The Mysterious Demise Of George Reeves–suicide Or Homicide?

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The Mysterious Loss of life of George Reeves–suicide or murder?
Up to date on March 18, 2012 Rob moreContact Author George Reeves
The life and death of George Reeves

Women's Del_Rey Printed Long Sleeve T ShirtsEach time a celebrity dies beneath strange or suspicious circumstances, there’ll inevitably be years of countless hypothesis about what actually occurred. Even when it ruled an accident or suicide, there’ll at all times be doubt in some people minds about whether or not or not it was murder. Marilyn Monroe, Thelma Todd and others who’ve been found useless without witnesses to their demise have been topics of murder conspiracy theories.

Certainly one of the preferred and persistent of these as-it-a-homicide-or-not celebrity deaths was the story of George Reeves, whose life ended at 45, attributable to a gunshot wound to the top. The query has been asked time and again, even since that day in 1959閳ヮ毆id Reeves commit suicide or was he murdered?

George Reeves began his performing career in a big manner in 1939, appearing in Gone With the Wind, probably the most worthwhile film of its time and still considered one in all the greatest ever. He played one of the Tarleton Brothers. He continued to work steadily for the following few years, and bought important acclaim for his appearance in So Proudly We Hail. The director of that film, Mark Sandrich, thought Reeves had the seems to be and charisma to be a number one man and had deliberate to champion Reeve career, hoping to show him into he next Clark Gable /p>

The plan was derailed in 1943, when Reeves was inducted within the army to fight in WW2. He ended up doing army coaching movies. When he returned after the battle, his mentor Sandrich died unexpectedly. Reeves had misplaced his entry to the quick track. He was now misplaced among the throngs of returning actors, attempting to resume their careers after the war. He took some short-term work on Broadway in a present sponsored by the Air power known as Winged Victory. By the time the stage present ended, and he tried to get back into films, Reeves was a forgotten man in Hollywood.

He spent the subsequent 5 years struggling to search out work in low-finances B-footage and kiddie serials just like the Adventures of Sir Galahad. Reeves was depressed and disillusioned at the downward spiral his once-promising career had taken.

Reeves began a romance with society woman Toni Mannix, the spouse of MGM Vice-President Eddie Mannix. Eddie and Toni Mannix had an open-marriage and had been allowed to see different people. Toni fell in love with Reeves and even purchased him a home.

Reeves was provided the role of Superman in a low-funds film Superman vs. the Mole Males, (1950) which was meant to be a test run for a potential weekly Superman tv collection. Reeves was reluctant to take the role, not considering it a severe acting half, however he needed the money, so he took the half. The film did well enough to result in a sequence and Reeves grew to become the star of The Adventures of Superman present in 1951.

The present turned a giant hit, particularly with younger viewers. Reeves turned a national celeb. He even appeared as himself in an episode of I really like Lucy. He started doing reside Superman reveals around the nation, and appearing in commercials (As Superman.)

Though the present was well-liked, Reeves wage was comparatively low for a Television star. He was reportedly not pleased with the standard of the scripts which he thought-about simplistic and juvenile. He wished to carry more depth to the character of Superman/Clark Kent however he was over-dominated. He was offended at being caught playing a one-dimensional comedian guide character. Worse still, Reeves had a clause in his contract that mentioned he couldn take different work while he was below contract to do Superman. Jack Larson, who performed Jimmy Olsen on the series, claimed that Reeves as soon as mentioned, キf Mark (Sandrich) hadn died, I wouldn be in this monkey suit. /p>

By the mid-1950s, Reeves was in his forties, and was fed-up with the Superman collection. He felt his profession was slipping away alongside with his youth and that he would by no means get the chance to recapture the success he come so near earlier than the war. Although he took his image as a task model very seriously (He was cautious never to do something in public that would tarnish his picture or disappoint his younger fans) he was attempting to get out of his contract. He was really very pleased when the sequence was placed on indefinite hiatus after seven years, because of raising production prices and dipping rankings. In 1958, he was freed from Superman. Or so he thought.

Reeves found it arduous to flee the curse of type-casting. No one saw him as anything else but Superman. He tried to raise the funds to star in his own Impartial sci-fi film, but the challenge never materialized.

Around this time, Reeves broke up with Toni Mannix, and hooked up with a younger lady named Lenore Lemmon. Mannix reportedly took the break-up very arduous. Reeves and Lemmon have been living together in the house that Mannix had purchased for Reeves.

ABC deliberate to carry the Superman series back on the air. Reeves, unable to find work, reluctantly agreed to return to the role again, though he negotiated a big salary increase for the proposed eighth season.


