According to legend, there is a curse associated with Superman. This curse apparently extends from the creators to the actors and many people in between. Whether it is true or not is up for debate but here are some of the examples people cite to prove that the Superman Curse is real.
• The creators of Superman may have thought up the greatest superhero of all time but DC Comics had the copyright. The two men sued DC saying that they should be compensated. While they received $60,000 each in 1946, this was only a fraction of what the Superman image was worth thanks to comic books, toys, books and movies. In 1975, the men again sued and were again awarded $35,000 each per year for the rest of their lives. These two men created the Man of Steel but it was their only notable creation and they led very basic lives following creating Superman. Legend has it they are the ones who have cursed the character.
• The Fleischer Brothers released many Superman cartoons and had already had a lot of success with Popeye and Betty Boop. However, after they began making Superman cartoons, the brothers began to feud and the studio began to lose money before being bought by Paramount Pictures. Dave Fleischer went on to be a special effects advisor while Max Fleischer died penniless.
• George Reeves played Superman in Superman and the Mole Men, as well as on television in The Adventures of Superman. Unfortunately, he became typecast in the role and on June 16, 1959, a few days before he was to be married, he was found dead due to a gunshot wound. While it was ruled a suicide, some speculate that Reeves was in fact murdered.
• Christopher Reeve is probably the most famous actor to play Superman, which he did in four movies. Sadly, eight years after his last Superman movie, he fell off his horse and became paralyzed from the neck down. Reeves died on October 10, 2004 from heart failure due to his medical condition.
• Margot Kidder played Lois Lane opposite Christopher Reeve in the Superman movies. She too was not immune from this apparent curse as in April 1996; she went missing for several days and was found by police in a seriously delusional and paranoid state. She has been diagnosed with an intense form of bipolar disorder.
• Lee Quigly played the baby Kal-El in the Superman movie from 1978. Only 13 years after that movie, he died at the age of fourteen from inhaling chemical solvents.
• There are many different “Super” characters these days including Superboy, Supergirl and Superdog. It appears as though the Superman curse extends to at least one of these variations; Superboy. John Haymes Newton and Gerard Christopher both played Superboy in the Superboy television series from 1998 to 1992 and once the series ended, both disappeared from the acting world. Lex Lugor had a guest role as the New Superboy and in 2007 he suffered a spinal stroke that paralyzed him. He has recovered but ended up losing over 100 pounds as a result of the medical condition.
• Lane Smith, who played Perry White in Lois & Cark: The New Adventures of Superman, was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease in April 2005 and died in June 2005.
Now, these are most likely all coincidences and it is hard to say there is a curse when people associated with Superman only seem to have problems a decade or so after they have finished work in a Superman project, but who knows because there are some who believe the Superman Curse is real.
Needless to say, Superman has plenty of fans across the planet but some Superman fans may surprise you!
• Both Jon Bon Jovi and Shaquille O’Neal are big Superman fans and both feature a tattoo of the Superman Crest (seen on Superman’s chest).
• Jerry Seinfeld was such a big fan of Superman that in every episode of Seinfeld, you can find an image or figurine of Superman somewhere. In fact, Seinfeld’s TV character even uses “Kal-El” as his PIN. After Seinfeld, Jerry Seinfeld appeared in a series of American Express commercials with an animated Superman.
• In Fullerton, California, there is a street that shares the same name as Superman’s love; Lois Lane.
• Nicolas Cage is one of the biggest Superman fans in the world and he even named his son Kal-El. In addition, it was rumored that Nicolas Cage would play Superman in a Batman/Superman cross movie but this never came to fruition.