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Superman Curse: Does it Hold Any Truth?

Ashmeet Bagga Mar 3, 2020
Stories always enthrall us, don't they? And especially if they are about any famous movie or celebrity, we all like the drama and the way the story has been exaggerated and projected to the public. This story throws light on the famous Superman curse and tries to shed light on whether it is real or just a superstition.

A Lesser-Known Truth

Actor Ashton Kutcher turned down the role of Superman, stating that his life was too good to risk inviting the curse.
In this modern age, how do you expect a rational human being to believe in a curse? Sounds ridiculous right? But as we all know the saying, "Old habits die hard" sometimes we are tempted to believe in the supernatural. There are many stories which give us a true account of curses which took place in history―some true and others fake.
History is full of curses, some even dating back to Biblical times, they are generally attributed to sheer bad luck or one's destiny, leading to an interesting read. Hollywood too has not escaped the wrath of a curse, and there are many instances of accidents and deaths being attributed to curses.
One name that seems to crop up at the mention of movies and curses is Superman. According to the grapevine, tragedy befalls all those associated with the movie. Actors and actresses who have starred in this movie are known to have met with a tragic end. In fact, a documentary was also made on this famous curse, which was released in 2006.

The Curse: What is it?

It refers to a superstition that is based on a series of misfortunes that befell many creative people involved in the adaptations of Superman. The actors involved were the major targets, even individuals who were in someway related to the making of the movie or those who played Superman on television.
For some it is just a curse, for others mere bad luck. But one thing is certain that many actors have turned down the role of Superman after actually hearing about the curse.

How Did the Superman Curse Start?

It all began with Siegel and Shuster, creators of Superman, who sold all the character rights to National Periodic Publications, also known as DC comics, and they even got a contract to produce regular stories. As the story goes, DC comics was making a fortune, while paying a pittance to them.
DC comics continued to earn millions after they quit, failing to pay any royalties to Siegel and Shuster, which obviously pissed them off. They ended up filing a lawsuit against the company. Rumor has it that this incident was the cause of a curse befalling the character.
However, sources claim, in the course of time, they were awarded an annual pension, and their names were reinstated as creators on all Superman stories. So this should have stopped the curse right?

Supposed Victims of the Superman Curse

George Reeves

He played Superman in the 1951 film― Superman and the Mole Men―and the television series― Adventures of Superman. Like others on this list, he also couldn't bag any other role, and on June 16th, 1959, he was found dead of a gunshot wound at his home.
It was suspected to be a suicide, but there was controversy surrounding his death as his fingerprints were not found on the gun. It was due to his death that the urban legend of a curse associated with the character started.

Bud Collyer

Bud was the first guy to lend his voice to the animated version of Superman from 1941-1943. He was an American radio actor/announcer, and became one of the nation's first major television game show stars. He was a brilliant host of the game show―To Tell the Truth.
In the year 1966, he returned to Superman by lending his voice for The New Adventures of Superman. In the year 1969, he died of a circulatory ailment at the age of 61.

Kirk Alyn

Apparently, he was the first person to be affected by the so-called curse, he played Superman in the 1940s low-budget serials. But he failed to find any work after that, directors claimed that he was too closely identified with the Superman role. However, he did some voice-overs, commercials, and uncredited roles.
Much later in his career, he appeared as Superman's father in the 1978 movie. He eventually retired from acting and shifted to Arizona, Alyn suffered from Alzheimer's disease in the latter stages of his life, and passed away in 1999, at the age of 88.

Lee Quigley

Just a passing reference to this actor as he was only seven months old when he played the infant Superman in the 1978 movie adaptation. He died in 1991, when he was just 14, because of solvent abuse.

Christopher Reeve

He played Superman in the Superman film series― Superman:The Movie (1978), Superman 2 (1980), Superman 3 (1983), and Superman 4: The Quest for Peace (1987). He was so closely associated with the role, that he had to struggle getting other roles, and would end up playing supporting roles or Superman sequels.
On May 27, 1995, he was thrown off from his horse, which left him paralyzed from the neck down for the rest of his life. He died in October 2004 due to heart failure.
The belief of the curse having affected the lives of some individuals has taken such deep roots in the minds of people and is yet to be erased. However, the reality that Dean Cain and Henry Cavill, both associated with the same character, have had successful careers, has still failed to open the eyes of the world.
A string of coincidences only gave growth to some interesting stories which cannot establish the whole truth of this curse. To each his own is the final conclusion as perceptions differ in this big, wide world.