On June 16th, 1959, Reeves and Lemmon had simply returned dwelling after a night out with three associates; William Bliss, Robert Condon and Carol Van Ronkel. Reeves said he was tired and had a headache, so he excused himself to mattress at 9:30. The other four had a celebration downstairs that apparently obtained slightly loud. Reeves came downstairs and acquired into an argument with Lemmon for her rudeness. The pals calmed him down and he stayed with them for a while, taking part in his guitar, and then went back upstairs alone after midnight. There was a gunshot at around 1:00am. The police received a cellphone call from Lemmon at about 1:45 and arrived at the scene at 2:00. Reeves was lying dead on his bed, from a gunshot wound to the temple. His was lying on his again, ft on the floor, with the gun mendacity subsequent to him.

The visitors were questioned and an examination of the physique was achieved. The official ruling was Dying by Suicide.


There are some unusual or circumstantial details which have led many to consider that Reeve demise was not suicide.

Reality One: Several people had a motive to kill him.

Toni Mannix, a really rich woman with many important connections, was reportedly very offended and bitter about being dumped. Also, her husband Eddie Mannix was rumored to have mob connections. Past that, some associates of Reeves say that he was planning to call off the marriage to Lemmon and he was afraid how she would take it. All three are potential suspects.

Fact Two: the automobile accident.

George Reeves had a car accident a few month earlier than he died. His brake line was broken and he hit a tree. It could have been broken by fluke likelihood or it may have been cut intentionally.

Truth Three: The place was Lemmon?

The testimony of Lenore Lemmon and the three friends positioned her in the residing room when the shot was fired. Nonetheless, third social gathering sources have claimed that Bliss and Condon confided to them that Lemmon was upstairs with Reeves when the shot was heard. These assertion are off the file and unconfirmed.

Fact 4: The time discrepancy.

Everybody present agreed that they heard the gunshot at 1:00am, however they didn call the police until 45 minutes later. They blamed that indisputable fact that they have been intoxicated and scared, and therefore delayed in calling the police.

Truth Five: The shell casing.

A shell casing was discovered on the mattress, underneath Reeve physique. Some individuals assume it might only have gotten there if someone had moved him and placed him on the bed. Nonetheless, police specialists say it potential there was sufficient bounce when he fell backwards on the bed for the shell to have rolled underneath him.

Truth Six: No prints on the gun.

Reeves finger prints weren’t on the murder weapon. Nevertheless, forensics professionals say that the gun was too heavily coated in gun-oil for finger prints to be current. (Additionally unusual was the fact that the police didn take a look at Reeve hand for powder residue. Apparently, it wasn normal process for a suicide in the LAPD on the time.)

Reality Seven: The two additional bullet holes.

An investigation discovered that there were two extra bullet holes within the flooring of Reeve room. That seemed to point that it wasn a suicide. However, Lemmon says that the holes had been made several months earlier once they drunkenly prompted the gun to by accident discharge.

Reality Eight: The depression problem.

The suicide theory depends upon Reeves reported depression. Some say that he was so depressed from his failed career and his unhealthy relationship with Lemmon. Nonetheless, others who knew him effectively, like Jack Larson and Reeves mother, adamantly maintain that Reeves was not particularly depressed and was not the kind to commit suicide.

It doubtless that we l never know what happened that evening. It doesn’t matter what additional proof may come to gentle, I doubt it’ll persuade everybody. The mystery of George Reeves’ dying 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 appropriate ear was at level clean range. In different phrases, the gun muzzle had been pressed against the pores and skin before firing.

Justin W Value 5 years ago from Juneau, Alaska

i dunno, smallville is like the twilight for nerds.

Hello Paradise; We’ll never know what actually occurred, and individuals are split on the homicide/suicide thing. I am not one hundred% positive but I lean toward suicide.

Hello Stevennix; thanks for the very thoughtful and detailed repsonse. I admire your taking the time to contribute to my hub. I lean towards suicide until any additional evidence involves mild, however I don’t think any proof might be sufficient to convince everyone.

It is sadly ironic that his discovered his lasting fame in a task he didn’t like or recognize. Too dangerous, as a result of many people would have killed for a role like that, where they would 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-Disaster’ version of Clark. The character modified in 1985 after DC’s massive “Disaster” revamp, but within the sixties and seventies, Clark Kent was a real geek.

Thanks very a lot for studying and commenting,

Good article. Lays it all on the market. As you in all probability know, I am in with the homicide principle. I feel it was Ms. There are actual heroes and good men on the market if you retain wanting.

I admire the feedback,

jeanine 6 years in the past

when I used to be younger… simply after i began to consider there was a superman out there… somebody killed him… not quicker than a rushing bullet… it changed my life without end… I realized there were no tremendous males… so I began my journey to search out a great one… and there are a few of you out there I discovered are very good males…lol… good learn Rob…

Last weekend I met Kevin Conroy, the man does the voice for the animated Batman. Perhaps you can apply 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. Not really girlie however just a little a lot of the “kinder, gentler” type of Superhero.

