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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 Nolt.

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 Reeves.

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 the house.

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'", she whined.

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 Superman. Why?

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 at times.

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 In One"
Jimmy Olsen, Reporter -- "The Boy Who Hated Superman," "Lady In Black," "Jimmy The Kid"
Perilous Puzzles -- "Mystery Of The Broken Statues," "Star Of Fate," "The Seven Souvenirs"
Mystic Powers -- "Mystery In Wax," "Drums Of Death," "The Man Who Made Dreams Come True"
Hidden Treasure -- "Treasure Of The Incas," "The Golden Vulture," "The Jolly Roger"
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 very slim.

From Curt James, February 11, 1997 -- Jim, who was the announcer for the introduction to the Adventures of Superman?

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..." was Bill 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 27, 1997.

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