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About George Reeves Born George 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 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. However, as the popularity of the series swelled to a phenomenal level, Reeves became more and more dissatisfied with the direction in which his career was headed.

In 1953, Reeves was given a chance to rejuvenate his flagging film career with a substantial role in From Here to Eternity. However his hopes were crushed when a preview audience laughed and yelled "There's Superman" when Reeves first came on-screen. In the film's final release, the actor appeared only momentarily and without screen credit. Typecasting brought Reeves' career to a grinding halt and From Here to Eternity marked his last major motion picture.

After five successful seasons, Superman was cancelled in 1957. In addition to his professional problems, Reeves was burdened by his relationship with longtime lover Toni Mannix, the common-law wife of Eddie Mannix, vice president of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. In 1958, Reeves began a relationship with a young New York socialite, Leonore Lemmon. When he broke off his romance with Mannix, she was enraged, and began to harass the new couple, causing Reeves to file for a restraining order against his former lover.

On June 15, 1959, Reeves was found dead in his bedroom from a gunshot wound to the head. He was 45 years old. The police ruled his death a suicide, but rumors quickly surfaced that Reeves was murdered. Although Lemmon and Mannix were both suspected of killing Reeves, no arrests or convictions were made. His death remains shrouded in mystery. (source: A&E Networks)




About Noel Neill Noel Neill (born November 25, 1920) is an American actress in motion pictures and television best known as Lois Lane in the television series The Adventures of Superman. She was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota. A popular photographic model while in her teens, Neill signed a contract with Paramount Pictures and appeared in many of the studio's feature films and short subjects. In the mid-1940s she had a leading role in one of Monogram Pictures' wayward-youth melodramas, and she became a familiar face in Monogram features for the next several years. She appears in the last Charlie Chan movie, Sky Dragon (1949). She also played damsels in distress in Monogram westerns and Republic Pictures serials.

In 1945 producer Sam Katzman gave Noel Neill a recurring role in his series of "Teen Agers" musical comedies; she played an aggressive reporter for a high-school newspaper. When Katzman was casting his Superman serial for Columbia Pictures, he remembered Noel Neill's newshawk portrayals and signed her to play Lois Lane. She played the role in the 1948 and 1950 serials, with Kirk Alyn playing Clark Kent/Superman.

When Superman came to television in 1951, veteran movie actors George Reeves and Phyllis Coates took the leading roles for the first season. By the time the series found a sponsor and a network time slot, Coates had committed herself to another production, so the producers called on Noel Neill, who had played Lois Lane in the movies. She continued in the role until the series went off the air in 1958, making her the actress most closely associated with the role.

Unlike Phyllis Coates, who distanced herself from the role for the most part (Coates did appear as Lois Lane's mother in one episode of Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman), Noel Neill embraced the role and exploited it. She made frequent talks on college campuses during the 1970s, when interest in the series was revived, and endeared herself to her audiences with her warmth and humor.

Neill has continued to appear as Lois Lane in other productions. She had a cameo in the 1978 film Superman as Lois Lane's mother (Kirk Alyn played Lois' father in the same short scene). She appeared in an episode of the TV series Superboy alongside Jack Larson (who had played Jimmy Olsen in Adventures of Superman). The Tonight Show with Jay Leno featured Neill's personal appearance at the Metropolis, Illinois, Superman Festival. She has a guest appearance in the independent superhero film Surge of Power: The Stuff of Heroes (a character refers to her as "Aunt Lois"), plays the role of dying widow Gertrude Vanderworth in Superman Returns (2006).

In 2003, an authorized biography of Neill was published. It was entitled Truth, Justice, & The American Way: The Life And Times Of Noel Neill, The Original Lois Lane by Larry Thomas Ward (Nicholas Lawrence Books, softcover, ISBN 0-9729466-0-8). A limited-edition, expanded version of the book was released in 2006.

Noel Neill and Jack Larson donated their time to record commentaries for the DVD releases of the Superman TV episodes. Noel remarked on the documentary Look, Up in the Sky: The Amazing Story of Superman that a frequent question she would get from children at the time was, "Why don't you know that Clark Kent was Superman, just wearing a pair of those darn eyeglasses?" And Neill replied to the children (and later to college audiences), "I don't want to lose my job!"

About Phyllis Coates (previous Lois Lane) Phyllis Coates (born as Gypsie Ann Evarts Stell on January 15, 1927 in Wichita Falls, Texas) is an American film and television actress.

After finishing high school she went to Los Angeles to study at UCLA. However, a chance meeting with entertainer Ken Murray in a Hollywood restaurant resulted in her working in his vaudeville show as a chorus girl. She later performed as one of Earl Carroll's showgirls at his Earl Carroll Theatre.

A movie contract with Warner Brothers followed in 1948; she co-starred with George O'Hanlon in the studio's popular Joe McDoakes short-subject comedies. She was briefly married to the series' director, Richard L. Bare, and continued to appear in the films after the marriage had run its course.

She is best known for having played a strong-willed Lois Lane in the first 26 episodes of Adventures of Superman, wherein she was given equal billing with George Reeves, even for a few episodes in which she did not appear. Her powerful "damsel in distress" scream was used to good effect in several episodes.

After shooting enough film for the first season, the Superman producers suspended production until they found a national sponsor. Much later, when it came time to reassemble the cast and crew for new Superman episodes, Coates had already committed herself to another production. Noel Neill, who had played the original Lois Lane in the 1948-1950 serials opposite Kirk Allyn's superman, succeeded her in this series, and became far more identified with the role. (George Reeves is said to have requested Coates to return to the role in 1959, after another production hiatus; his untimely death ended the series permanently.)

In later years, Coates generally made an effort to distance herself from her connection with the Superman series. Coates did have a guest role as Lois Lane's mother, in the wedding episode of the 1990s TV series Lois and Clark.

Her Superman fame has somewhat obscured the fact that Phyllis Coates was one of the screen's most dependable actresses of the period. She freelanced steadily during her Hollywood heyday, appearing in low-budget features, westerns, serials, and the "McDoakes" shorts. Her best-remembered films of the fifties are probably Blues Busters with The Bowery Boys (in which she has a musical number); Panther Girl of the Kongo, a jungle serial in which she starred; and I Was a Teenage Frankenstein.

She also worked frequently in television, making guest appearances on such popular shows as The Abbott and Costello Show, Leave It to Beaver, The Lone Ranger, and The Cisco Kid.

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