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

Hello PDX. Thanks for stopping by. Really, only 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 previous age. The remaining (Dean Caine, Brandon Routh and Tom Welling) are all alive and properly.

Thanks for the feedback;

Justin W Price 6 years ago from Juneau, Alaska

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

Hi Patty; It is an honor to have such a lauded hubber comment on my work. As for the Reeves investigation, it did seem like they minimize a couple of corners.

Thanks for stopping by and studying my hub,

Hi Paradise; If it was murder, I believe she was the most likely the offender. I still lean in the direction of suicide but when it is a homicide, Lemmon is the strongest suspect, considering the evidence.

Patty Inglish 6 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first house 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 enjoyed that as effectively. I consider Reeves was murdered, having by no means should have involving himself with married ladies and thugs and so forth.

Look for newspaper archives of the event of his death – Our native paper learn in headline: Superman Shoots Himself, Dead. Children have been very upset. The place of the body seems posed to me. Someone ought to have requested Erle Stanley Gardner and his forensics associates to have a look!

Paradise7 6 years ago from Upstate New York

Excellent job, Rob. Really good reading. I personally assume George was murdered, by his girlfriend.

Thanks epigramman; I admire the sort phrases. And thanks for the Fb put up.

Glad you stopped by,

epigramman 6 years in the past

..another wonderful and fascinating hub subject by you my pal and so good that I must post this to my Fb web page with a direct hyperlink so CBS’ 60 Minutes will discover you and rent you as certainly one of their investigative journalists.

lake erie time ontario canada 12:55am

Hiya Brian; Great Caesar’s Ghost is one in all my favorite Tv catchphrases. “Do not call me chief” was another humorous one from the “Superman” show.

Thanks for reading and commenting,

Brian Lokker 6 years in the past from Bethesda, Maryland

Very attention-grabbing hub, Rob. I beloved the Superman show as a kid — “Nice Caesar’s Ghost!” Though I was conscious of the mysterious circumstances of Reeves’s loss of life, I hadn’t read about it intimately earlier than. You’ve got laid out the facts very nicely. I am going to have to take a look at the Ben Affleck movie.

Hi Alecia: The Affleck film “Hollywoodland” was very good. I loved it. It was in all probability Affleck’s finest performance. Adrian Brody was very good in it, too.

Alecia Murphy 6 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina

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

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

Hi citychck. You may have numerous firm. Many individuals think he was murdered. I’m inclined to suppose suicide, but as you say, we might by no means know.

Howdy, hiya, 6 years in the past from London, UK

I didn’t know anything about that but the best way you described the information it sounded very dodgy. It also struck unusual the police by no means check for gun powder on his arms and it wasn’t finished with suicide but you may solely it is suicide if they found gun powder on his arms. A bit a confused regulation. Nicely I believe Marilyn Monroe was murdered and Kennedy was killed by the CIA. There so many lose ends in the highest.

citychick 6 years in the past from Ulster County, New York

This was very effectively researched. I’d always believed that Reeves was murdered, but we may by no means know. Thanks for posting this!

Thanks Marlin. Good to listen to from you again.

Yes it’s funny, I wrote mine about two weeks ago. I had been engaged on my story since June and even did some research with a gun knowledgeable about the forensics of it. But turned so busy with my schedule I had to place it off. Thanks for checking my blog out. I’m much obliged!

Marlin fifty five 6 years in the past from USA

Great article Rob and congratulations on your interview.

Thanks cogerson. I used to be flattered. First there was the podcast about my hubs after which the interview.

Hello Lady_Tenaz; Fairly a coincidence that we each wrote about the same thing at roughly the same time. I appreciated your weblog. You seem to lean extra in the direction of murder, while I’m inclined toward the suicide concept. We’ll by no means know.

Off subject….but congrats in your interview on the weekly hub page publication. Very properly accomplished.

Thanks Flora. It was an honor to be interviewed.

Lady_Tenaz 6 years in the past

Properly you and that i both like this topic! I wrote a narrative about the exact same thing on my weblog earlier this month! 🙂 Good Job! There will all the time be hypothesis on this one I’m afraid, sadly we won’t ever truly know. – (in case you wish to check it out)…

Hello Alastar: I did like “Hollywoodland”. I thought it was good that they never gave a defintive decision to the mystery, since nobody knows for certain. (In contrast to the e-book “Hollywood Kryptonite” which blames successful-man for the murder.)

If it was homicide, the evidence would seem to level extra to Lenore Lemmon than Toni Mannix, though Toni had the perfect motive. Revenge of a scorned girl!

