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Tuesday, October 12, 2004

The Curse of Superman

Some sources attribute the "Curse of Superman" as reason for the difficulty Warner Bros are having in a finding an actor to play the man of steel in the new planned picture.

What is the curse? While everyone knows the misfortune that came to paralyze Christopher Reeve who just passed away at the age of 52, the nervous breakdown suffered by Margot Kidder and the multiple sclerosis that struck Richard Pryor; many others connected to "Superman" have suffered.

Kirk Alyn played bit parts and minor supporting roles in several low-budget films before getting his big break playing the title role in the 1948 serial "Superman." But after the serial ended, he failed to sustain a film career and retired to Arizona never to work again and was then struck down by Alzheimer's.

George Reeves, who played the role of Superman in a TV series and several movies in the 1950s, was found dead of a single gunshot wound to the head in 1959. The cause of death was listed as suicide, though controversy swirled around the death: Reeves' prints were never found on the gun, and he'd been having an affair with the wife of MGM exec Eddie Mannix.

The first cartoon "Superman" was voiced by Bud Collyer from 1941-43. He went on to have a fine career in TV, creating and hosting the game show "To Tell the Truth." But he returned to the role to voice "The New Adventures of Superman" for CBS in 1966 -- and three years later, he was dead of a circulatory ailment.

Meanwhile morbid people follow Teri Hatcher and Dean Cain's careers, who took on the roles of Clark and Lois in the New Adventures of Superman for TV, with interest.

Curse non-believers, including Kidder's own daughter, say nonsense.

"It was not some kind of 'curse of Superman,' " Maggie Kim told Canada's Sun Media after Kidder, who played intrepid reporter Lois Lane opposite Reeve, broke her pelvis in a single-car crash in Maine in August 2002.

Rather, said Kim, "It was a classic SUV rollover."

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