Questions and Answers
Welcome to the Question & Answer
page of The Adventures Continue. Any question related
to George Reeves or the Adventures of Superman is welcome.
Please send all questions to Jim
From Brian Postman -- February 22, 2000
-- Jim, I saw your question and answer page, and I have a question.
In Speeding Bullet, Jan Henderson wrote that over the
years, George's house on Benedict Canyon Drive has had some problems
with paranormal disturbances and also, it seemed difficult to
actually sell the house. Have there been anymore disturbances?
Brian, I didn't have an answer to
your question, so I went directly to the author of Speeding Bullet,
Jan Alan Henderson. Here is his reply:
In a recent phone conversation with
TAC publisher and editor Jim Nolt, this writer was asked the
question, does this author believe George Reeves' Benedict Canyon
home is haunted. This writer must concede that the definition
of haunted has been a most elusive one. As to the material regarding
this subject in the trade paperback version of Speeding Bullet,
I can only respond to these inquiries by giving the TAC readers
a chronological account of how parapsychology played a major
role in re-interesting this author in the strange case of George
Flashback: Sunday, October 29, 1967
A sunny, rather hot morning, and the LA Times had arrived.
Sunday papers are usually devoured by families, and this morning
was no exception. While reading the WEST Magazine section, I
discovered an article, entitled "Haunts for Halloween,"
that rekindled my interest in the bizarre death of George Reeves.
Joe Hyams' diary of a ghost hunter thoroughly intrigued this
author. In that issue, Joe took on the Reeves case as well as
two other non-celebrity psychic phenomena. From then on, this
writer began the sporadic research which has resulted in two
versions of the work now known as Speeding Bullet.
Flash Forward to February 27, 2000,
almost 41 years after George Reeve's demise.
So here we are in the 21st century, and the question of the haunting
of Reeves' former abode still haunts us. In Chapter 11 of Speeding
Bullet, the second edition, "George Reeves, The Legend
Continues (Poltergeists In A Love Nest)" this author's entire
collection of printed articles is presented in chronological
order, complete with an assessment from parapsychologist Dr.
Barry Taff. On the morning of February 27, this author spoke
by phone with Dr. Barry Taff, and in that conversation, Dr. Taff
related to this journalist specifics which were not reported
in Speeding Bullet. According to Dr. Taff, a psychologist
friend of his referred the owners of Reeves' Benedict Canyon
home (in late 1978/early 1979) to him after several disturbing
episodes took place in Reeves' former abode. The complaints resulted
from the owner's encounter with glowing apparitions, and then
later with an iridescent apparition of someone in a Superman
uniform. This tenant related to Dr. Taff that he knew the character
Superman, but did not realize that the house that he occupied
was that of television's Superman, George Reeves. The owners
sold the house before Dr. Taff and his researchers could investigate
these or other phenomena at this location.
In the February 27th communication with
Dr. Taff, he and this author discussed the protocol and guidelines
for conducting an objective scientific investigation into these
phenomena. Dr. Taff impressed upon this writer that parapsychology
is not an exact science. There are no tried and true specific
reassuring answers. In fact, the more answers, the more questions.
On a hot July afternoon in 1995, this
writer attended an open house sponsored by a major real estate
firm in Beverly Hills, California, in the former home of George
Reeves. This writer sat in the room where George Reeves had met
his demise, be it suicide, homicide, or other, for somewhere
between 20 and 30 minutes. There was not a clanking chain, a
mysterious gunshot, footsteps running up and down the hall and
stairways. There was a serenity which seemed to almost surround
Without objective scientific investigation
conducted under clinical conditions, the haunting of Reeves'
house by a Superman-clad lies in the domain of rumor. In 1995,
when this residence was up for sale, inquiries were made into
leasing this residence for the purpose of conducting the investigations
outlined in this response. Sadly, the notion of this project
was rebuffed. This author had hoped to participate in these psychic
investigations as an ambient observer and potential reporter.
Through these negotiations and exercises,
this author comes to the conclusion that nothing is secure, nothing
is safe. As to the matter of George Reeves haunting his former
home, there is as much evidence to confirm as to deny. Anecdotal
accounts about paranormal phenomena are hearsay. Only a scientific,
objective evaluation can give us a smattering of a clue as to
what truths lie within the walls of George's former abode. For
now, these are only things that go bump in our minds.
Jan Alan Henderson
From Jan Rekas -- March 21, 1998 --
Jim, this isn't a question, but rather a bit of trivia, from
a George Reeves fan in Australia, that you might like to include
at your web site. In "Tempus Fugitive," (a second season
episode of Lois & Clark) Teri Hatcher tries to recreate
the love scene that many years ago, in "The Wedding of Superman,"
Noel Neill had turned into a piece of acting unique in all the
history of film. Noel was loving, feminine, mocking, in control,
deflective, and fragile -- showing an amazing cocktail of emotions
and qualities. Hatcher turned her scene into bad soap opera,
'"Well Clark, you have a little schmutz here on your 'S'",
What with Cain's risible performance
in "All Shook Up," they made a deadly awful team. So
awful, in fact, that Channel 9, our rating's giant in all major
Australian cities (i.e. Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane-Gold Coast),
off-loaded it during the non-rating period. And, I believe, it
never bothered to show the final seven episodes.
