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The Mysterious Death Of George Reeves–suicide Or Murder

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The Mysterious Dying of George Reeves–suicide or homicide
Updated on March 18, 2012 Rob moreContact Writer George Reeves
The life and death of George Reeves

Each time a celebrity dies under strange or suspicious circumstances, there’ll inevitably be years of endless hypothesis about what really happened. Even if it’s ruled an accident or suicide, there will at all times be doubt in some people’s minds about whether or not or not it was murder. Marilyn Monroe, Thelma Todd and others who’ve been discovered lifeless without witnesses to their demise have been subjects of murder conspiracy theories.

One in every of the preferred and persistent of these ‘Was-it-a-homicide-or-not’ movie star deaths was the story of George Reeves, whose life ended at forty five, because of a gunshot wound to the top. The question has been requested over and over, even since that day in 1959…Did Reeves commit suicide or was he murdered

George Reeves started his performing career in a big way in 1939, showing in Gone With the Wind, essentially the most worthwhile film of its time and still thought-about one among the greatest ever. He performed one of many Tarleton Brothers. He continued to work steadily for the next few years, and got vital acclaim for his look in So Proudly We Hail. The director of that film, Mark Sandrich, thought Reeves had the appears and charisma to be a number one man and had deliberate to champion Reeve’s career, hoping to show him into “the next Clark Gable”

The plan was derailed in 1943, when Reeves was inducted within the military to struggle in WW2. He ended up doing military training films. When he returned after the warfare, his mentor Sandrich died unexpectedly. Reeves had misplaced his entry to the quick observe. He was now lost among the throngs of returning actors, attempting to resume their careers after the war. He took some short-term work on Broadway in a show sponsored by the Air pressure called Winged Victory. By the point the stage present ended, and he tried to get back into motion pictures, Reeves was a forgotten man in Hollywood.

He spent the next five years struggling to search out work in low-funds B-footage and kiddie serials like the Adventures of Sir Galahad. Reeves was depressed and disenchanted at the downward spiral his as soon as-promising profession had taken.

Reeves started a romance with society woman Toni Mannix, the wife of MGM Vice-President Eddie Mannix. Eddie and Toni Mannix had an open-marriage and have been allowed to see other folks. Toni fell in love with Reeves and even purchased him a home.

Reeves was offered the role of Superman in a low-budget film Superman vs. the Mole Males, (1950) which was meant to be a check run for a possible weekly Superman tv series. Reeves was reluctant to take the role, not contemplating it a serious performing part, but he needed the cash, so he took the half. The movie did properly enough to result in a vulture spider man movie series and Reeves became the star of The Adventures of Superman show in 1951.

The present grew to become an enormous hit, particularly with younger viewers. Reeves grew to become a nationwide celebrity. He even appeared as himself in an episode of I like Lucy. He began doing live Superman reveals across the country, and showing in commercials (As Superman.)

Although the show was widespread, Reeves’ wage was relatively low for a Tv star. He was reportedly not pleased with the standard of the scripts which he considered simplistic and juvenile. He needed to deliver more depth to the character of Superman/Clark Kent however he was over-ruled. He was angry at being caught taking part in a one-dimensional comedian ebook character. Worse nonetheless, Reeves had a clause in his contract that said he couldn’t take different work whereas he was under contract to do Superman. Jack Larson, who played Jimmy Olsen on the series, claimed that Reeves once stated, ‘If Mark (Sandrich) hadn’t died, I wouldn’t be in this monkey go well with.”

By the mid-1950s, Reeves was in his forties, and was fed-up with the Superman sequence. He felt his profession was slipping away alongside with his youth and that he would never get the prospect to recapture the success he’d come so close to earlier than the battle. Although he took his image as a task model very critically (He was cautious by no means to do anything in public that may tarnish his picture or disappoint his young followers) he was making an attempt to get out of his contract. He was truly very happy when the series was put on indefinite hiatus after seven years, due to raising manufacturing prices and dipping scores. In 1958, he was free of Superman. Or so he thought.

Reeves discovered it hard to escape the curse of kind-casting. Nobody saw him as anything else however Superman. He tried to lift the funds to star in his personal Impartial sci-fi film, however the venture never materialized.

