showing the Adventures Of Superman in reruns,
and with Gone With The Wind,' George Reeves will live on
I was somewhat pleased with A&E's George
Reeves' Biography presentation.Judging by the intro, I
thought it was going to be another focus on George's death. But
after it got going it was pretty good. I thought it was well
presented. It made this best attempt I have ever heard, (short of
your website) to explain why he was and still is, adored by his
I was disappointed, however, that you and"The
Adventure Continues, did not get more recognition. I thought
we might see you in one of the on camera interview segments. I
was surprised to learn that there is talk in Hollywood of a
"George Reeves Story" movie. Is this a serious talk? I
hope so, I think it is long overdue. Assuming one is ever made,
who do you think should play George? Maybe you could conduct a
poll of your readers, of who would they like to see play George
if a movie were ever made?
Keep up the great work, "the sky's the limit".
Wow! The Biography on George last night was
really good, don't you think? I thought it was the most complete,
even-handed and detailed coverage of George's life I've seen yet!
Of course, I guess yor're somewhat disappointed that you only
got a small mention in the end credits, and your website wasn't
listed. I'm also surprised that they didn't interview you on
camera for the show. (Or did they, and ended up cutting it out?)
Regardless, I think most fans of George should be well-pleased
with Biography's teatment of him.
Overall a good show. Way too much Whoopi Goldberg for
my taste though. She served no useful purpose except to fill
time. (She ruined a 3 Stooges special in the same manner.)
One of the interviewees said he was in school on June 16,
which was kind of surprising. Shouldn't school have been out by
then? Could have been summer school I suppose, but I didn't
realize summer school started so soon after the summer vacation
began. And where was Phyllis Coates? I would have like to have
heard from Superman's first Lois Lane.
Saw two credits for Jim Nolt (one on the same screen as Jack
Larson!), even though the producers used their infamous
"squeeze-zoom" effect to promote a copy of the program
for $19.95 that I was already recording for free. Also saw a
credit for Pat Ellsworth Wilson, Whitney Ellsworth's daughter
Greeetings from Music City, USA!
The A&E Biography
segment on George Reeves was exceptional. I believe it was the
finest and most
sympathic treatment George has received in the
mass media since his untimely death. I was pleased that the
emphasis was not only on the scope of his life, but the
compassion he exhibited to his fellow man. I think A&E scored
on this one. And congratulations on the inclusion of your
Overall I thought the George Reeves Biography
program last night was very good. It did not dwell on his death
any more than necessary. I noticed some errors (I'm sure you will
have noticed more) such as never mentioning Superman and the
Mole Men at all and never showing or mentioning Phyllis
Coates as his original TV co-star (I expected to see her in one
of the interview segments). It never mentioned his Superman
appearance on I Love Lucy either.
Hope to see your impressions and those of others who watched
it as well.
And now, back to the letters. Please remember, all opinions
are those of the writers and do not necessarily reflect the views
of The Adventures Continue.
Just wanted you to know that I watched Biography
last night. I totally enjoyed the program and thought it was very
positive. It showed George"s life as a actor and as a person
and the good work he did with children at hospitals. I really
felt part of the show as they talked about how many boomers know
were they were what they found out "Superman" was dead.
As I have told you in the past I know where I was and how I found
out.Bravo to Biography for telling a positive story on the
live of George
I just got around to screening the
tape of the 'A&E Biography' on George, and was, for the most
part, pleased with it. It's nice seeing George's life and
generosity not painted in lurid colors, like that E! piece did!
On the plus side, I was impressed by the detail given to
George's early years, and introduction into acting. It was a
pleasure seeing Fred Crane, again (it had been a while!). Another
plus were the clips from the shorts George made in the Army.
I'm glad they showed a clip from the Hopalong Cassidy film (I
was afraid they'd use the medieval serials, or Jungle Jim!)
I have a few quibbles...Why no photos or mention of Phyllis
Coates? Certainly she would be as entertaining as Noel to
interview, and equally important! Also, I wish they hadn't rerun
the same clips from Superman over and over! (How many times do we
need to see George bending the gangster's
gun?) Why no color
clips? (Only color still photos were used, of the later seasons.)
