presents a chronology of events in the life of George Reeves and those who knew him best.

TAC Table of Contents
Contact Information

The information on this page was gathered over a period of years with the help of Whitney Ellsworth, Jane Ellsworth, Pat Ellsworth Wilson, Noel Neill, Phyllis Coates, Jack Larson, Dabbs Greer, Elizabeth Shayne, Elizabeth Weissman, Janeen Christensen, Jim Beaver, Jan Alan Henderson, Michael J. Hayde, Chuck Harter, and several other readers of The Adventures Continue who contributed information both great and small. It was subsequently published as part of the 1998 George Reeves Calendar. This collectors' item also included twelve illustrations by Randy Garrett. Only a limited number of calendars were printed.

Introduction to the Calendar

Come with us now on a far journey . . . a journey that takes us thousands of miles to the west where, many years ago, a group of people gathered together to create a series that burned like a shining star in the annals of television history. Here, production was far advanced, and it brought forth a series of super episodes, episodes like all the others, but advanced to the absolute peak of cinematic perfection.

It was here, in 1951, that Bob Maxwell, Whitney Ellsworth, George Reeves, and all the other cast and crew created the Adventures of Superman, a series that has been a favorite of ours now for so many years.

Even though for many years The Adventures Continue has attempted to chronicle the events surrounding the series and its stars, many questions remain. Recently Curt, a long-time reader, called me on the phone. As we talked I could tell something was troubling him.

"What's the matter, Curt? Don't you feel well? What is it?"

"Jim, why is Superman different from all the other series?"

"Merciful heavens! Is that what's bothering you? You had me scared for a minute. Thought you were coming down with the measles or something."

"But Jim, why is it different? Why can that series do things no other one can do? Why has it run longer... gathered more fans... why is it better than any other?

"You've known all them things for a long time, Curt. Why land sakes alive! When it was just a tiny little shaver of a series no bigger than this . . . why it was as popular as a motion picture almost."

It's not just being popular, Jim, it's other things.

"What things, Curt?

"Well, today at home, for instance. We were watching television and everyone got bored. Nobody was interested. But all I had to do was put in a tape of Superman and there they were, all back to the television again."

"You picked something different, that's all."

"No, Jim, it was more than just variety. It wasn't just that they were seeing something different . . . it was like they were staring right through the screen . . . like the episode was a powerful machine . . . like no other television series was ever even there.

I paused a moment and then replied, "Curt, my friends and me have been meanin' to have a talk with you, but somehow we just never got around to it. Looks like now the time has come. I'll tell you why likely Superman is different from other series, and why it has to be treated extra careful. About forty-five years ago Curt, Bob Maxwell and Bernard Luber were driving along down by Culver City, and all of a sudden they seen something up in the sky . . .."

Searching back in newspapers and other records, I tell young Curt the amazing story of how the series came to California, of how directors streamed across the sound stages . . . almost deafening them, of how Kellogg's snatched them from financial problems, of how, miraculously, neither DC nor the producers who put the show together were scorched or burned. Curt listened . . . and he understood. And so the years went by . . . spring melting into summer . . . and summer into fall . . . and fall into winter. The series, Superman, grew into cult status, while the fans grew older and greyer.

And so these aging, greying fans continue to seek more knowledge about the wonderful Adventures of Superman. This calendar and supplement were designed to help readers see more clearly the important events in the lives of the people who knew, worked with, and loved George Reeves. The theme this year is Action! Adventure! and Mystery! Much work went into its production, but I could not have published it without the cooperation of many good people. I am grateful to Noel Neill, Phyllis Coates, Jack Larson, Dabbs Greer, Bette Shayne, Betty Weissman, Pat Ellsworth Wilson, Chuck Harter, Michael Hayde, Jan Alan Henderson, Jim Beaver, Janeen Christensen, and several other readers of The Adventures Continue who contributed information both great and small. Of course, the calendar would be nothing without the outstanding talent of Randy Garrett. His illustrations and friendship are second to none. We hope this calendar will be displayed proudly in your home or office and that you will refer to it often during the coming year. And now, before I close, I want to remind you once again – Don't miss the next thrill-packed issue of The amazing Adventures Continue, presented by Jim Nolt, the greatest name in publishing.

And now... exciting entries in the Adventures of Superman calendar...

1887

January 16

John R. Hamilton was born in Shippensburg, Pennsylvania. He was the fourth of four children, and raised in nearby Southampton Township, Franklin County. His father, John M. Hamilton, was a store clerk. His mother, Cornelia Jane Hollar Hamilton, died on January 24, eight days
after giving birth to John, presumably from complications after the birthing. [That's just word-of-mouth from a distant ancestor of the woman, but it does tie in with what I learned earlier.] John's father, John M. Hamilton (Sept. 10, 1845 - Aug. 17, 1906) is buried in Springhill Cemetery, Shippensburg. (Thanks go to Michael Hayde for this update - December, 2007)

1900

October 4

Robert Shayne was born in Yonkers, New York as Robert Shaen Dawe. Bob was raised in Washington, DC. He later attended Boston University and Chicago University, still later working as a newspaper reporter in Florida. Bob made his stage debut in 1927 in "Is Zat So?" with the Jefferson Stock Company of Birmingham, Alabama. In 1931 he made his Broadway debut in "The Rap." After 97 motion picture credits and countless television appearances, Bob's final role was the part of Reggie, a blind news vender in The Flash on CBS in 1991.

1908

January 31

Robert Maxwell was born in Brooklyn, New York.

November 27

Whitney Ellsworth was born in Brooklyn, New York.

1910

October 3

Jane Dewey (Ellsworth) was born in Greenfield, Massachusetts.

1914

January 5

George Keefer Brewer was born in Woolstock, Iowa.

1917

February 17

Art Weissman was born in New York, New York.

April 2

Dabbs Greer was born in Missouri. Dabbs appears in three episodes of the Adventures of Superman: "Superman on Earth," "Five Minutes To Doom," and "The Superman Silver Mine."

1920

November 25

Noel Neill was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

1921

December 1

Bette Shayne was born in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. Bette moved to California in November1943. One month later, at the Brown Derby, she met her first Hollywood actor. That actor was John R. Hamilton! "He was a real gentleman," Bette recalls.

1927

January 15

Phyllis Coates was born in Wichita Falls, Texas. Born Gypsie Ann Evarts Stell, she moved to California in 1941. Shortly afterward, Gail Getterman, a producer at MGM changed her name to Phyllis Coates. Mr. Getterman thought the name Phyllis sounded rather classy, and the name "Coates" came from the sign on a passing truck. Among Phyllis' first works are Ken Murray's Blackouts in 1943 and 1944.

1931

September 19

Pat Ellsworth was born in Springfield, Massachusetts. Her mother divorced and married Whit Ellsworth in 1938.

1933

February 8

Jack Larson was born in the Los Angeles Hospital in Los Angeles, California. In his teen years, Jack became interested in acting and remembers that even before he finished classes at Pasadena Junior College, he and Debbie Reynolds signed with Warner Brothers the same week in May 1948. Jack left Warners two years later and appeared in a play called "The Great Man" with Albert Dekker. In September 1950, Jack appeared with Edgar Buchanan in a live television show called Country Editor.

