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George Reeves, "Superman", grave - ashes, Mountain View Cemetery, Altadena, California, photo

George Reeves, "Superman", grave - ashes, Mountain View Cemetery, Altadena, California, photo

The burial site of the remains of George Bessolo Reeves, best known for his role as "Superman" in the television series, The Adventures of Superman. Reeves was born as George Keefer Brewer on January 6, 1914 in the small town of Woolstock, Iowa, the son of Don Brewer and Helen Lescher. Helen Lescher later married Frank Bessolo and he adopted her son who then became known as George Bessolo. After beginning his acting career, his stage name became George Reeves.

His first professional acting role was as Stuart Tarleton (with red hair), one of the young men in pursuit of Scarlett O'Hara in the opening scenes of the 1939 movie, Gone With The Wind. Over the next decade, Reeves appeared in a number of mostly low budget films and with little recognition. In 1951, he was offered the role of Superman in the film, Superman and The Mole Men to be followed by the television series, The Adventures of Superman. It was a role that he nearly turned down since his primary desire was to pursue a film career rather than in a television series. In 1951, television was still relatively new and many homes did not yet have a television set thus it seemed at the time that a television series would be a limited career.

To the surprise of Reeves, The Adventures of Superman became a major hit with early day television viewers and he gathered a much larger group of fans than he had with his film career. Reeves quickly noticed that children were a large part of his fan base he attempted to carry the clean cut appearance and behavior of Superman over into his public life.

The original episodes of The Adventures of Superman were broadcast during six seasons, from 1951 to 1958 with a total of 104 episodes. During this time, Reeves also made an appearance as the Superman character on an 1957 episode of I Love Lucy titled "Lucy and Superman". Plans were made for the Superman series to continue into a seventh season in 1959 and Reeves had signed his contract to continue as Superman in the series.

On June 16, 1959, George Reeves died at his home in Los Angeles of a single gunshot to the head which was officially ruled as a suicide. He was 45 years old. The death of Reeves has been the subject of much controversy as some have argued that it was either an accident or was a murder rather a suicide. His remains were cremated and his ashes are held within a glassed in niche in the Pasadena Mausoleum in the Mountain View Cemetery in Altadena, California. Within this same niche are two book shaped urns of ashes. On the left is that of Virginia D. McKenzie which is a great aunt of George Reeves. On the right is the urn of Helen L. Bessolo, the mother of Reeves.

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