It was wonderful seeing your name in the acknowledgements! Way
Now that it is finally come and gone, as a whole
I thought that it was pretty good. It certainly covered a lot
more of George as George the person and not the comic strip
character. It also had photos and clips that I never saw before.
I certainly believed what Jack and Noel had to say, and Jim
Jan Henderson and the fellow who runs the museum,
but I was not sure about the credibilty of some of the others
whose names I don't remember. I thought the movie clip of him and
Robert Lowery together was cute as this was before either one was
Batman or Superman. I read also in an issue of The Adventures
Continue that even the director of From Here To Eternity
said that George's scenes where not cut, but this show
says that it was cut to the bone. From that point on I did not
put too much faith in the show. I was disappointed in not seeing
Phyllis or character actors from the show. Maybe that was because
there are none left. I was hoping to see someone like Judy Nugent
or the kid with the elephant, but no luck. It also stated that
From Here To Eternity was his last movie. We know that
statement is wrong as he was in the Disney western Westward Ho
The Wagons in 1956. It gave a two sided picture of his
demise. It showed that he was very depressed and also that he
ended the relationship with Toni Mannix. I think that even though
Toni and Ed were married, Ed might have been mad enough at the
situation to hire a hit man; after all, his dog was stolen and
his car was tampered with. That has got to tell you something.
I'll bet the New Detectives could figure this one out. Another
angle was that maybe he did shoot himself. He might have though
that Lenore was just too much to handle, and with his money being
squandered so fast he finally realized that he made a wrong move
and wanted to go back to the good life with Toni but couldn't.
From seeing this, my opinion is that dumping Toni for Lenore was
a dumb move. Well, anyway it was a good hour long show and it is
now part of my archieves.
Have a good day
First of all, I am so glad you are out there
because you keep us George Revees fans right up to date. I thank
you from the bottom of my heart. I learned a lot of things
watching Biography last night, things from his early years
before Superman that I had not heard before. The fact about his
mom telling George his father killed himself with a gun, but
really he was alive. One thing that is weird to me is with all of
the people out there who think George was killed, Jack Larson
doesn't. Over the years I have seen him do interview shows and he
always says that he thinks George kill himself. Anyway it was a
very good show. I would give the show a A. I did see your site
Take Care, and thank you again, Jim!
For the most part it was a great biography, but they still
screwed up the basic facts in his death. Now he's found naked on
the floor rather than on the bed. And why on earth
are they showing Nancy Schoenberger and not you, Jim? She even
gets the facts about what they didn't investigate wrong. Now
there are twobullet holes in the floor. No one even mentions the
angles of the gunshot or where the shell casing was found. Or
that the body was taken directly to the funeral home, etc., etc.,
etc. But then, ignoring all this makes the theories about what
really happened easier to swallow.
Still, as promised, they did focus on George's LIFE more than
his death. I just wish ABC News would get their facts straight.
Perry White would have shouted "Great Cesar's Ghost!"
at the shoddy fact checking.
They mentioned The Adventures Continues website but only in
passing at the end. That was also a bit disappointing. Still,
they showed George as more than just an unsolved mystery and
that's what counts.
Ive just finished taping the Biography episode on
George Reeves, was just curious to find out, thought it was
funny... just how many George biographers are there running
around. I guess they all wrote a book. Anyway the show was great,
and I really hope in time someone will get around to doing a
movie. Something similar to the way the late Andy Kaufman was
portrayed. I think the renewed interest in George's life and
demise hasn't even peaked until Hollywood decides it's worth
looking into and money can be made from it. Only his fans know
how special George was, and how his career was sadly
and typecast. I'm so glad I saw and saved tonight's episode. It
was worth staying home for.