Note: Jack gives 1933 as the year birth, but public records indicate he was actually born in 1928.

1935

June 8

George Reeves appeared in many plays at the Pasadena Playhouse from 1935 until 1953. Those plays were performed on the Main Stage (MS), the Playbox (PL), or the Workshop (WS). The Playbox was Gilmor Brown's private theater and the Workshop later became the Laboratory Theatre. The Workshop was for new, untried plays.

On June 8, 1935 George Reeves appeared in his first play, Promise (WS).

1936

June 22

George Reeves appeared as "Servant" in Timon of Athens at the Pasadena Playhouse (MS).

July 13

George Reeves appeared as "Cinna" in Julius Caesar at the Pasadena Playhouse (MS).

July 20

George Reeves appeared as "Thyreus" in Antony & Cleopatra at the Pasadena Playhouse (MS).

November 16

George Reeves appeared as "Fasquelle" in Paths To Glory at the Pasadena Playhouse (MS).

December 15

George Reeves appeared in Christmas Carol at the Pasadena Playhouse (MS).

1937

March 23

George Reeves appeared as "Bandit" in Tobias & Angel at the Pasadena Playhouse (MS).

April 11

George Reeves appeared as "Andrea Rossi" in Lady Mary at the Pasadena Playhouse (PL).

May 16

George Reeves appeared as "Master Crummles" in When Crummles Played at the Pasadena Playhouse (PL).

June 28

George Reeves appeared as "Pedro De Alvarado" in Montezuma at the Pasadena Playhouse (MS).

July 12

George Reeves appeared as "Mateo" in Night Over TOAS at the Pasadena Playhouse (MS).

July 19

George Reeves appeared as "Aide-de-Camp" in Juarez & Maximilian at the Pasadena Playhouse (MS).

August 2

George Reeves appeared as "Pascual" in Rose Of Rancho at the Pasadena Playhouse (MS).

November 7

George Reeves appeared as "Bobby" in Romantic Age at the Pasadena Playhouse (PL).

November 24

George Reeves appeared as "Barnardine" in Measure For Measure at the Pasadena Playhouse (MS).

December 6

George Reeves appeared as "Cashel Byron" in Admirable Bashville at the Pasadena Playhouse (PL).

December 21

George Reeves appeared as "Tylette" in Blue Bird at the Pasadena Playhouse (MS).

1938

January 24

George Reeves appeared in Bishop's Bed at the Pasadena Playhouse (WS).

March 6

George Reeves appeared as "Stephen Leslie" in Mr. & Mrs. Phipps at the Pasadena Playhouse (PL).

April 5

George Reeves appeared as "Capt. Asher" in High Tor at the Pasadena Playhouse (MS).

April 24

George Reeves appeared as "Pederit" in Twelve Thousand at the Pasadena Playhouse (PL).

June 1

Action Comics #1, with the first appearance of the Superman character, hit the newsstands.

June 27

George Reeves appeared as "Serius" in Arms & Man at the Pasadena Playhouse (MS).

July 11

George Reeves appeared as "Hector Hushabye" in Heartbreak House at the Pasadena Playhouse (MS).

September 24

Jane Dewey and Whitney Ellsworth were married in Hollywood, California.

October 30

George Reeves appeared as "Clive Monkhams" in After October at the Pasadena Playhouse (PL).

December 20

George Reeves appeared as "Nathan" in Boy David at the Pasadena Playhouse (MS).

1939

February 16

George Reeves appeared as "Tom Collier" in Animal Kingdom at the Pasadena Playhouse (PL).

May 31

George Brewer, known professionally as George Bessolo, signed a contract with Warner Brothers Pictures, Inc. for a period of 26 weeks to begin on June 12, 1939. Warner Brothers Pictures, Inc. had the option to extend the contract beyond the 26 weeks.

June 26

George Reeves worked at Selznick-International doing retakes for Gone With The Wind.

1940

July 3

Warner Brothers, Pictures, Inc. agreed to loan the services of George Reeves to Universal Pictures Company, Inc. for their photoplay entitled Argentine Nights beginning June 25, 1940.

July 15

George Reeves completed his loan-out engagement at Universal Studios.

September 21

George Reeves and Ellanora Needles were wed in the Church of Our Savior in San Marino, California. Her uncle, John Stevens, gave the bride away. Actor Frank Wilcox served as George's best man.

December 1

George Reeves appeared as "Clown" in Candles In Sky at the Pasadena Playhouse (PL).

1941

October 24

The first movie in which Noel Neill appears, Paramount's "Henry Aldrich For President,” is released.

 

 

1942

May 3

George Reeves appeared as "Janos" in Man From Cairo at the Pasadena Playhouse (PL).

November 11

George Reeves was signed to play opposite Claudette Colbert in So Proudly We Hail.

1943

March 21

It was reported in Sheilah Graham's column that Cecil B. DeMille wanted George Reeves for a big role in The Story of Dr. Wassal if DeMille could get the picture start before Reeves left for the service.

September 3

Sheilah Graham reported that George Reeves, whose last film job was being loved by Claudette Colbert in So Proudly We Hail, is the new supply sergeant for the Winged Victory air force thespians. "Instead of holding Miss Colbert in his manly arms," Ms Graham reported, "George is currently wrestling with GI trunks, gas masks, rifles, etc."

October 25

It was reported that after the first rehearsal of Winged Victory in New York, Moss Hart knew the boys of the cast very well. When he heard that George Reeves was having a hard time getting by on his Army pay, Hart arranged for a wardrobe job in addition to acting. Hart stepped in again to help Reeves when he learned that Mrs. Reeves had come East. He gave Ellanora a job as an understudy.

1945

January 7

The Milwaukee Journal Screen and Radio Magazine: You can safely say that when the war is over and Tyrone Power returns to picture making at 20th Century Fox, his bosses will star him in a mammoth production. The same goes for Henry Fonda, Donald O'Connor, Gene Kelly, Red Skelton, and Mickey Rooney, although I somehow can't see Mickey in any more adolescent Andy Hardy epics. But there are dozens of film actors who had not made many pictures before Uncle Sam took them - boys like Richard Ney, Farley Granger, and George Reeves. The latter did only two important pictures - one with Merle Oberon and So Proudly We Hail with Claudette Colbert. When Hollywood is crowded again with handsome young men, will there be a good place for George? I hope so. (Sue Chambers)

1946

January 11

George Reeves appeared as "Raoul" in The Marquise at the Pasadena Playhouse (PL).

July 16

George Reeves appeared as "Edgar Holt" in Girls at the Pasadena Playhouse (MS).

August 31

Jim Nolt was born. The future editor/publisher of The Adventures Continue was born in Reinholds, a small town in Pennsylvania.

September 28

Robert and Bette Shayne were married in Encinada, Mexico. Both Bob and Bette had arrived in California in 1943, but did not meet until June 1945. When Bette first met Bob she thought he was the most handsome man she had ever met. Within six months they were engaged.

