Posted by on Jun 16, 2009 in Today In History | No Comments

Sorry to bring the room down, but it seems worth noting that it was fifty years ago today that TV’s first Superman, actor George Reeves, was found dead of a gunshot wound in his own home.

His death was ruled as a suicide, though to this day, some very smart and informed people, far from crackpots, believe otherwise. When I die and finally get to look behind the curtain of it all, it’s on my list of things to ask about.

Maybe surprisingly, I was never a huge fan of the TV show; because syndicated TV was rare in suburban Alabama in the pre-cable days, I didn’t see a single episode until I was about 17–after my idea of who Superman was had already been pretty well cemented in my imagination–so I have no nostalgic or sentimental attachment to it. Still, watching it since, I can appreciate on an intellectual level what Reeves brought to the role, and I respect the fact that he defined Superman for generations before me. He brought warmth to the character for the first time in any medium, no small feat. We tip our fedora to you, Mr. Kent.