Jack Larson: Adventures of Superman actor dies at age 87

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Updated: September 23, 2015
Jack Larson: Adventures of Superman actor dies at age 87

Jack Larson, best known for his role as reporter Jimmy Olsen in the 1950’s TV show “The Adventures of Superman,” died Sunday at his home in Brentwood. He was 87.

Alan Larson, a longtime friend, told The New York Times that Larson died at his Brentwood, California home on Sunday. No further details about his death were revealed.

Larson, who was born in Los Angeles in 1928, had tried to break into movies in the late 1940s. He made his movie debut in the Robert Stack war movie Fighter Squadron in 1948. But in 1951, his life changed when he was offered the part of Jimmy Olsen in Superman, alongside George Reeves, who starred as Clark Kent/Superman. He was only 23 at the time and hoped to become a Broadway actor and playwright. His agent told him to take the role because they didn’t think it would last.

But Superman did last, running from 1952 through 1958. It would have continued, but Reeves died in 1959.

After that, Larson turned away from acting to pursue a career as a playwright. The Hollywood Reporter notes that some of his plays include The Candied House, a version of the Hansel and Gretel story; and Cherry, Larry, Sandy, Doris, Jean, Paul, a comedy about being gay.

He also produced films written and directed by his longtime companion, James Bridges. The two were together until Bridges’ death in 1993 from cancer.

In later years, Larson did make Superman-related appearances and can be spotted in an episode of Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman and the 2006 film Superman Returns. He also appeared in a 2010 Law & Order: SVU episode.