Around this time, Reeves broke up with Toni Mannix, and hooked up with a youthful girl named Lenore Lemmon. Mannix reportedly took the break-up very exhausting. Reeves and Lemmon were dwelling together in the house that Mannix had purchased for Reeves.

ABC planned to deliver the Superman sequence back on the air. Reeves, unable to find work, reluctantly agreed to return to the function once more, though he negotiated a giant wage enhance for the proposed eighth season.

REEVES’ Demise:
On June 16th, 1959, Reeves and Lemmon had simply returned residence after a night time out with three mates; William Bliss, Robert Condon and Carol Van Ronkel. Reeves mentioned he was drained and had a headache, so he excused himself to mattress at 9:30. The other four had a social gathering downstairs that apparently bought quite loud. Reeves came downstairs and bought into an argument with Lemmon for her rudeness. The friends calmed him down and he stayed with them for some time, taking part in his guitar, after which went again upstairs alone after midnight. There was a gunshot at round 1:00am. The police obtained a telephone name from Lemmon at about 1:Forty five and arrived on the scene at 2:00. Reeves was lying useless on his bed, from a gunshot wound to the temple. His was lying on his back, toes on the floor, with the gun lying next to him.

The friends were questioned and an examination of the body was carried out. The official ruling was Dying by Suicide.

The CONTROVERSY:
There are some unusual or circumstantial information which have led many to believe that Reeve’s death was not suicide.

Reality One: Several individuals had a motive to kill him.
Toni Mannix, a really wealthy lady with many essential connections, was reportedly very indignant and bitter about being dumped. Additionally, her husband Eddie Mannix was rumored to have mob connections. Beyond that, some friends of Reeves say that he was planning to name off the wedding to Lemmon and he was afraid how she would take it. All three are potential suspects.

Fact Two: the automotive accident.
George Reeves had a car accident a couple of month before he died. His brake line was broken and he hit a tree. It may have been damaged by fluke chance or it might have been lower deliberately.

Truth Three: The place was Lemmon
The testimony of Lenore Lemmon and the three visitors positioned her in the residing room when the shot was fired. Nevertheless, third celebration sources have claimed that Bliss and Condon confided to them that Lemmon was upstairs with Reeves when the shot was heard. These statement are off the document and unconfirmed.

Reality Four: The time discrepancy.
Everyone present agreed that they heard the gunshot at 1:00am, however they didn’t call the police until 45 minutes later. They blamed that fact that they have been intoxicated and scared, and therefore delayed in calling the police.

Reality 5: The shell casing.
A shell casing was found on the mattress, under Reeve’s physique. Some people think it might only have gotten there if someone had moved him and positioned him on the mattress. However, police specialists say it’s doable there was enough bounce when he fell backwards on the bed for the shell to have rolled underneath him.

Reality Six: No prints on the gun.
Reeves’ finger prints weren’t on the homicide weapon. However, forensics professionals say that the gun was too closely coated in gun-oil for finger prints to be current. (Also unusual was the truth that the police didn’t test Reeve’s hand for powder residue. Apparently, it wasn’t customary procedure for a suicide in the LAPD at the time.)

Truth Seven: The 2 extra bullet holes.
An investigation discovered that there were two extra bullet holes in the flooring of Reeve’s room. That seemed to indicate that it wasn’t a suicide. However, Lemmon says that the holes have been made several months earlier after they drunkenly triggered the gun to by accident discharge.

Reality Eight: The depression subject.
The suicide concept will depend on Reeves’ reported depression. Some say that he was so depressed from his failed career and his unhealthy relationship vulture spider man movie with Lemmon. However, others who knew him effectively, like Jack Larson and Reeves’ mother, adamantly maintain that Reeves was not especially depressed and was not the kind to commit suicide.

It’s seemingly that we’ll never know what occurred that night time. No matter what further evidence may come to mild, I doubt it’s going to convince everyone. The mystery of George Reeves’ demise will continue to be a lightning-rod for theories and hypothesis.

What do you think
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sendingT.G. Four years in the past
The bullet wound over the precise ear was at point blank range. In other phrases, the gun muzzle had been pressed against the pores and skin earlier than firing.

Justin W Price 5 years in the past from Juneau, Alaska
i dunno, smallville is just like the twilight for nerds.

Hello Paradise; We’ll by no means know what actually occurred, and people are break up on the murder/suicide factor. I’m not 100% sure however I lean towards suicide.

