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Actor George Reeves was best known as Superman on the popular 1950s television show. It made him a household name, but brought an end to his film career.
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After graduating from high school, George enrolled at Pasadena Junior College, where he turned his attention toward music and acting, joining the acappella choir, playing guitar, and performing in school plays. In 1935, at the age of 21, he joined one of the America's most prestigious theaters: the Pasadena Community Playhouse. Over the next four years, he appeared in dozens of playhouse productions.
David O. Selznick cast him as Stuart Tarleton in the legendary film Gone With the Wind (1939), starring Vivien Leigh and Clark Gable. His part in the film led to a contract with Warner Bros. Studios, who convinced George to adopt the stage name Reeves.
Although Reeves earned acclaim for his performance in Gone With the Wind, he went on to appear in a succession of less than memorable projects, including Tear Gas Squad, Calling All Husbands (both 1940), and Man at Large (1941). However, in 1943, Reeves landed his first starring role in the box office hit So Proudly We Hail!, in which he played a wounded World War II soldier who falls in love with costar Claudette Colbert.
Shortly after the film's release, Reeves put his career on hold to enlist in the army. Joining the Special Theatrical Unit of the U.S. Army Air Corps, he appeared in several training films, including a movie on the dangers of venereal disease. While stationed in New York, a theater director cast Reeves in a small role in the play Winged Victory. After the show's run on Broadway, he toured the country with the production company.
Jungle Goddess and Thunder in the Pines (both 1948). Frustrated with dwindling opportunities in film, Reeves directed his efforts toward television work. In 1951, he reluctantly accepted the title role in the TV series The Adventures of Superman.
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