1947

May 15

George Reeves appeared as "The actor" in The Guardsman at the Pasadena Playhouse (PL).

August 12

George Reeves appeared as "Jake Wallace" in Girl Of The Golden West at the Pasadena Playhouse (MS).

1948

February 25

George Reeves appeared as "Hopkins" in Woman Bites Dog at the Pasadena Playhouse (MS).

May 5

Jack Larson signed with Warner Brothers and appeared in his first film, Fighter Squadron with Edmond O'Brien and Robert Stack.

1951

May 16

Flamingo Films announced the purchase of "Superman" television rights from National Comics Publications.

May 21

Bernard Luber and Robert Maxwell formed a company to produce television films. The Adventures of Superman would be their initial series.

May 31

Superman, Inc. moved into the RKO Pathé Studios located in Culver City, California.

Toni Lanier and Eddie J. Mannix were married.

June 20

Lee Sholem signed to direct the Superman series.

June 25

George Reeves signed a seven-year contract to star in the Adventures of Superman.

July 10

Superman and the Mole-Men began filming at the RKO-Pathé Studios.

July 19

Jack Larson was signed to play the role of Jimmy Olsen. Jack is not sure of the exact date he signed on with Superman, but he does remember that Tommy Carr directed his audition film and that he met both George Reeves and Phyllis Coates while they were filming Superman and the Mole-Men. Jack also remembers that he was hired shortly before Robert Shayne and John Hamilton. "There were not many days between the time I was hired and the day production began on the series. I may have even started the show before a contract was signed."

July 21

Superman and the Mole-Men was completed. It took just 11 days to film.

July 23 -
August 4

The initial set of first-season episodes of the Adventures of Superman was filmed.

They are:

  1. "The Secret of Superman"

  2. "The Case of the Talkative Dummy"

  3. "Double Trouble"

  4. "Runaway Robot"

  5. "Mystery of the Broken Statues"

July 25

Robert Shayne and John Hamilton are made permanent cast members of the Adventures of Superman.

August ?

Hal Humphrey's column in the LA Mirror News reported that while filming a flying sequence in the new television series, the Adventures of Superman, the star, George Reeves, was dropped from a height of 12 feet.

August 6 - 18

The second set of first-season episodes of the Adventures of Superman was filmed.

The episodes are:

  1. "The Mind Machine"

  2. "No Holds Barred"

  3. "The Birthday Letter"

  4. "The Stolen Costume"

  5. "Mystery In Wax"

August 20 - September 1

The third set of first-season episodes of the Adventures of Superman was filmed.

The episodes are:

  1. "The Monkey Mystery"

  2. "The Haunted Lighthouse"

  3. "Treasure of the Incas"

  4. "Rescue"

  5. "The Deserted Village"

Sept. 10 - 21

The fourth set of first-season episodes of the Adventures of Superman was filmed.

The episodes are:

  1. "Human Bomb"

  2. "Night of Terror"

  3. "Ghost Wolf"

  4. "Drums of Death"

October 1 - 13

The final set of first-season episodes of the Adventures of Superman is filmed.

The episodes are:

  1. "The Evil Three"

  2. "Czar of the Underworld"

  3. "Crime Wave"

  4. "Riddle of the Chinese Jade"

  5. "Superman On Earth"

Michael Hayde notes:

"Except for the week of October 10, that's five episodes in twelve working days (Sundays off) and all shot concurrently. Notice that episodes with caves were all shot together. Notice too that Kent and Lane probably pulled into Carbide, Pennsylvania then pulled into Clifton-By-The-Sea immediately thereafter, since the buildings, clothing, and camera set-up are all identical. Perhaps an examination of the shadows would indicate into which town they drove first."

November 23

Superman and the Mole-Men opened in movie theaters across the country.

1952

July 2

Kellogg's cereals became the sponsor for the Adventures of Superman.

September 19

The Adventures of Superman had its television premiere on WENR-TV, Chicago.

October 11

George Reeves tested for the role of Father Provincial in Alma Mater. The movie was eventually released as Trouble Along The Way with Leif Erickson in the role of Father Provincial.

December 13

TV Forecast in the Chicago area published an article entitled "Who Needs Flying Saucers."

1953

February 9

The Adventures of Superman premiered in Los Angeles on KECA.

March 12

George Reeves appeared as "John Willard" in Nightshade at the Pasadena Playhouse (MS).

April 1

The Adventures of Superman premiered in New York City on WABC, Channel 7.

April 13

Kellogg's, through Leo Burnett, renewed the Adventures of Superman for 104 weeks at $1,350,000.

April 14

Robert Maxwell rejected the offer to produce another 26 episodes of the Adventures of Superman.

April 20

Whitney Ellsworth was named producer of the Adventures of Superman.

May 1

TV Guide (New York Metro edition): "The Man Who Flies Like A Saucer Has Zoomed Into Video."

May 31

The Star-Ledger in Newark, New Jersey, published an article written by Jay Emmett. Entitled "Superman's Girl Friend To Dye Hair To Avoid Crowds" it features a photo of Phyllis Coates and her 2 1/2 -year-old daughter, Christopher Anne (Crinker). Phyllis tells about being recognized on the street, how she got her start in movies, how she landed the role of Lois Lane, and what it feels like to be saved by Superman.

June 8

George Reeves appeared on an ABC-TV cerebral palsy telethon in Los Angeles.

June 15

Noel Neill signed on as Lois Lane in the Adventures of Superman.

July 6

George Reeves, with Danny Thomas, threw the switch for a power hike at KECA-TV in Los Angeles.

August 6

George Reeves appeared on Sheriff John's Cartoon Time on KTTV, Los Angeles.

September 4

The following letter, from Mrs. R Shiffrin of Brooklyn, New York, appeared in TV Guide. "The trick photography on Superman which makes him appear to jump out of windows and fly should be explained to young children. My son said, 'Mommy, I ate Superman's cereal; now take out the screen and I'll fly downstairs.' He did try jumping from a table and sprained his ankle. Can anything be done about this?"

September 14

The second season of the Adventures of Superman began airing in Los Angeles with "Five Minutes To Doom."

September 24

The second season of the Adventures of Superman ended with the filming of "Around The World With Superman."

September 25

George Reeves is featured on the cover of TV Guide along with the story, "George Reeves: Man and Superman."

December 12

The New Yorker published a review of "Panic In The Sky" in which Philip Hamburger said of it, "Crisp! Crisp! Deep! Deep!"

1954

March 12

The United States Treasury Department honored George Reeves for helping to promote US Savings Bonds.

March 13

TV Digest published an article entitled "He Flies Thru The Air."

April 23

TV Radio-Life published an article entitled "What You Don't Know About Superman."

June 11 - 13

George Reeves, Noel Neill, Jack Larson, and John Hamilton appeared at the Mid South Navy Festival in Memphis, Tennessee. They also appeared on WMCT-TV's Pride of the SouthLand as part of this three-day (Friday, Saturday, and Sunday) event.

August 29

George Reeves appeared at the City of Hope Regatta in Duarte, California.

September 1

George Reeves, Sonia Henie, and Joan Crawford appeared at the premiere of The Egyptian held at Grauman's Chinese Theatre in Hollywood.