I think we finally got what we wanted. I thought this segment
was fabulous. I mean you can't ask for much more. They stayed
focused on his life 90% of the time, only the last 15-20 minutes
were on his death. Plus they didn't stay on the theories. They
also didn't speculate. They gave you a biography of his life and
his death. Very simple!! I've got to be really honest I will most
likely buy this tape. I think it was very balanced. Out of all
the shows that focused on George Reeves, this was the best
because it was true!! And it was presented very well. I'm going
to give it a ten.
I thought Biography did a fine job with George Reeves.
Nancy S. was kinder than in interviews past. And Whoopi! I can't
believe she actually praised George. He is conservative..she
liberal. I am amazed. It just goes to show that George's
influence transcended race and politics.
I am pleased that Biography treated George with star quality.
What's your opinion. I caught your web site, as well. I ordered
the tape. I'll let you know if additional credit is given to you
on the commercial tape.
Jim, good job with your efforts!
Well, I was sure right about one thing, lots of Stamp Day
for Superman. The available print is such low quality, it
just cheapens the production. I don't understand... they used
footage from "The Face and the Voice".
On balance, it was ok. Maybe too much influence from the
authors of Hollywood Kryptonite to suit me. I like to
think of George as a vibrant man who loved life and people, and
Hollywood Kraptonite paints him almost as a pathetic
figure. But to the producer's credit, they left out the worst of
Kraptonite. Then too, I felt the producers left out
George's many charitable works and his genuine love of children,
but at least they didn't make an ogre out of him. Seems to me if
your going to mention vague homosexual rumors, you could at least
mention good deed facts. They did show a number of stills that
I've never seen before. I thought it was interesting that they
showed a photo of George in Hawaii with Deborah Kerr without
I did catch a glimpse of your website towards the close, and
your name twice in the credits (had to look fast, they shrunk the
credits to make room for a promo). Congratulations.
I just finished watching Biography featuring George
Reeves. There were a few new bits of information I hadn't heard
before, but what I hadn't realized, was that there was such a
striking resemblance between George and the young Helen Lescher!
All in all, I found the show satisfying, but it certainly
could have done without Schoenberger and Kashner. Perhaps it's
because I'm familiar with their past work, but I think that even
if I hadn't been, I would have found both of them lacking
credibility. On the other hand, I thought that Jay Alan
Henderson, Chuck Harter and Jim Beaver did a fine job.
I was very pleased that ample time was spent talking about
George's sense of humor and generosity. How I would love to have
one of those "S" symbols George use to cut out of his
costume and give away at the end of the season!!!
Good as it was, I couldn't help feeling frustrated at the end
as Harry Smith reminded us that we will probably never know for
sure exactly what happened on June 16, 1959.
I will be very interested to read your comments about the
I thought it was excellent -- balanced and fair. Maybe a
little too much of Nancy what's her face but it dealt with his
life and his work and not so much his death. Now if they would do
one on his death
and explore the different possibilities in a
factual manner and let the viewer decide. I enjoyed it very much.
Have just finished watching tonight's Biography, about
the life ("Perils of a Superhero") and death of
Reeves and thought it was an excellent representation of George's
career. A well balanced
and still informative production. Your
website got a "plug", and I saw your name on the end
was nice to see Jim Beaver, Jan Alan Henderson and
Chuck Harter's commentary. I knew the writers of Hollywood
Kryptonite would be interviewed also, but I was glad they're
participation was kept to a
reasonable amount of time. His
controversial death was indeed only mentioned in the last five or
six minutes of the show. Just goes to show that the Biography
people are indeed a class act.