Jan, you aren't the only one who thought
Noel's performance in "The Wedding of Superman" superb.
Jane Ellsworth told me that after she finished her scene, the
entire cast and crew stopped to applaud her.
From John Calandriello -- February 27,
1998 -- Jim, I love the way you redesigned your introductory
page. I have a question for Q&A. With the 60th Anniversary
of Superman and a new movie due out in 1999, I've been wondering
if anyone knows if Topps will reissue the 1964-65 card set featuring
George Reeves and group. They have previously re-released the
Batman set with Adam West. A complete set of Superman cards recently
sold at auction for over $250. I have found their site on the
net but there is no way to send e-mail.
John, I don't know the answer to that
one. If anyone reading this has information, I'd surely appreciate
hearing it and will post it on this page.
From Charlie Glynn -- September 15,
1997 -- Jim, I have been busy reading back issues of TAC. I have
been looking for some information on one of my favorite tough
guy personalities, Leftover Louie. I don't know his actual name.
Can you enlighten me?
Ben Welden was the actor who played
Curly ("The Mind Machine"), Hank ("The Dog Who
Knew Superman"), Nosey ("The Machine That Could Plot
Crimes"), Leftover Louie Lyman ("Flight To The North"),
Carni ("Topsy Turvy"), Lefty ("Disappearing Lois"),
Jody Malone ("The Mysterious Cube"), and a henchman
in "The Gentle Monster." He also appeared with George
Reeves and John Hamilton in Tear Gas Squad. In addition
to his movie and television career, he also owned Nutcorn in
Beverly Hills. Ben Welden passed away on October 17, 1997 at
the age of 96. You can read Jim Beaver's mini-biography of Welden
by doing a search at http://us.imdb.com/name-search.
Q: (from Paul G. Smart -- June 6, 1997)
Was the house used for the re-enactment scene in Unsolved
Mysteries the house that George actually live in? It seemed
more spacious than the house shown on your web page.
The house used in the Unsolved Mysteries
segment was not George's house. The UM house is
located in Los Feliz and is, indeed, must larger than George's
former house at 1579 Benedict Canyon Drive. I was in the UM
house for a short time as the crew was preparing to tape
the re-enactment and have pictures with the actress and actor
who played Lenore and George.
From B.D. -- March 15, 1997 -- Have
you met anyone connected with Lois & Clark? Have
they talked about the original television series? It seems to
me they have used some of the plots from the original show. Also,
what will you be doing for the 60th anniversary of Superman?
I've not talked with anyone from Lois
& Clark. The closest I've come to that is talking with
Jack Larson and Phyllis Coates who both appeared in small roles
in separate episodes. Jack told me that he enjoyed working with
the people there, that he was treated royally, and that the old
series is well-remembered.
The most obvious connection with the
old series was the episode "All Shook Up" which was
a remake of "Panic In The Sky" -- but there have been
many more subtle references as well. In one early episode Bessolo
Boulevard or Bessolo Avenue was mentioned; I think there was
a reference to the Coates Orphanage; and the episode "I'm
Looking Through You" (October 10, 1993) was very similar
to "The Phantom Ring." I'm sure there are others, and
if anyone reading this happens to know what they are and send
them to me, I'd be delighted to post them here later.
The Adventures Continue has nothing special planned for Superman's
60th, but 1999 will mark the 40th anniversary of George Reeves'
death. In 1989, we placed a full-page memorial tribute in Weekly
Variety, and with support from George's fan's I'd like to
do something similar in 1999.
From J. L. Gutierrez -- March 10, 1997
-- While watching Annie Oakley with Gail Davis, I noticed
the music to be the same music used in the Adventures of
Obviously, Robert Maxwell and Whitney
Ellsworth needed background music for the Adventures of Superman.
Unlike the producers of today, however, they could not afford
to record original music for their series, so they bought "packaged"
music. Other producers of time bought the same "package,"
and that is why you will hear "Superman" music in Annie
Oakley, Buffalo Bill, Jr., Boston Blackie, Rin
Tin Tin, Ramar of the Jungle, Captain Midnight,
and several other shows of that era.
From Bobby Ryan -- Feb. 20, 1997 --
In the 1951 episode, "No Holds Barred" Superman battles
several foes and rescues Ram in the gym but it is obvious that
a double for George is throwing the weights around. Why was a
stuntman used, and who was he? Also, are the Columbia House videos
uncut....with the original openings and closings?