Hello Stevennix; thanks for the very considerate and detailed repsonse. I respect your taking the time to contribute to my hub. I lean towards suicide till any further evidence comes to mild, however I do not assume any proof might be enough to convince everybody.

It is sadly ironic that his found his lasting fame in a task he did not like or respect. Too bad, because many people would have killed for a role like that, the place they could be remembered for generations.

The interview was enjoyable to do. I felt honored.
About Christopher Reeves, his interpretation of the nerdy, dorky Clark Kent was very accurate to the ‘Silver age’ or ‘pre-Crisis’ model of Clark. The character modified in 1985 after DC’s large “Crisis” revamp, but within the sixties and seventies, Clark Kent was a real geek.

Thanks very much for reading and commenting,
Good article. Lays all of it on the market. As you probably know, I’m in with the murder principle. I think it was Ms. There are real heroes and good males out there if you keep wanting.

I appreciate the comments,
jeanine 6 years in the past

when I used to be youthful… just after i started to imagine there was a superman on the market… someone killed him… not quicker than a dashing bullet… it changed my life eternally… I realized there were no super men… so I started my journey to find an excellent one… and there are some of you out there I found are very good men…lol… nice learn Rob…

Final weekend I met Kevin Conroy, the guy does the voice for the animated Batman. Maybe you can follow your gruff voice and take over for him when he retires. As for Tom Welling, he was a little bit of a dim-witted Superman. Probably not girlie however a little too much of the “kinder, gentler” type of Superhero.

tom welling should be ashamed of himself for portraying such a girlie superman. I am a batman fan, myself. With sufficient money and a cool voice, I may very well be batman

Hi PDX. Thanks for stopping by. Really, solely two Superman actors have had tragic deaths. (George Reeves and Chris Reeve.) Kirk Allyn (the original Superman from the old serials)lived to a ripe outdated age. The remainder (Dean Caine, Brandon Routh and Tom Welling) are all alive and properly.

Thanks for the comments;
Justin W Worth 6 years ago from Juneau, Alaska

Thank u for sharing. I discover it unusual that all actors who performed superman (well, not all, but) but many died unusual deaths. Just goes to additional my case that superman is the stupidest superhero ever!

Hello Patty; It’s an honor to have such a lauded hubber touch upon my work. As for the Reeves investigation, it did seem like they minimize a few corners.

Thank you for stopping by and reading my hub,
Hello Paradise; If it was homicide, I feel she was the probably the culprit. I still lean in direction of suicide but when it’s a homicide, Lemmon is the strongest suspect, contemplating the evidence.

Patty Inglish 6 years in the past from USA. Member of Asgardia, the primary space nation, since October 2016
I completely love watching anything on movie with George Reeves in it; and Rob Kardashian in his Superman dance choreography on DWTS this week did put me in thoughts of Reeves. I noticed Hollywoodland and loved that as well. I believe Reeves was murdered, having by no means should have involving himself with married girls and thugs and so forth.

Search for newspaper archives of the occasion of his demise – Our local paper read in headline: Superman Shoots Himself, Lifeless. Children had been very upset. The position of the physique seems posed to me. Any person ought to have requested Erle Stanley Gardner and his forensics buddies to have a look!

Paradise7 6 years in the past from Upstate New York
Wonderful job, Rob. Actually good studying. I personally think George was murdered, by his girlfriend.

Thanks epigramman; I recognize the sort words. And thanks for the Facebook put up.
Glad you stopped by,

epigramman 6 years in the past
..one other wonderful and fascinating hub subject by you my good friend and so good that I must publish this to my Facebook web page with a direct link so CBS’ 60 Minutes will uncover you and rent you as one in all their investigative journalists.

lake erie time ontario canada 12:55am
Hello Brian; Nice Caesar’s Ghost is one in every of my favorite Tv catchphrases. “Do not call me chief” was one other funny one from the “Superman” present.

Thanks for studying and commenting,
Brian Lokker 6 years ago from Bethesda, Maryland

Very fascinating hub, Rob. I beloved the Superman present as a kid — “Nice Caesar’s Ghost!” Although I used to be conscious of the mysterious circumstances of Reeves’s death, I hadn’t read about it intimately earlier than. You’ve got laid out the details very well. I will have to check out the Ben Affleck film.