September 19

George Reeves appeared at a Knights of Columbus benefit barbecue in Chatsworth, California.

September 27

The LA Times reported: George Reeves and Whitney Ellsworth disagree on new TV deal. Daily Variety also ran an article: "George Reeves Sheds Superman TV Role."

October 27

George Reeves returned to the Superman role.

November 8

George Reeves became national chairman of the "Little Helpers" campaign for the City of Hope. Reeves succeeded Roy Rogers as national chairman.

November 15

Filming began on the third season of the Adventures of Superman with "Through The Time Barrier."

November 21

George Reeves was the guest of honor of Frank Sennes' Moulin Rouge in Hollywood. The doors opened at 4:00 with the dinner and show at 5:00. The cost of admission was $1.50 for children under 12 (this included dinner and the show). Adult tickets were $5.50.

December 29

George Reeves starred in a film short for the City of Hope Hospital.

1955

February 15

TV Fan magazine: "Superman Is Only Human."

February 20

George Reeves attended the first annual Pasadena Playhouse West Coast Alumni Brunch where he, Natividad Vacio, and Robert Preston performed several Spanish songs. Founder-President, Gilmor Brown, had asked Mabel Albertson to plan and organize the gathering. When it came time to elect officers, however, Victor Jory took over. Maudie Prickett, wife of Playhouse executive Charles Prickett, was elected president, and Jean Inness, Jory's wife, was elected secretary.

March 5

George Reeves appeared on Funny Boners, a children's show hosted by ventriloquist Jimmy Weldon on his dummy, Webster Webfoot. 

March 12

George Reeves appeared in Milwaukee. The Milwaukee Journal reported that Reeves is national chairman of the City of Hope and was in town to boost the fund-raising drive for leukemia victims. He appeared in street clothes at the Palace and Wisconsin Theaters for a Saturday morning cartoon show, and later appeared as Superman in a parade down Wisconsin Avenue. (A photo of George in the parade can be seen in The Adventures Continue # 13 (Spring, 1997)

March 31

George Reeves appeared at Hess' Department Store in Allentown, Pennsylvania. During this two-day event, George appeared as both Superman and Clark Kent.

April 4

George Reeves appeared on KTTV-TV in Los Angeles on The Jack Owens Show.

April 5

George Reeves appeared as Superman at two Broadway Department Stores in Los Angeles.

April 23

The third season of the Adventures of Superman began airing in Los Angeles with "Through The Time Barrier."

May 21

First broadcast of Season 3 episode, “Great Caesar's Ghost.”

May 31

George Reeves appeared Clark Kent at a safety program in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

June 1

George Reeves appeared as Clark Kent in Memphis, Tennessee for the City of Hope. Nick Canterucci, a reader of The Adventures Continue was in the hospital when George made his appearance. You can read about Nick's encounter with George at The Adventures Continue web site: www.jimnolt.com/nick.htm George Reeves also made three television appearances on WMCT-TV: Storyland, TV Movie Matinee, and Interesting Persons.

June 3

George Reeves appeared as Clark Kent in St. Louis, Missouri.

June 6

George Reeves appeared as Clark Kent in Battle Creek and Lakeview, Michigan.

July 1

George Reeves appeared at a hospital in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

July 15

George Reeves appeared as himself at the opening of Disneyland in Anaheim.

August 31

George Reeves received an award from the Myasthenia Gravis Foundation.

September 1

George Reeves received the Torchbearer Award from the City of Hope.

September 6

The fourth season of Superman begins with filming of "Joey."

September 9

TV Radio-Life published an article called "TV's Unusual Pals."

October 6

Noel Neill presented the Helms Awards at the US Volleyball Association meeting at Helms Hall in Los Angeles.

November 4

George Reeves appeared as Superman at the Arizona State Fair and appeared on KOAL-TV, Phoenix, Arizona.

1956

January 1

"Superman Is Just A Quiet Fellow" appeared in the Herald-Advertiser, a newspaper in Huntington, WV.

February 16

Fourth season of the Adventures of Superman began airing in Los Angeles with "Joey."

February 18

The Myasthenia Gravis Foundation presented the Mygraf Award to George Reeves.

March 2

George Reeves was involved in a traffic accident on his way home from working on the Disney film, Westward Ho, The Wagons.

June 11

In Los Angeles, George Reeves sued O'Sullivan Building Materials Company for $500,000 for the accident in which he was involved on March 2, 1956.

August 6

An article in Time, "The Violent and the Bland" mentions that Superman is harmful to children.

August 6 - 7

George Reeves appeared at Hess' Department Store in Allentown, Pennsylvania.

August 10

Hal Humphrey, in his Mirror-News column entitled "Hey Elvis, Look Out! Here Comes Superman!," wrote that George Reeves would sing and play guitar on the Tony Bennett Show on NBC and that Reeves was upset because he hadn't been able to get many movie roles since Superman premiered. "That's why I was glad to get this spot with Tony Bennett. It will give me an opportunity to prove again that I haven't always been Superman."

August 11

George Reeves appeared and sang on NBC's Tony Bennett Show in New York.

August 24

George Reeves appeared at the Greater Indiana County Fair in Indiana, Pennsylvania.

August 25

George Reeves appeared at the Greater Indiana State Fair in Indiana, Pennsylvania.

September 2 & 3

George Reeves appeared at Kennywood Park near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The shows were at 3 and 8 pm on Sunday and Monday (Labor Day weekend). George was scheduled to return to Kennywood Park in 1959 for a July 4th celebration. According to the Pittsburgh Post Gazette, the people at Kennywood received a signed agreement from George dated June 13, 1959, just three days before his death.

September 3

The Allentown, Pennsylvania newspaper reported that "Superman Really Clams Up To Protect His Flying Secret."

September 25

The fifth season of the Adventures of Superman began filming with "Peril In Paris."

October 15

The Adventures of Superman, dubbed into Spanish, debuted in San Juan, Puerto Rico on WKAQ.

November 1

George Reeves enlisted in the California Chapter of the Myasthenia Gravis Foundation.

November 10

Production on the fifth season of Superman ends with the filming of "Whatever Goes Up."

November 15

George Reeves filmed "Lucy Meets Superman" at Desilu Studios in Hollywood. According to Michael Hayde, "Lucy And Superman" was conceived shortly after the Adventures of Superman began production in 1956. Superman, Inc. granted permission for the character to be used, and Reeves was signed in mid-October. "Whatever Goes Up" wrapped on Saturday, November 10. The following week, George Reeves and Si Simonson headed over to Desilu-Cahuenga Studios for rehearsals, and this I Love Lucy classic was filmed in front of a live audience on the evening of November 15. Two months later, on Monday, January 14, 1957, it aired on CBS for the first time. The storyline appears to have been a collaboration between National Comics and the Lucy writers. A title card, which appears at the close of the episode, states: "Superman character, feats, and narrative are copyrighted 1956 by National Comics Publications, Inc." Contrary to what was reported in Hollywood Kryptonite, George Reeves did receive credit in a voice-over at the end of the episode: "Our guest star tonight was George Reeves, star of the Superman series." This credit was deleted from the syndication version, which first appeared after George's death.

