Jack Larson, Jimmy Olsen on First Superman Show, Dies at 87

Jack Larson, best know for his role as reporter Jimmy Olsen on the first Superman TV show, died Sunday at his home in the Brentwood area of Los Angeles. He was 87.

Larson played George Reeves’ (Clark Kent/Superman) wide-eyed coworker at The Daily Planet — a role he tried, in vain, to escape throughout his career — on “Adventures of Superman” in the 1950s.

Larson appeared on “Superman” for six seasons, from 1952 to 1958. Though there were plans to revive the series, those plans ended following Reeves’ sudden death in 1959, which was ruled a suicide.

Larson was also a playwright; his works include 1966’s “The Candied House,” based on “Hansel and Gretel”; “Cherry, Larry, Sandy, Doris, Jean, Paul,” a comedy about being gay; 1968’s “Chuck”; and 1998’s “The Astronaut’s Tale.” Larson wrote librettos for operas, such as Virgil Thomson’s “Lord Byron.”

He produced several films written and/or directed by his longtime partner, James Bridges, who he met on the set of Ethel Barrymore’s final film, “Johnny Trouble,” in 1957. Larson produced “The Baby Maker” (1970), “Mike’s Murder” (1984) and “Perfect” (1985), among Bridges’ other movies, through their production company.

Larson also appeared in the 1991 series “The Adventures of Superboy,” in an episode of ABC’s “Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman” and Bryan Singer’s “Superman Returns” in 2006.

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