Hello Alecia: The Affleck movie “Hollywoodland” was very good. I loved it. It was most likely Affleck’s greatest efficiency. Adrian Brody was excellent in it, too.

Awesome Hub! George Reeves did have a mysterious demise. I needed to see that Ben Affleck movie about his life, it seemed intriguing and that i heard it was pretty gripping.

Hi H.H.; You’re right, it was all a bit dodgy. I don’t know why the procedure on the time was to only test for powder burns in a homicide, not a suicide, however that was how the LADP did it again then. All in all, it was a sloppy investigation.

Hello citychck. You’ve numerous company. Many people assume he was murdered. I am inclined to assume suicide, but as you say, we could by no means know.

Hiya, good day, 6 years ago from London, UK
I didn’t know something about that but the best way you described the information it sounded very dodgy. It additionally struck unusual the police by no means examine for gun powder on his fingers and it wasn’t carried out with suicide but you’ll be able to solely it’s suicide in the event that they discovered gun powder on his arms. A bit a confused regulation. Effectively I feel Marilyn Monroe was murdered and Kennedy was killed by the CIA. There so many lose ends in the highest.

citychick 6 years ago from Ulster County, New York
This was very nicely researched. I’d all the time believed that Reeves was murdered, but we may never know. Thanks for posting this!

Thanks Marlin. Good to hear from you once more.
Sure it’s funny, I wrote mine about two weeks ago. I had been working on my story since June and even did some analysis with a gun professional concerning the forensics of it. But grew to become so busy with my schedule I had to place it off. Thanks for checking my blog out. I am much obliged!

Marlin fifty five 6 years ago from USA
Nice article Rob and congratulations on your interview.

Thanks cogerson. I was flattered. First there was the podcast about my hubs after which the interview.
Hi Lady_Tenaz; Quite a coincidence that we both wrote about the identical factor at roughly the identical time. I preferred your blog. You seem to lean extra in direction of homicide, while I am inclined towards the suicide principle. We’ll never know.

Off topic….but congrats in your interview on the weekly hub web page publication. Very properly accomplished.
Thanks Flora. It was an honor to be interviewed.

Lady_Tenaz 6 years ago
Properly you and that i each like this subject! I wrote a story about the exact same factor on my blog earlier this month! 🙂 Good Job! There will all the time be speculation on this one I’m afraid, sadly we will never really know. – (in case you need to test it out)

http://dreamingcasuallypoetry.blogspot.com/2011/09…
Hi Alastar: I did like “Hollywoodland”. I thought it was smart that they by no means gave a defintive resolution to the mystery, since nobody knows for positive. (In contrast to the ebook “Hollywood Kryptonite” which blames successful-man for the murder.)

If it was murder, the evidence would seem to level more to Lenore Lemmon than Toni Mannix, although Toni had the most effective motive. Revenge of a scorned woman!

It is a traditional mystery. Reality is sometimes stranger than fiction.
Thanks for stopping by,

Congratulations on being interviewed on this week’s version of Hubpages Weekly. It is nice timing since you point out this George Reeves hub.

Alastar Packer 6 years in the past from North Carolina
Nice write on the mystery Rob. So that you favored the best way the story was executed in “Hollywoodland ” It is an efficient flick. I imagine he was murdered. Big mistake with Toni, Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned(or who thinks she’s been) Eddie had very close connections to Mickey Cohens crew- the main mob man in L.A.- and was a ruthless dude to boot. Reeves just didn’t understand he’d signed on as a permanent boy toy for Toni’s love and pleasure. “Super-Hub!”

Hello cogerson; I agree that Ben Affleck was wonderful portraying Reeves. I’m not usually an Affleck fan, but I am going to give credit score where it is due. He hit a house run in “Hollywoodland”.

I feel the impact of the entire “From Right here to Eternity” situation on his profession was exaggerated. Even earlier than it was edited, his was nonetheless a fairly minor half. He appears in a single scene in the final version, but even in the pre-minimize version, I think he solely had about two or three scenes, and the only notable one was the one that is still within the film. So I doubt that “From Here to Eternity” would have changed his career much, even without the edits.