1957

January 11

George Reeves, Natividad Vacio, and Art Weissman, along with several musicians and singers, rented a recording studio from 7:30 to 9:30 pm to record two songs, Las Altenitas (The Gay Ranchero) and The Riddle Song. The studio was located at 7000 Santa Monica Blvd. In Hollywood.

January 14

 

George Reeves appeared as Superman on I Love Lucy broadcast on the CBS Television Network.

January 19

George Reeves appeared in Harford, Connecticut at the Sportsmen's and Boat Show. Click here for article.

February

George Reeves made personal appearances in New York, Chicago, and St. Louis on various dates this month.

March 7

Fifth season episodes of the Adventures of Superman began airing in Los Angeles with "Peril In Paris."

March 23

TV Guide published the article "Crashing Through The Language Barrier" telling of the popularity of the Adventures of Superman all over the world.

August 20

George Reeves, Noel Neill, and the fair tour cast appeared at the Colorado State Fair. The cast performed three shows during the three-day event.

August 26

George Reeves, Noel Neill, and the fair tour cast performed two shows at the City Auditorium in Asheville, North Carolina.

August 28

George Reeves, Noel Neill, and the fair tour cast performed one show at the Memorial Auditorium in Raleigh, North Carolina.

August 30

George Reeves, Noel Neill, and the fair tour cast performed two shows at the Township Auditorium in Columbia, South Carolina.

August 31

George Reeves, Noel Neill, and the fair tour cast performed two shows in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Sept. 9 - 11

George Reeves, Noel Neill, and the fair tour cast performed four shows at the Kentucky State Fair in Louisville, Kentucky.

September 13

George Reeves, Noel Neill, and the fair tour cast performed one show at the Reading Fair in Reading, Pennsylvania. The night before, Clayton Moore appeared as The Lone Ranger.

September 21

George Reeves appeared as Superman for the Columbus (Ohio) Safety Campaign.

September 23

Filming began on the sixth season of the Adventures of Superman with "The Last Knight."

September 27

George Reeves received a Safety Award in Ohio.

October 22

It was announced that George Reeves would direct three episodes of the Adventures of Superman.

November 9

The final episode of the Adventures of Superman was filmed.

December 10

Los Angeles Mirror-News: "There Is A Superman, But He's Unemployed." By Hal Humphrey.

1958

February 3

The final season episodes of the Adventures of Superman began airing in Los Angeles with "The Last Knight."

March 13

George Reeves appeared on “Thriftway Caravan” on KING-TV, Channel 5, Seattle, Washington.

June 29

"Superman's Looking For A Place To Land" appeared in the New York Post.

August 17

George Reeves appeared on KJEO-TV in Fresno California as part of a telethon for Cerebral Palsy. The Fresno Bee of August 18 reported that, "At 12:30 PM... Chucko, the Los Angeles clown, and George Reeves, in his Superman guise, autographed pictures of themselves as the KJEO-TV cameras were trained on them." This was likely Reeves' final costumed TV appearance.

August 24

Milwaukee Journal: "Grounding Superman."

September 14

Pittsburgh Press: "Superman In The Backyard."

October 15

John Hamilton died of a heart attack. Jack Larson remembers that he had a son, but no one connected with Superman has heard from him since the day of Hamilton's funeral.

October 17

Funeral services were held for John Hamilton.

1959

January 22

The Los Angeles Herald reported that Sam, George Reeves' Schnauzer, was stolen from a car at 1627 Vine St. Sam was under medical care for the loss of an eye in an auto accident. Anyone with news of the dog was urged to call Oldfield 4-8000.

March 29

George Reeves made his final public appearance when he rode (as himself) in the Beverly Hills Easter Parade.

April 8

George Reeves was involved in an automobile accident and suffered a mild concussion and gash on his forehead. The accident occurred at Benedict Canyon Drive near Easton Street. He was taken to Cedars of Lebanon Hospital (now Cedars-Sinai Hospital).

April 28

It was reported that the romance between George Reeves and Lenore Lemmon was called off. A conflicting report appeared on May 20, 1959.

May 20

Scripts for a Fall, 1959 season of the Adventures of Superman are being prepared. There is some controversy over whether or not Whit had the go-ahead for a 7th season, however. When I visited with Whit in 1980, he told me there were no plans to continue. Whit's margin notes in Gary Grossman's book indicate the same thought. Jack Liebowitz, in a conversation with Pat Ellsworth Wilson, concurs. Yet Michael Hayde has gathered together some circumstantial evidence to the contrary:

  1. The newspaper report "Superman Loses His Dog" includes the address at ZIV;

  2. In May, 1959, George Reeves told UPI reporter Henry Gris that he had been approached about doing 26 new episodes;

  3. In June, 1959, Art Weissman told the press (after George's death) that he (Reeves) had planned to do another season;

  4. In July, 1959, Mort Weisinger approached Jack Larson with the idea of doing 13 episodes of Superman's Pal, Jimmy Olsen because, in Larson's words, "Kellogg's had already put up the money to do these shows;

  5. Noel Neill and Bob Shayne both reported that another season was in the works. Noel even wrote that a character actor had been hired to play the part of Perry White's brother while Perry was on an extended vacation. (John Hamilton died in October, 1958.)

UPI reported in "Superman Takes A Bride" that George Reeves would soon marry Lenore Lemmon.

June 16

In the early morning hours, George Reeves died in his home at 1579 Benedict Canyon Drive in Beverly Hills, California.

June 17

George Reeves had promised Alejandro Vacio, Nati and Queta's son, that he would attend his high school graduation tonight. Chuck Harter's interview with Alejandro will appear in a future issue of The Adventures Continue.

In an article in the LA Mirror-News, staff writer Paul Weeks reported that parents are asking "What do I tell my children?" about the death of George Reeves.

June 20

Jerry Giesler said today that he had been retained by Mrs. Bessolo to investigate the shooting death of her son.

June 22

In his column "It Happened Last Night," Earl Wilson noted that "Lenore Lemmon has all the tough breaks. Back home mourning the suicide of 'Superman' George Reeves, her apartment was flooded when a water main burst and most of her clothes were ruined.

June 25

Helen Bessolo, mother of George Reeves, arrived by train in California from Galesburg, Illinois.

June 26

The Sacramento Bee reported that two more bullet holes were discovered by police investigators who pried up a carpet covering the floor where Reeves was found. One bullet had gone through the floor and lodged in the paneling of the living room downstairs; the other one was recovered from a ceiling beam. Examination disclosed the same Luger automatic that killed Reeves had fired them. The bullet that killed Reeves was recovered from the bedroom ceiling. Only one empty cartridge case was found in the bedroom, however, and no fingerprints were found on the gun.

June 27

TV Guide published a notice of George Reeves' death. Farewell to Superman: Children the world over were dealt a severe blow last week. George Reeves, 45, TV's indestructible "Man of Steel," Superman, was dead by his own hand, and the flowing cloak would flow no more. A gentle man in real life, given to moods, he was despondent because "everyone thought of him as Superman, not as an actor," and now that the show was no longer shooting, he couldn't get a job. One of his friends wrote a poignant epitaph. "Superman was like a puppy dog," she said. "All who knew him wanted to cuddle and care for him."

