The Superman Curse

Around 2am on the 16th June 1959 a single gunshot was heard, originating from the upstairs bedroom of the actor George Reeves A national hero for his role as the lead in the 1950s television series Adventures of Superman, George Reeves was found dead, having apparently committed suicide

Rumors of murder surrounded the Reeves investigation, but what has since captured the nation’s imagination is not just the ambiguity surrounding his untimely death, but the sinister possibility that George Reeves was the first fatal victim of the “Curse of Superman The Curse of Superman"" refers to the series of tragedies that have plagued the people closest to the franchise over the decades, including many of the actors that have worn the red cape Some have speculated that the curse began with the very creation of the character Created by high-school students Jerry Siegel and artist Joe Shuster in 1933, the curse is said to have started when the two sold the rights of the Superman character to the corporation DC Comics for just $130 Unaware that the character would go on to become a billion-dollar franchise, Siegel and Shuster felt they had been cheated and spent decades citing copyright laws in an attempt to re-gain ownership of the character and a fare share of the immense profits that their character had generated

Since then other cited victims of the “Curse of Superman” have been brothers Max and Dave Fleischer who, despite being Disney’s biggest rivals in the 1940s and the first to successfully bring a Superman cartoon to the screen, were fired by Paramount as the heads of the cartoon studio Kirk Alyn, who was the first actor to portray a live-action Superman, found himself unable to find other meaningful acting jobs once the series ended, as he was too closely associated with the character A similar reason has been cited for George Reeves’ eventual suicide According to actor Ben Welden, Reeves felt cursed by playing Superman and believed he was ‘wasting [his] life’ In 1991 newspaper headlines reported the death of Lee Quigley, a British teenager who died from solvent abuse and another victim of the “Curse of Superman” – his only acting credit being from his time as a baby when he played Kal-El, the infant version of Christopher Reeve's character in the 1978 Superman

The “Curse of Superman” reached a tragic climax in 1995 when the four-time feature film Superman actor Christopher Reeve broke his spine after being thrown from a horse, leaving him paralyzed from the neck down Immortalized by his portrayal of Superman, he died 9 years later of cardiac arrest as a result of his injuries The last Superman film played by Christopher Reeve was a critical and commercial failure and saw the film series go dormant for the next 19 years By now in Hollywood the curse had claimed so many victims that talent agents claimed actors were using this reason to turn down the role Vanity magazine reported that Paul Walker, Jude Law and Josh Hartnett all turned down the 2006 big-budget blockbuster, afraid of the curse

While many people connected with the long franchise have been listed as victims of the “Superman Curse”, it is undeniable that the Superman franchise has also bought a lot of success During the last 77 years, Superman has maintained his position as a global icon and one of the most popular superheroes ever created Leading many to believe that the “Curse of Superman” is just a series of unfortunate coincidences Margot Kidder, who played Superman’s love interest Lois Lane in the Christopher Reeve films, is herself considered a victim of the “Superman Curse”, having been diagnosed as being bipolar However, she dismissed the allegations responding “that is all newspaper-created rubbish

What about the luck of Superman? Why don't people focus on that?"" With Hollywood’s renewed appetite for superhero films and already two Superman film reboots since Christopher Reeve’s heyday, cursed or not, the luck of Superman seems to be prevailing

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