The only thing more exciting than seeing your favorite superhero on a page is seeing them in real life. Of course that could never happen, but the next closest thing would be to see them acted out in movies and television. Superman, arguably the most popular superhero on the planet , has been on the big screen since the 1940s. A series of animated shorts often called the Fleischer Superman cartoons existed on Super 8mm film for home entertainment use. But it wasn’t until 1948 would we see Kirk Alyn as the first Superman actor.
Kirk Alyn was the first Superman actor and starred in a series of movies called serials. Just like how shows would be on television once a week to make you wait until the next episode, movie serials were the same way. It’s not hard to find his work in DVD thanks to the magic of preservation. Now we get to see old, outdated black-and-white movies that most of us couldn’t care less about. That being said, it’s an interesting view of history as you may imagine having to sit in a theater just to see the next episode. These days you can binge-watch an entire series on your smart-phone in the comfort of your own home.
People often talk about a Superman curse but it certainly didn’t apply to Kirk Alyn. Even though he was the first Superman actor he actually lived a long life and died from Alzheimer’s disease when he was 88. So I don’t know what people are talking about. Many think that the first Superman actor was Christopher Reeve but really he was the first actor to play the character in a color film. If you are interested in Kirl Alyn’s life he wrote an autobiography called A Job for Superman. I’m not sure how widely this book was distributed because it seems to be pretty rare. A lot of copies floating around are also signed, implying many of the sales were due to book signing events.
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