Monday, September 21, 2015

Jack Larson, TV's Jimmy Olsen, Merges With The Infinite

The Signal Watch is deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Jack Larson, who played Jimmy Olsen on the 1950's television series, The Adventures of Superman (1952-1958).

Over six seasons, Jack played the young Daily Planet reporter, leading to such a spike in Olsen's popularity that the character spun out of second-banana obscurity and landed his own comic book, Superman's Pal, Jimmy Olsen, that ran from 1954-1974.

I didn't really catch the TV series until it made its DVD debut around 2005, but I've seen all 6 seasons, and Larson is terrific.  His Jimmy isn't quite the same occasionally smug fellow from the comics, but instead is a sweet kid, often naive, and always looking for that next big scoop.  He really comes off as the little brother character in the scenario with the "Superman Family" of Perry White, Lois and Clark (and, occasionally, Inspector Henderson).

Keeping in line of the Superman media tradition of recasting characters from prior incarnations of Superman, Larson also appears as Bibbo the Barkeep in the 2006 film Superman Returns.

He also became a successful playwright and remained active in theatre for years.

I had really hoped to one day meet Larson, but it seems that ship has sailed, at least in this dimension.

We're going to miss you, Jack.  You were one of the good ones.

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