It is easy to spot the substitution
of a stuntman for George in the "No Holds Barred" fight
scene. You will also see a stuntman in several other episodes
including "The Mind Machine." That stuntman was most
often George Fisher, but Dale Van Sickle (Mauritz Hugo's sidekick
in "Money To Burn") and others also doubled for George
Whit Ellsworth told me that George insisted
on doing his own stunts, but doubles are often used to prevent
injury to the star which could result in lost production time.
One stunt George did not like to do, however, were the takeoffs
in the early episodes. If you look very carefully, you will see
it is George who runs into the alleyway as Clark Kent and who
emerges as Superman, but it is not George who leaps into the
air. George did very few takeoffs after the wire broke during
the filming of "Ghost Wolf" and he dropped to the floor.
George did do the takeoff from the side
of Luke Benson's house in Superman And The Mole-Men,
but that was filmed before his fall.
The Superman episodes from
Columbia House are complete, but they do not have the original
introductions and closings. Columbia House has also deleted the
commercial bumper, "We'll return to the Adventures of
Superman in just a moment."
From Scott -- What colors are in the
costume that Reeves is wearing in the picture shown on the main
page? For how many seasons was that costume used? When did they
switch to the other costume and what colors were in it?
Superman and the Mole-Men and the first two seasons were filmed in black
and white. Because there was not enough contrast between the
blue and red when filmed in b&w, a brown and grey costume
was used. Beginning with episode #53 "Through The Time Barrier,"
the Adventures of Superman was filmed in color,
and George wore a color costume of red, blue, and yellow. Even
though the shows were filmed in color beginning in 1954, because
of the expense involved, no color prints were made. George Reeves
only ever saw a few brief scenes of himself in color. It wasn't
until the mid-60s that color prints were made and the show was
actually broadcast in color. Whit Ellsworth explained
to me that even though they had no intention of making color
prints in 1954, both he and the sponsor Kellogg's agreed that
filming in color was a good investment for the future.
From Dick Stammer; February 5, 1997) Jim, the new page and other
new links look great. It will be a wonderful place to visit.
I have a few questions for the Q & A page:
What's the status of Columbia Video
completing what they started and putting out more uncut videos
of the series? Its a shame that after all this time the general
public still does not have the opportunity to purchase these
shows complete and uncut. Also, where is the series playing now?
It's not on Nick-At-Night anymore. Is it playing locally elsewhere?
Could we try and set up a network of fans who could work together
in accumulating the individual episodes in uncut versions since
the powers that be do not appear to care enough to meet the demand?
Or, better yet, could we influence some network to buy the rights
and schedule the series uncut? I'm really tired of walking around
with bits and pieces of these shows in my head and unable to
see them the way they were intended.
A: Dick, to date, Columbia House has
released ten volumes of the Adventures of Superman.
I learned today (February 25, 1997) that ten new volumes will
begin shipping at the end of the month. They are:
Criminal Action -- "The Human
Bomb," "Beware The Wrecker," "Peril By Sea"
Highway Robbery -- "The Case Of
The Talkative Dummy," "Shot In The Dark," "The
Town That Wasn't"
Evil Forces -- "The Evil Three,"
"A Ghost For Scotland Yard," "The Phantom Ring"
Mistaken Identity -- "The Birthday
Letter," "The Face And The Voice," "Three
Jimmy Olsen, Reporter -- "The
Boy Who Hated Superman," "Lady In Black," "Jimmy
Perilous Puzzles -- "Mystery Of
The Broken Statues," "Star Of Fate," "The
Mystic Powers -- "Mystery In Wax,"
"Drums Of Death," "The Man Who Made Dreams Come
Hidden Treasure -- "Treasure Of
The Incas," "The Golden Vulture," "The Jolly
Achilles Heel -- "Defeat Of Superman,"
"Superman Week," "The Big Freeze"
Superman Vs Superstition -- "Ghost
Wolf," "The Lucky Cat," "The Magic Necklace"
To my knowledge, no station is currently
running the series. With the Superman character's 60th anniversary
approaching, I suspect, however, that we will see renewed interest
in the series and that it will show up somewhere. The chances
of seeing it uncut on broadcast television, however, are
From Curt James, February 11, 1997 --
Jim, who was the announcer for the introduction to the Adventures
Curt, I'm sure you know that when the
Adventures of Superman is aired today, several scenes
are edited out to make room for additional commercials. There
are other edits, however, which were necessitated when the series
went into general syndication. Initially, each episode began
with "Kellogg's, the greatest name in cereals, presents
... the Adventures of Superman." That line was delivered
by Charlie Lyon. Some of you may remember him from his days as
announcer on Truth or Consequences. Lyon also did the commercial
bumper ... "We'll return to the Adventures of Superman in
just a moment" and the tag line, "Superman is based
on the original character appearing in Superman magazine."
The announcer for the main opening beginning
with "Faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than
a locomotive, able to leap tall buildings in a single bound..."
Kennedy. In more recent years Kennedy
was a well-known television personality in the Detroit area but
was previously a character actor who appeared in many television
shows and can be seen in the Adventures of Superman's
"Crime Wave." Willard Bill Kennedy died on January