I enjoyed watching Biography's presentation tonight on
George Reeves. Thanks for the heads up about it. Lots of photos I
had previously seen in TAC! I didn't realize Whoopee Goldberg was
a fan. And yes, TAC's website was (briefly) there! I personally
felt the piece was well-balanced, but the writing of the last
quarter hour (especially) did lend itself to a little extra
Although the A&E biography of George Reeves gave an
interesting account of his early years I was rather disappointed
with the account of his career in film. They gave the impression
that Gone with the Wind" and So Proudly We Hail
were virtually the only films he appeared in. Actually he was in
films in the 1940s and made several appearances in films
and on other television programs in the 1950s. He was in a couple
of films with James Cagney and William Boyd's character Hopalong
Cassidy. They did not mention Superman and the Mole Men or
the two films he made with the great director Fritz Lang who was
also his friend. Nor did they mention his controversial
appearance on I Love Lucy. I wonder if I am the only
person in the world who remembers Reeves's appearance with Tony
Bennett when he appeared as both Superman and George Reeves. I
also suspect that Reeves and John Hamilton may have had an
interesting relationship because I have discovered that they were
in several films together. I was also disappointed that the
account that they gave of the history of the character Superman
seemed to be inaccurate. They never mentioned the famous play Man
and Superman, and they completely overlooked Bud Collyer's
many performances as Superman on radio programs and in animated
cartoons. I guess you know that the characters Perry White, Jimmy
Olsen, and Bill Henderson all originated on the radio. And their
claim that it was the newspaper comic strip that established the
popularity of Superman is just plain false. I have recently been
told that there is evidence that the U.S. government did a lot of
distribution of Superman comic books during World War II.
Superman was not intended to be a character just for kids until
Robert Maxwell lost control of the television series in 1953. I
am increasingly bothered by the way Superman is portrayed in DC
Comics these days. I would claim that DC Comics has abandoned the
ideal of the "superhero" and has changed the comic book
characters into beings with superpowers. I think many people no
longer are willing to talk about "good guys" and "bad
I just watched the midnight rerun of Biography.
Yes there were some factual errors, and overall I felt there were
too many shots of some authors and not enough of George. I was
also disappointed to not see Phyllis Coates at all. I did enjoy
the attitude the producers of the episode appear to have, that
there was indeed 'Foul Play,' and I am always happy to see
footage of George wherever I can.
I was born in 1957, so as I began to head towards my eighth or
ninth birthday, I began to watch the Reeves series whenever it
was possible. I recall that my sister, who was two years older
than I, was so infatuated with George as Superman that she used
to kiss his face on the TV screen! My sister, however, denies
I will be getting an order for the giclee of George to you
soon, I'm not saying my passion for the Reeves show, or the
Superman character has ever decreased since I first saw the comic
books in 1963, but boy, seeing the biography on TV has made my
love of Reeves and his show even stronger. I was glad, by the
way, to see Jim Beaver, Chuck Harter and Jim Hambrick in the
program. They should've had you there too.I was trying to see the
credits, but they were so tiny and went by so fast I did not
catch them. I had been planning to videotape the show, but found
out too late I did not have a blank tape available. Well I will
order a prerecorded one from A&E. It is worth it! I'll get an
order to you soon, for the giclee print!
Keep On Flying,
How's it going for you? Hope your health is doing real well!
Thanks for the reminder about George's biography.Not only did
I watch it but also recorded it to watch when ever the urge hits
me. I thought the program was done real well and in good taste.
alot of information and clips atleast I never saw
before. I wished they would have had Noel and Jack talk alot more
though. It would have made it even better if Dabbs was on it
also. Oh well, we can't have
everything I guess. Thankyou for
all that you do.
A friend and fan,
I just finished watching the A&E Biography on George. I
thought it was very well done, without the lurid tone that
usually is the norm in this story. His early life was well told,
letting us know what he had to deal with as a child. I was struck
at how much he looked like his mother when she was younger. I
felt sorry for him, not knowing about his real dad, but happy
that his step-father was good to him. What a natural actor he
was. The Pasadena days were well told. I know he was upset about
his career as it
turned out, and I'm so sorry he couldn't have
been around to know how many people loved him and still do. He
sure got himself into some messes, that's for sure. It sure gave
me some food for thought about Toni Mannix and her role in the
suicide/murder. Lenore Lemmon certainly looked like she could
shoot you in the head and not think twice about it. I guess we'll
I was glad to see your website shown, as I think it's the
premier Superman/George Reeves site. I was also glad to know that
Noel Neill is still looking so lovely and hope she is well, also
hope Jack Larson is in good health. And you, are you feeling
better? I know it's been a hard year for you, too. I wish you the
best, in your life and in your other projects.