The Death of Superman

When I was a child, WTBS (a.k.a. TBS, the “Superstation”) was known as WTCG. At the time, WTCG was a small, unimportant UHF station in Atlanta that was infamous for running old black & white B-movies and reruns of ancient TV shows like Petticoat Junction, Felix The Cat and Mighty Mouse. Even though America had firmly moved in to the color TV era by this point, it sometimes seemed as if the only color you’d ever see on WTCG were the commercials or the occasional color episode of The Beverly Hillbillies!

One of the shows that WTCG ran religiously was the original Superman TV show – the one from the 1950s starring George Reeves. It was one of my favorite shows as a wee child, and I’d beg my mom to rush home from kindergarten so I wouldn’t miss a minute of Reeves dishing out truth, justice and the American Way. It’s ironic (and sad) then, that Reeves would be denied all of those things when it came to his own life.

George Reeves was born in 1914 in Woolstock, Iowa. His first film appearance was 1939’s Ride, Cowboy, Ride. Reeves would go on to become a somewhat successful “bit part” actor; he ended up being one of Vivian Leigh’s first suitors in the opening scene of Gone With The Wind. But by the 1950s, Reeves star had fallen, and he was reduced to taking the occasional part on television.

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