Thanks, as all the time, in your glorious input,
Hi Flora: I believe his largest drawback vulture spider man movie was his excessive expectations. He began off so robust was promised by Sandrich that he’d be the new Clark Gable. After that, starring in a super hero Tv present, aimed mostly a kids, appeared like failure to him. As was identified in the movie HOLLYWOODLAND, “The place he ended up, should have been ok. However not for George.”

The 2 extra bullet holes do appear suspicious. Lemmon had an excuse, but when she were concerned, she’d naturally lie about it.

Adam West was proud of the silliness of BATMAN, and he was good at campy humor. Reeves was a unique type of individual, with completely different expectations, so what West thought was fun, Reeves thought was embarrassing.

Thanks for commenting, Flora,
Cogerson 6 years in the past from Virginia

Very properly accomplished Rob, it’s certainly an enchanting mystery…..some other points….(1) He thought his function in From Right here To Eternity was going to interrupt the Superman hold on him….as an alternative most of his part ended up on the enhancing floor and (2) Ben Affleck does an incredible job taking part in Reeves in Hollywoodland.

As for my considering….I think he shot himself….some people hide their depressions very simply…..he suppose he was in that boat. Voted up and superior.

FloraBreenRobison 6 years ago
Probably the most damning proof towards the suicide principle are the additional bullet holes. There other issues can be circumstantial. It is interesting to notice that he didn’t want to tarnish the image of Superman for his followers. Committing suicide would actually do that.

He did get the prospect to be in important films, but his picture of Superman would get his half reduce down. If he hadn’t been the one to tell Lancaster about Kerr in From Right here to Eternity, he would have been just an extra in that movie for the completed product.

This story had at all times fascinated me, extra so than different unexplained deaths.in Hollywood.
It’s unfortunate that his career began so effectively-it helped to make him dissatisfied with his Superman sequence -that and the fact that the go well with was heavy and sizzling.

Contrast that with Adam West is a comedian and loved it when Batman was at its least logical and most bizarre.

Rachelle-he appears within the opening scenes of Gone with the wind with Scarlett on the dance. He is one in all two suitors sitting on either aspect of her on a porch.

Hi Will. Apparantly Reeves wasn’t too pleased with the present both, but he couldn’t get out of it. I can only imagine what a huge story it will need to have been at the time…Superman commits suicide.

Hello Marellen; True, he did have some causes to be completely satisfied. That is what Jack Larson and Reeves’ mother maintain. Then once more, he was depressed about what he felt was a “failed” career, and his relationship with Lenore Lemmon was apparantly tumultuous. However as you say, the “lady scorned” theory makes for a good motive.

Thanks for reading,
Hello dahoglund. Yes, it makes for a terrific mystery. As you say, there are many other Hollywood mysteries. I might do hubs on a few of them, too.

Hello Rachelle; you are right, we’ll most likely by no means know the reality. As you say, there were motives to kill him, but the police dominated it suicide. I lean towards the suicide principle myself, however who knows

WillStarr 6 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona
I remember him well. I used to be a radio and comic e-book ‘Superman’ fanatic as a kid, but I wasn’t thrilled with the Television model because Reeves simply didn’t seem ‘super’ sufficient.

But it was indeed a huge story when ‘Superman’ dedicated suicide.
marellen 6 years in the past

I have heard that his death was a thriller however you
brought up issues I didn’t know.

Why ought to he be so depressed, someone purchased him a house and he had two women who beloved him. I want somebody would purchase me a home.

Oh, a girl scorned…..look out!!!!!
Don A. Hoglund 6 years in the past from Wisconsin Rapids

Definitely makes for a very good mystery I am not that aware of hollywood then or now but I think about there are a variety of mysteries there.

Rachelle Williams 6 years in the past from Tempe, AZ
I did not know that “Superman” had died under mysterious circumstances. And, I additionally didn’t know he was in “Gone With The Wind.”

After reading your hub, I don’t assume we won’t ever know what actually happened to George Reeves.
There are too many individuals with powerful motives, and he really might need been suicidal…

Very interesting Hub!
AuthorRob 6 years in the past from Bay Ridge Brooklyn NY

Whats up gunsock. Glad you enjoyed the hub. There was a movie about the dying of Reeves known as “Hollywoodland” a few years again. You might enjoy it.

gunsock 6 years in the past from South Coast of England
What an awesome story. I’m into previous Hollywood but this was all new to me. Nice hub. Thanks!

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