Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it’s the curse of Superman

words by Cassidy Krygger

Superman was faster than a speeding bullet and could walk through fire, but his Kryptonite was the supposed curse that befell him. 

Or at least the actors who played him. If you are one to believe in curses, the Superman Curse is probably one of the most famous in Hollywood. From career failures to illnesses, horrific injuries and untimely deaths, the Superman Curse has plagued most of the 20th-century actors that have played the Man of Steel as well as other actors and creatives involved in the Superman world.

The Superman curse can be traced back to the creators themselves, Jerry Seigel and Joe Shuster, who created Superman in the 1930s. 

The pair were not fairly compensated for the creation of the character after selling the rights early on for only $130. Shuster’s career plummeted shortly after. By the 1950s, his eyesight began to deteriorate, forcing him out of the comic book game entirely and eventually became almost entirely blind.

Misfortune next befell George Reeves, who played Superman in the 1951 movie ‘Superman and the Mole Men and the television series ‘Adventures of Superman.’ 

Because of typecasting, Reeves found it hard to get any other acting work, and on June 16 1959, Reeves was found dead with a gunshot wound to the head. The death was ruled a suicide despite the fact fingerprints were never found on the weapon that killed him, generating rumours and conspiracy theories that foul play was involved. He was just 45.

But the Superman Curse took hold with Christopher Reeve, who made us believe that man could fly. 

He rose to fame in the 1978 Superman film of the same name as well as it three sequels. Tragedy struck in 1995 when he was paralyzed from the neck down after being thrown from his horse. He died in 2004 from a medical condition stemming from his accident. His wife, Dana Reeve died two years later at the age of 44 from lung cancer.

Lee Quigley was cast as baby Superman at the age of seven months, appearing alongside Marlon Brando as his baby son Kal-El in the 1978 Superman movie. 

He would become the youngest actor ever to play Superman and would be his only film role. He sadly died at the young age of 14 in 1991 of solvent abuse.

But it’s not just the men that played Superman that were hit with the curse. Richard Pryor who played a computer hacker in Superman III lit himself on fire during a drug binge and later developed Multiple Sclerosis. Margot Kidder who played Lois Lane in the same series went on to suffer from Bipolar Disorder and addiction. She committed suicide in 2018.

If there was ever a Superman curse, it seems to be broken. Brandon Routh, Tom Welling and Henry Cavill have all played the men in blue tights since the beginning of the 21st century without an issue.

This could be one of the greatest Hollywood Hogwash conspiracy theories or perhaps there is an inkling of truth to it. You decide. 


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