George Reeves – Truth, Justice, and the Hollywood Way

Day 243 of Colourisation Project – January 5

Challenge: to publish daily a colourised photo that has some significance around the day of publication.

You may not immediately recognise today’s colourisation subject without his famous cape and high-waisted underwear worn on the outside over his tights.

Born this day, January 5, 1914, in Woolstock, Iowa, actor  George Reeves was best known for his role as Superman on the popular 1950s television show The Adventures of Superman. The series made him a household name, and from 1952 to 1958 Superman fought for “Truth, Justice, and the American Way” but where was it when he needed it?

George Reeves

Paramount Publicity Still – George Reeves 1947 – Coloured by Loredana Crupi

Police investigations into his untimely death on June 16, 1959, at age 45 from a gunshot wound to the head, leave many questions unanswered. Although the official finding was suicide, controversy still persists to this day over whether he killed himself or whether he in fact was murdered.

It remains a polarizing issue in Hollywood and without going into the details of his death, (you can google that) there are too many elements and inconsistencies involved in this tragedy which would suggest foul play and not suicide was the cause of his death; women, alcohol, studio head’s wife, jealous husband, jilted lover, harassing phone calls, restraining orders on former lover, near fatal car accidents, brake fluid mysteriously vanishing, numerous death threats by phone, discrepancies in police investigation, the absence of powder burns on Reeves’ face, no tests conducted for gunshot residue, no finger prints taken, no fingerprints on the gun (wiped clean?), no suicide note, no depression, Reeves was due to marry his new girlfriend three days after his death, everything to live for etc etc.

In true Hollywood style, Reeves’ death has inspired a dearth of conspiracy theories and much has been written on his mysterious death, all available on the net.  However one interpretive biopic, Hollywoodland, released in 2006 starring Ben Affleck as Reeves, does a really good job of offering a few plausible alternative theories.

Truth is always stranger than fiction. I guess the Man of Steel was not so impervious to bullets after all. Unless someone fesses up, it will remain one of Hollywood’s unsolved mysteries.

Finally just to refresh your memories I leave you with the opening credits from the first series of The Adventures of Superman



This entry was posted in Colorization, Colourisation, Hollywood, Photography, Television, USA and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to George Reeves – Truth, Justice, and the Hollywood Way

  1. Pingback: Susan Hayward – Brooklyn Bombshell | Random Phoughts

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