The Superman Curse

By: Thomas Horvath

On June 16, 1959, the star of the television series Adventures of Superman, George Reeves, was found dead in his home from a gunshot with his gun near him. His death was ruled as a suicide, but his fingerprints were never found on the gun. There have been many theories surrounding his death, but a popular one is the Superman curse. The idea relies on the fact that many actors that played the character have had great misfortune since baring the Man of Steel’s blue, red, and yellow suit. This article will go into the supposed curse and see if there is any truth behind it.

After Reeves, the next biggest example is Christopher Reeve, who has arguably the most iconic portrayal of the hero. Reeves was beloved for his kind and charismatic portrayal and went on to star in four movies as Superman. Tragically, in 1995, Reeves was paralyzed in a horseback accident. He would go on to be an activist for his remaining years but died of heart failure nine years after his accident. There are other actors accused of falling into the curse, such as Lee Quigley, who played baby Superman in the 1978 movie, who died at age 14 from inhalant abuse, or other celebrities associated with Superman movies like Richard Pryor and Margot Kidder. 

There is, of course, no proof of any curse. Superman is one of the most iconic characters of all time, so of course he would have many different actors surrounding the projects that would go on to live fortunate or unfortunate lives. The biggest problem that many actors that play Superman run into is trying to find work after they’re done playing the character. Like child actors, many struggle to find work after Superman because audiences align them too closely with the character. Many casting agencies have stated the alleged curse and lack of work afterward to be the main reasons why Superman does not have many audition for him. There is a new Superman movie in the works that is set to come out in July of 2025, so only time will tell if this “curse” continues or not.

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