The Beverly Hills Citizen reported in a copyrighted interview that Jerry Giesler doubts George Reeves committed suicide because the case has too many "phony angles."

June 29

Pallbearers were named for the funeral of George Reeves. Honorary pallbearers are Alan Ladd, Gig Young, George Blair, Whitney Ellsworth, Bill Walsh, Hudson Shotwell, Natividad Vacio, Gene LaBell, Dwight Hauser, Arthur Weissman, Damian O'Flynn, and Jimmy Seay.

June 30

The Sacramento Bee reported that a friend of Lenore Lemmon backed up her story of a second bullet. The woman, whose identity was kept secret by the police, said that a few weeks before Reeves' death, she was with Lemmon in the house. After Lemmon asked her, "Would you like to hear how this sounds?" she fired into a beam in the ceiling.

In the Beverly Hills Citizen, Attorney Giesler is quoted as saying her story is "a bunch of hooey."

July 1

Funeral services are held for George Reeves at the Wayside Chapel of the Gates Funeral Home in Los Angeles. Among friends attending were Noel Neill, Don DeFore, Gig Young, and Mrs. Dan Dailey. The Rev. R. Parker Jones of St. Albans Episcopal Church officiated. Rev. Jones recalled Reeves' "selfless interest in the service of the lives of children, especially those in hospitals." Reeves was temporarily entombed at Woodlawn Mausoleum in Santa Monica. It was reported that Mrs. Bessolo would take the body to Cincinnati in the fall.

July 4 & 5

George Reeves was scheduled to appear as Superman at Kennywood Park near Pittsburgh. A contract signed by Reeves had been received a few days before his death.

July 10

Superior Court Judge Edward R. Brand admitted the will and two codicils of George Reeves into probate. The chief beneficiary was Toni Mannix. Arthur Weissman was approved as executor.

Nov 28

Another autopsy was performed by Dr. Alan R. Moritz at Cincinnati General Hospital. Dr. Moritz later opined that his findings were consistent with suicide. 

1960

January 23

The LA Herald reported that Helen Bessolo is continuing to seek new leads into the death of her son. Reeves' body remained in a crypt in Cincinnati.

February 10

The body of George Lescher Bessolo Reeves was cremated by the Cincinnati Cremation Company. The remains were returned to Helen in Pasadena, California.

1961

February 15

Variety: "New Superman Sales; Now In 35 Markets."

1963

August 30

Eddie J. Mannix, 72, died in his Beverly Hills home of a heart attack. Mannix suffered two strokes the previous week and had been in poor health for eight years. His wife, Toni, who lived with him at 1120 El Retiro, is his only survivor.

September 3

Funeral services were held for Eddie Mannix at the Church of the Good Shepherd in Beverly Hills. Pallbearers included James Stewart, Robert Taylor, Robert M. Weitman, J. Cohn, Douglas Shearer, Abe Lastfogal, Maurice Benjamin, and Charles Boren.

1964

June 18

Helen Lescher Bessolo, mother of George Reeves, died in a Pasadena hospital. Mrs. Bessolo resided at 1447 N. Michigan Avenue in Pasadena. She had remained in California after George's death in 1959.

1965

June 6

New York Daily News: "Superman Is Still Super."

1969

August 13

Jack Larson's play opened at the Edinborough Festival. Jack isn't sure of the exact date, but the play was Cherry, Larry, Sandy, Doris, Jean, Paul with John Ritter in the role of Larry.

1972

April 20

Jack Larson's Lord Byron premiered at the Lincoln Center.

1974

April 9

Noel Neill presented the first of many college shows. The first presentation was at Monmouth College in West Long Branch, New Jersey. Noel presented 42 shows from 1974 - 1976. These are wonderful years for Noel.

1977

January 5

Thousand Oaks News-Chronicle: "Producing Television Series Was a Job For Ellsworth."

1978

February 8

Phyllis Coates appeared on stage in Never Too Late. Also in the cast was Robert Shayne. Phyllis came out of retirement to work with Bob for the play's two-week run at the Center Theatre in Palm Springs.

December 23

Galesburg, Illinois Register-Mail: "George Reeves Remembered Best as Superman."

1980

February 15

Art and Betty Weissman were married in Newport Beach, California.

September 7

Whitney Ellsworth, producer of the Adventures of Superman from 1953 - 1957, died in his home in Westlake Village, California.

 1983

September 2

Camille Antoinette Lanier (Toni Mannix) died in Beverly Hills, California at the age of 77.

1987

June 15

Jack Larson received honors at the Smithsonian and at Harvard. On this special weekend, Jack received a Certificate of Honor for the Performing Arts from Harvard University and saw his bow tie put on display at the Smithsonian in Washington, DC. Previous honors include a Koussevitsky Grant (1966), a Rockefeller Grant (1968 - 1969), and a Ford Foundation Grant (1970).

1988

February

Dr. Don Rhoden of Omaha, Nebraska published the first issue of The Adventures Continue. Jim Nolt became editor/publisher beginning with issue #3.

1989

June 14

A George Reeves Memorial Tribute, paid for by the readers of The Adventures Continue appeared in Weekly Variety.

1990

January 1

Lenore Lemmon died in her New York apartment.

March 26

Tris Coffin died in Santa Monica, California. Tris Coffin appears in several episodes of the Adventures of Superman including "Mystery of the Broken Statues," "The Case of the Talkative Dummy," "Clark Kent, Outlaw," and "Whatever Goes Up."

November 8

Robert Shayne appeared as Reggie, the blind news vendor in "Sins of the Father," an episode of CBS's The Flash.

1991

January 10

Robert Shayne makes his second appearance as Reggie in The Flash. The episode is entitled "Sight Unseen." It marks Bob's final network television appearance.

August 30

Jane Ellsworth died in her home in Westlake Village. Mrs. Ellsworth was the wife of Whitney Ellsworth who died September 7, 1980.

December 9

The Poets Theater of Harvard presented an evening of the works of Jack Larson.

 

1992

March 25

Noel Neill, Robert Shayne, and Jack Larson appeared on Talk of the Town, an hour-long television show from Long Beach, California. This marked Robert Shayne's final public appearance.

August 26

Sammy Timberg, who composed the Superman theme for the 1940s Fleischer cartoons died at Mercy Hospital in Scranton, Pennsylvania. He was 89.

November 29

Robert Shayne, 92, died at the Motion Picture Home in Woodland Hills.

December 19

A memorial service was held for Robert Shayne. Over 100 guests attended the service held at the theater of Los Angeles Valley College in North Hollywood, California.

1993

August 28

Phyllis Coates appeared on stage with Alan Young in the play Love Letters. The play was presented in Monterrey, California to raise money for the American Lung Association.

