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How Playing Superman Became A Cursed Role

Superman may be the most well-known superhero of all time, but taking on the role of the superhero has almost become a curse. Those connected to the superhero, including both performers and crew, have been plagued by the “Superman curse.”

It’s amazing that people continue to audition for the role given this long list of misfortune, catastrophe, and even death.

The Curse Started With The Creators

It appears that the “Superman curse” struck its inventors, making them the first victims. Superman was conceived by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, who then sold the rights to DC Comics for a pitiful sum. They only made $130.

After reaching their lowest point, Siegel and Shuster battled for several years for their livelihoods. Shuster had lost his vision by the 1970s, and Siegel had grown resentful of the media as a whole. In 1975, Siegel said, “I can’t stand to look at a Superman comic book. It makes me physically ill. I love Superman, and yet to me, he has become an alien thing.”

To reclaim the rights to their creation, the two partners started a campaign. Warner Bros. eventually relented and restored their byline. The men eventually received payment in the form of a lifetime salary of $20,000 each.

Photo: IMDb

George Reeves’ Death & The Tragic Horseback Incident

Although Reeves hadn’t yet taken on the role of Superman, spectators couldn’t help but see the actor as the hero with the red cape. He apparently fell into a deep depression as a result, since his acting career eventually came to an end.

At one time, he even thought about becoming a wrestler. Reeves was later discovered dead in his room on June 6, 1959, during a party he was having at his house. Although it was officially determined to be a suicide, many people disagreed and thought he had been killed.

Christopher Reeve, the titular character in the film Superman and its first three sequels, had a horseback riding accident in 1995, which rendered him disabled. He was competing in a cross-country riding competition when he was knocked off his horse. He was left unable to walk ever again and suffered paralysis from the neck down as a result.

Amazingly, he kept his composure and carried on with his actions. He took medications to treat an infection he had nearly ten years earlier. The issue was that the medications he was taking had an adverse effect on his body. On October 10, 2004, he suffered an untimely heart attack and passed away at age 52.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Margot Kidder

The Lois Lane character played by Margot Kidder in the 1978–1987 Superman television series is well-known. The fact that Kidder is linked to the curse proves that not just the man in the cape experienced poor luck.

After Superman, Kidder’s career also encountered some difficulties. Her role was diminished in the following chapters as a result of her conflict with the director. Additionally, she was typecast and could only earn damsel in distress jobs. She was in a terrible vehicle accident in 1990 that left her with serious wounds and temporary paralysis.

Richard Pryor

The curse had an impact on comedian Richard Pryor, who played Gus Gorman in Superman III in 1983. When Pryor agreed to take the part, he was already a well-known comic who had a history of substance problems.

The movie did poorly at the box office and garnered terrible reviews. Pryor’s performance drew a lot of criticism. Some fans think Pryor also fell victim to the “Superman curse.” The actor and comedian revealed his multiple sclerosis diagnosis in 1986. Sadly, his illustrious career was over. He struggled with the illness for many years until passing away in 2005 at the age of 65.