It is a classic mystery. Truth is sometimes stranger than fiction.

Thanks for stopping by,

Congratulations on being interviewed on this week’s edition of Hubpages Weekly. It is nice timing because you mention this George Reeves hub.

Alastar Packer 6 years in the past from North Carolina

Great write on the thriller Rob. So that you favored the way in which the story was accomplished in “Hollywoodland?” It is an efficient flick. I imagine he was murdered. Large mistake with Toni, Hell hath no fury like a girl scorned(or who thinks she’s been) Eddie had very shut connections to Mickey Cohens crew- the primary mob guy in L.A.- and was a ruthless dude as well. Reeves just didn’t perceive he’d signed on as a everlasting boy toy for Toni’s love and pleasure. “Super-Hub!”

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

I feel the impact of the whole “From Right here to Eternity” situation on his profession was exaggerated. Even before it was edited, his was nonetheless a reasonably minor half. He appears in one scene in the final version, however even within the pre-cut version, I think he solely had about two or three scenes, and the only notable one was the one that is still in the movie. So I doubt that “From Right here to Eternity” would have changed his profession much, even with out the edits.

Thanks, as always, for your glorious input,

Hi Flora: I believe his largest downside was his high expectations. He started off so sturdy was promised by Sandrich that he’d be the brand new Clark Gable. After that, starring in a super hero Television present, aimed mostly a kids, seemed like failure to him. As was pointed out in the film HOLLYWOODLAND, “The place he ended up, ought to have been adequate. However not for George.”

The two additional bullet holes do seem suspicious. Lemmon had an excuse, but when she have been concerned, she’d naturally lie about it.

Adam West was happy with the silliness of BATMAN, and he was good at campy humor. Reeves was a special type of person, with totally different expectations, so what West thought was enjoyable, Reeves thought was embarrassing.

Thanks for commenting, Flora,

Very nicely performed Rob, it’s certainly an enchanting thriller…..some other factors….(1) He thought his function in From Here To Eternity was going to interrupt the Superman hold on him….as an alternative most of his part ended up on the editing flooring and (2) Ben Affleck does an excellent job taking part in Reeves in Hollywoodland.

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

FloraBreenRobison 6 years in the past

The most damning proof towards the suicide idea are the additional bullet holes. There different things can be circumstantial. It’s interesting to note that he didn’t need to tarnish the image of Superman for his fans. Committing suicide would definitely do this.

He did get the prospect to be in vital films, however his image of Superman would get his half lower 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 finished product.

This story had always fascinated me, extra so than other unexplained Hollywood.

It’s unfortunate that his profession started so nicely-it helped to make him dissatisfied with his Superman sequence -that and the fact that the go well with was heavy and scorching.

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

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

Hello Will. Apparantly Reeves wasn’t too proud of the present both, but he couldn’t get out of it. I can only think about what an enormous story it will need to have been on the time…Superman commits suicide.

Hello Marellen; True, he did have some reasons to be pleased. That’s what Jack Larson and Reeves’ mother maintain. Then once more, he was depressed about what he felt was a “failed” profession, and his relationship with Lenore Lemmon was apparantly tumultuous. However as you say, the “woman scorned” theory makes for an excellent motive.

Thanks for studying,

Hello dahoglund. Sure, it makes for a terrific thriller. As you say, there are many other Hollywood mysteries. I may do hubs on a few of them, too.

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

WillStarr 6 years in the past from Phoenix, Arizona

I remember him nicely. I was a radio and comic book ‘Superman’ fanatic as a child, but I wasn’t thrilled with the Tv version because Reeves just did not appear ‘super’ sufficient.

However it was indeed a huge story when ‘Superman’ committed suicide.

marellen 6 years in the past

I’ve heard that his dying was a thriller however you

brought up issues I did not know.

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

Oh, a girl scorned…..look out!!!!!

Don A. Hoglund 6 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

Certainly makes for a very good thriller I’m not that familiar with hollywood then or now but I think about there are numerous mysteries there.

Rachelle Williams 6 years in the past from Tempe, AZ

I did not know that “Superman” had died below mysterious circumstances. And, I additionally did not know he was in “Gone With The Wind.”

After reading your hub, I don’t assume we won’t ever know what really happened to George Reeves.

There are too many people with highly effective motives, and he really may need been suicidal…

Very interesting Hub!

AuthorRob 6 years ago from Bay Ridge Brooklyn NY

Hey gunsock. Glad you enjoyed the hub. There was a film in regards to the dying of Reeves known as “Hollywoodland” a few years again. You might get pleasure from it.


gunsock 6 years in the past from South Coast of England

What an amazing story. I am into previous Hollywood but this was all new to me. Great hub. Thank you!

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