1994

March 14

Phyllis Coates filmed her role as Mrs. Lane on Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman. Phyllis was scheduled to continue in the role of Mrs. Lane in subsequent seasons. However, when she was with her daughter, Samantha, who was about to give birth, a miscommunication occurred and the role was recast. In addition to Laura Samantha, Phyllis has another daughter, Chris, and a son, David.

April 15

A TV Guide article, "Something Old, Something New," is about the wedding episode on Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman in which Phyllis Coates played Lois' mother. The article features a photo of Phyllis Coates with George Reeves and another of Phyllis with Terri Hatcher.

August 16

John Doucette died in Cabazon, California. Doucette appears in several episodes of the Adventures of Superman including "The Birthday Letter," "Clark Kent, Outlaw," and "Lady In Black."

October 17

George Barrows, who played Slouchy McGoo in "Mr. Zero," died. Barrows' appears in several films between 1946 and 1967 including Hillbillys In A Haunted House, Frankenstein's Daughter, and The Kettles On Old MacDonald's Farm.

December 6

Art Weissman, George Reeves' friend and personal manager, died in El Toro, California.

1995

May 18

Elisha Cook, Jr. died at a nursing home in Big Pine, California. Cook appears as Homer Garrity in "Semi-Private Eye," Jack Larson's favorite episode of the Adventures of Superman.

December 8

Unsolved Mysteries included a segment about the death of George Reeves. Jack Larson, Jim Nolt, Michael Hayde, and Jim Beaver were interviewed on the NBC show.

December 10

George J. Lewis died at his home in Rancho Santa Fe, California. Lewis appeared in "Test of a Warrior" and also played the role of Don Alejandro de la Vega in Walt Disney's Zorro.

1996

May 19

John Beradino died at his home in Los Angeles, California. Beradino appears as Dexter Brown in "The Unlucky Number."

May 30

Natividad Vacio died in Burbank, California. Nati's best-known work in television is his portrayal of "Fronk" the gardener on five episodes of Father Knows Best. Nati appears in one episode of the Adventures of Superman - "The Brainy Burro." Nati and George Reeves were friends from the time they were teenagers.

June 1

Michael Fox died in Woodland Hills, California. Fox appears in "Perils of Superman" as one of the lead-masked scoundrels.  

July 26

Virginia Christine died in Los Angeles. Ms Christine appeared in one episode of the Adventures of Superman: "Lady In Black." She is probably best known as Mrs. Olson, the Folger's coffee spokesperson, a role she played for twenty-one years.

September 7

Joe Biroc died in Woodland Hills, California. Biroc served as cinematography on the Adventures of Superman. He shared an Academy Award for cinematography on The Towering Inferno. He also received several Emmys for his work and in 1989 received a lifetime achievement award from the Society of American Cinematographers.

September 11

Columbia House Video honored Noel Neill and Jack Larson in New York. Others stars honored included Barbara Feldon, Robert Vaughn, Keith Thibodeaux, and Joyce Randolph.

October 20

Jack Larson appeared as Jimmy Olsen in "Brutal Youth," an episode of Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman.

1997

April 23

Tommy Carr, 89, died in Ventura, California. Tommy Carr directed many of the best episodes of the Adventures of Superman including "Panic In The Sky."

June 13

Entertainment Weekly remembered George Reeves on their Encore page.

July 5

TV Guide, in an article entitled "Retro Rocketeers" includes a reprint of their Reeves cover photo from 1953.

November 9

Entertainment Tonight segment on George Reeves' death includes comments by Lenore Lemmon (from a 1989 interview) and Jack Larson.

1998

January 9

Jack Larson's appearance in the Jerry Seinfeld American Express commercial is mentioned in the NY Daily News column, "Inner Tube." The commercial, which teams Jerry Seinfeld with an animated Superman, will debut during the NFL playoffs on January 11. Under a photo of Larson, the NY Times reports, "Sharp-eyed fans of the old "Superman" TV series will spot Jack Larson, who played Daily Planet cub reporter Jimmy Olsen, watching from across the street. Additional information regarding Jack's role in the commercial can be found in this portion of a previous issue of TAC, Jr.

2000

April 30

Private investigator Milo Speriglio died of lung cancer at age 62. In 41 years as a detective, he was perhaps best known for the three books he wrote and co-authored, attempting to debunk the official reports of Monroe's death by suicide. Speriglio also investigated the deaths of actress Natalie Wood and TV Superman George Reeves. He is survived by a wife and two daughters.

August 19

Lee Sholem, director of many Superman episodes, died in California. He was 87.

September 19

Gloria Talbott, who appeared in "The Girl Who Hired Superman," died Tuesday, September 19, 2000, in a Glendale hospital. Mrs. Mullally was a resident of Glendale all her life. She was an actress for more than 20 years. She was 69 years old.

September 20

Ann Doran, 89, who appeared in "Night of Terror," died in Carmichael, California.

December 9

TV Land presents a 48-hour Superman marathon beginning at 6:00 a.m. Saturday morning (December 6) and concluding at 6:00 a.m. Monday morning (December 11).

December 11

Jack Liebowitz died at age 100. Liebowitz and his business partner Harry Donenfeld began Dectective Comics in 1937. Liebowitz also started Action Comics which featured Superman's first appearance. It was Liebowitz who had the vision to move Superman from the comics to television in 1951 with the Adventures of Superman with George Reeves as its star. Liebowitz was born in the Ukraine on October 10, 1900. 

   2001

January 31

Noel Neill and Jack Larson were interviewed live by Bryant Gumbel on CBS's Early Show.

Feb. 2 & 9

Dabbs Greer appeared on "Sins of the Father," a two-part episode of Diagnosis Murder with Dick Van Dyke.

February 20

The National Examiner publishes "Suspicion Surrounds TV's Superman 'Suicide'" by Art Dworken.

July 10

The Adventures of Superman is fifty years old today, and "Superman Week" is proclaimed by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors. On hand for the ceremony are Jeff Corey, Robert Rockwell, Joanna Siegel, Noel Neill, Jack Larson, Bette Shayne, Michael Walbrecht (VP of Warner Bros. Studios), and Paul Levitz (VP of DC Comics). A luncheon was held after the ceremony at the Cafe Pinot in Los Angeles.

August 20

Actor Walter Reed died. Reed appeared as Bill Corrigan in Superman and the Mole-Men and as Gen. Barrel in "Atomic Captive." Reed died on August 20 of kidney failure at the age of 85. 

August 28

The second of three summer events to pay tribute to the Adventures of Superman on its fiftieth anniversary: The Adventures Continue #16 was published.

 November 20

Peggy Chantler, who authored several Superman scripts including "Mr. Zero," "Phoney Alibi," and "The Superman Silver Mine," died in Santa Monica, California of cardiac failure at the age of 78.

 November 27

The third of three summer events, a full-page ad commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Adventures of Superman was published in a special "Leadership in Hollywood" issue of The Hollywood Reporter dated December, 2001. The ad was paid for by donations from the readers of The Adventures Continue. Additional funds were donated to the Myasthenia Gravis Foundation and the 911 relief efforts.

    2002

February 10

Ellanora Reeves Rose, wife of George Reeves from 1940 to 1949, died in Beverly Hills, California. She will be buried in Cincinnati.

