Warner Bros.

George Reeves almost left Adventures of Superman in 1954

By: H&I Staff     Posted: July 21, 2023, 3:38PM    Tags: George Reeves, Adventures of Superman

In the 1950s, almost every child had a favorite superhero, and we know Superman was somewhere at the top of the list. George Reeves portrayed Superman(aka Clark Kent), a being from planet Krypton, for six seasons of Adventures of Superman.

The actor was initially reluctant about accepting the gig because many actors at the time didn't see the significance of television productions. Everyone wanted to reap the superstardom benefits of film productions, and Reeves was no different. However, since Reeves played Superman before, in the film Superman and the Mole Men, he was the perfect guy for the job.

Superman and the Mole Men actually served as a B-movie and a pilot for the television series. After production for the show began, Reeves started to see the possibilities of the TV show, which were endless. When Adventures of Superman debuted in 1952, the actor was amazed at his newfound stardom. 

Many things made the action-superhero show great, and no one could visualize any other actor as Superman but Reeves, although in 1954, there was almost a massive change. Rumors spread that Reeves and the show's producers couldn't agree on a new television deal and that the actor was ready to depart.

"Over the weekend from reliable sources, I heard that George Reeves, who plays Superman, and the production company had called off negotiations for renewal of his contract," wrote Walter Ames in The Los Angeles Times. "Not only was a bid for additional salary involved but Reeves is said to have asked officials to halt the sale of Superman capes and other goods that he thought might prove harmful to youngsters."

Apparently, Reeves' agents gave Whit Ellsworth, the head of Superman Inc., an ultimatum that called for a salary increase that he couldn't meet. "My relations with Reeves is still amiable," Ellsworth said. "I wish him luck."

Both parties seemed to have worked things out, as Reeves continued to portray Superman in the series until it ended in 1958. 



Watch Adventures of Superman on H&I

Saturdays at 9 AM & 10 AM, Sundays at 11 AM & 12 PM Eastern/Pacific