Jack Larson (left) as “Jimmy Olsen” and George Reeves (r)| CNN | 15364
Gay Actor Jack Larson has died, age 87. Mr Larson became well known for playing Jimmy Olsen of “Superman” on American television in the 1950s. The Washington Post describes him as a gifted writer and gay man whose talents and personal struggles were overshadowed by his role as Superman’s flunky, “Jimmy Olsen”, which he commenced in 1951 age 18.
“I didn’t want to do it,” Larson said, ”but my agent said, ‘Look, you want to get to New York. You don’t have any money. Nobody will ever see this show so take the money and run.”’
Larson did. For $350 an episode, he completed the show and went to the Big Apple. And he was living there when the show he had dismissed became one of the most iconic in TV history — even though it was pretty bad. … “To me, it was a nightmare,” he said in 2006. “Everywhere I went, it was, ‘Jimmy! Jimmy! Hey, Jimmy, where’s Superman?’ Suddenly, I couldn’t take the bus or the subway anymore. It absolutely freaked me out.”
While in Hollywood, he became involved with screen legend Montgomery Clift, and met his future longtime companion, director James Bridges.
In the end, though, the Superman role became something he began to enjoy, and it made him famous.
“Everywhere I go, I get the warmest feelings from people about Jimmy,” he said. “They love him, and I grew to feel that I could never have done anything more special than be Jimmy Olsen.”
Jack Larson was born on February 8, 1928 and died on September 20, 2015. Gay History sends condolences to family, friends and colleagues.