April 2

Actor Jack Kruschen died. Kruschen appeared as the first airport robber in "The Tomb of Zaharan." Krushen appeared in many movies and television shows in his career. In 1960 he received an Oscar nomination for best supporting actor for his role as Dr. Dreyfuss in The Apartment with Jack Lemmon and Shirley MacClaine. In 1985, Krushchen appeared as Papa Papadapolis in TV's Webster.

May 12

The Adventures of Superman returns to television on TV Land every Sunday and Monday morning at 3:30 am. Beginning May 26, the series can be seen every morning at that time.

 July 17

Harry Gerstad, Academy Award-winning film editor for the 1949 prizefighting classic Champion starring Kirk Douglas and the 1952 Western epic High Noon starring Gary Cooper, died of natural causes in Palm Springs, California. Gerstad directed many color episodes of the Adventures of Superman including "Through the Time Barrier," "The Talking Clue," "The Lucky Cat," and "Joey." He was 93.

August 3

Dani Nolan, the receptionist in "Superman On Earth," died in Palm Springs on August 3 of a stroke.

August 16

Jeff Corey, the actor best known to Superman fans as Luke Benson in Superman and the Mole-Men, died Friday morning, August 16, 2002 at St. John's Medical Center in Santa Monica of complications from a fall earlier in the week. He was 88. Corey was a gifted actor who was blacklisted for refusing to name names before the House Committee on Un-American Activities in the 1950s but later went on to become one of the most sought after teachers in Hollywood. He is survived by Hope, his wife of 64 years, three daughters, and six grandchildren. Superman fans paid tribute to Mr. Corey in July, 2001, during Superman Week, the Adventures of Superman's 50th anniversary celebration in Los Angeles.

 September 14

Noel Neill appeared at the Super Megashow in Newark, New Jersey over the weekend. Other guests included Dee Wallace Stone and Elvira, but Noel created the longest lines. Some people had to wait in line for over and hour to see her.

 
Noel Neill and Jim Nolt -- September 14, 2002

 October 28

Actor and director, Lawrence Dobin, who appeared as Swami Amada in "The Man Who Could Read Minds," died of heart failure in his Los Angeles home on October 28, 2002. He was 83. Dobkin appeared in many early TV shows and in sixty-five feature films.

As a television director, he gathered credits from the 50s through the 80s, including The Donna Reed Show, Dr. Kildare, The Waltons, Barnaby Jones, Charlie's Angels, Dallas, Dynasty and The Fall Guy.

2003

 January 25

Robert Rockwell, who appeared at Jor-El in "Superman on Earth," died at his home in Malibu, California. Rockwell is best known for his role at Mr Boynton in Our Miss Brooks, but he appeared in many other television shows and movies including The Lone Ranger, Perry Mason, and Superman. In the late 50s, he starred as insurance investigator Sam Logan in Man From Blackhawk. Rockwell was 82.

April 4

Anthony Caruso, who played Luigi Dinelli in Czar of the Underworld, episode #22 of Superman, died at the age of 86. Caruso appeared in many films beginning in the 1940s, often playing gangsters.

June 8

Herschel Burke Gilbert, who wrote some of the background music used in the Adventures of Superman and scores for many other television shows and movies died June 8. He was 85.

December 2

Frances Morris, 98, died. Morris appeared in such westerns as Ridin' Fool (with Bob Steele), Rawhide Terror, and Big Show (with Gene Autry). Also Professor Beware, Dick Tracy vs. Crime, Inc., The Millerson Case, The Night Has a Thousand Eyes, Alias Nick Beal, and many more. Notable on television as Ma Kent (called Sara), adoptive mother of baby Kal-El in the first episode of the Adventures of Superman.

2004

January - March

Filmfax #101 (Jan - Mar, '04) features an interview with Noel Neill by Jan Alan Henderson and a reprint of the Outre interview with Jack Larson by Steve Randisi.

March 3

Cecily Adams, wife of writer/researcher/actor Jim Beaver, died after a five-month battle with cancer. Cecily was casting director on That 70s Show. Jim has done extensive research into the life of George Reeves and has always lent a helping hand with The Adventures Continue.

March 23

Jim Beaver has learned that Carol Van Ronkel who, along with Lenore Lemmon, Robert Condon, and William Bliss, was in George's house that fateful night in 1959, passed away some time ago at the age of 71. Divorced from Rip Van Ronkel sometime in the 60s, she married two more times. At the time of her death she left a husband (who has since passed away at the age of 87). There were no other survivors.

July 28 

Jackson Beck, a master of voice-over who bellowed the phrase "It's a bird! It's a plane! It's Superman!" to introduce the "Superman" radio show and used his versatile voice to promote everything from Aqua Fresh toothpaste to Combat roach killer, died Wednesday (July 28, 2004). He was 92. Beck had been ill after suffering a series of small strokes four or five years ago, according to Jeff David, a friend.

2005

May 19

Henry Corden, the voice of Fred Flinstone, and the actor who appeared at Johnson/Legvoo in the "Drums of Death" episode of Superman died of emphysema. He was 85.

May 21

Thurl Ravenscroft, the voice of Tony the Tiger for more than 50 years, died. He was 91.

June 3

It was announced today that Leon Askin, Mr. Ferdinand in "Superman In Exile" died at age 97. No cause of death was given.



2007

March 27

Larry Wilson, husband of Pat Ellsworth Wilson, died. Pat Wilson is the daughter of Superman producer Whitney Ellsworth and Jane Dewey Ellsworth.

April 28

Dabbs Greer, who appeared in three episode of Superman, died in California at age 90. Dabbs appeared in "Superman On Earth," "Five Minutes to Doom," and "The Superman Silver Mine," and for many years was Rev. Alden on Little House on the Prairie. His last major screen work was in The Green Mile.

May 21

Thurl Ravenscroft, the voice of Tony the Tiger passed away at age 91.

December 14

Pat Ellsworth Wilson died. Her husband, Larry, died a few months earlier, on March 27, 2007. Pat was the daughter of Superman producer Whitney Ellsworth and Jane Dewey Ellsworth. Pat and I corresponded for many years. She always... always spoke fondly of George Reeves and was proud of her father's many contributions to the series and to the entire Superman saga. Pat contributed to TAC (the magazine). Her most outstanding contribution was her article detailing the events that went into the writing of "Superman and the Mole-man." Pat was diagnosed with Myasthenia Gravis at the age of 15, and in 1952 Jane Ellsworth founded the Myasthenia Gravis Foundation. George Reeves served as national chairman for MG in 1955. Pat knew of our efforts to continue to raise funds for MG and was glad to know the readers of TAC were carrying on the work of her mother and George Reeves.

 

2010

June 11

The Lois Lane statue, created in the likeness of Noel Neill, is unveilied at the annual Superman Celebration in Metropolis, Illinois.



 

 

 © 1998, 2011 Jim Nolt

Clark Kent, Lois Lane, Daily Planet, Superman (and any combination thereof) are trademarks of DC Comics, Inc. Use of the name of any product or character without mention of trademark status should not be construed as a challenge to such status.


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