- NAME: George Reeves
- OCCUPATION: Film Actor, Television Actor
- BIRTH DATE: January 05, 1914
- DEATH DATE: June 16, 1959
- EDUCATION: Pasadena Junior College
- PLACE OF BIRTH: Woolstock, Iowa
- PLACE OF DEATH: Beverly Hills, California
- Originally: George Keefer Brewer
- AKA: George Reeves
- AKA: George Brewer
- AKA: George Bessolo
Best Known For
Actor George Reeves was best known as Superman on the popular 1950s television show The Adventures of Superman. The series made him a household name, but brought an end to his film career.
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George Reeves was born on January 5, 1914, in Woolstock, Iowa. In 1935, he joined the Pasadena Community Playhouse. His first film role was a minor part in Gone with the Wind. Reeves acted in movies and army training films. In 1951, he took the title role on the popular television series The Adventures of Superman. His mysterious 1959 death was considered a suicide, but some speculate murder.
George Reeves was born George Keefer Brewer on January 5, 1914, in the tiny farming community of Woolstock, Iowa. George was the only son of Don and Helen Brewer, who divorced within a few months of his birth. Shortly after, Helen and her newborn son moved to Pasadena, California, where she met and married Frank Bessolo.
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.
George received his big break when scouting agents for Hollywood producer 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.
In 1946, at the end of the war, Reeves returned to California. Over the next few years, his only film roles were in low-budget embarrassments like Jungle Goddess and Thunder in the Pines (both released in 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. In the fall of 1952, Superman premiered to high ratings and equally impressive critical acclaim. Playing both the crime-fighting hero (and his mild-mannered alter ego Clark Kent), Reeves quickly became a household name with younger viewers.
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