George Reeves

  1. George Tobias, Torrid Zone, 1939.       Prepping the fourth of  five James Cagney movies, director William Keighley tested Reeves, Joseph  Calleia, Alan Hale and Victor Varconi for Rosario.  But it was Tobias who said:. “Senor Butler, I congratulate myself on your bad shooting.”
  2. Dennis O’Keefe, The Fighting Seabees, 1943.    Instead of joining John Wayne in the titular US Navy’s Construction Battalions division, Reeves was drafted into the US Army – for real. He was known to the troops. He was the sergeant  in Sex Hygiene, a1942 anti-VD propaganda for GIs, directed by… John Ford
  3. Victor Mature, Samson and Delilah, 1948.      Mature won CB DeMille’s long-haired Samson from Reeves (aka Superman), Burt Lancaster (suffering back problems at the time), Henry Wilcoxon (Mark Antony in CB’s 1934 Cleopatra) and even Dr Billy Graham, the newest evangelist on the Bible thumping stage at age 30.
  4. Edward Platt, Rebel Without a Cause, 1955.     For Ray Fremick, the sympathetic juvenile division counselor, director Nicholas Ray had the choice of Richard Crane (not with his Rocky Jones, Space Ranger image!), Peter Grey, Walter Reed, James Whitmore. Even Super Reeves (he had co-starred with Reed in Superman and the Mole Men in 1951). Fremick was named after Old Nick (!), hardly the juvenile counselor type as he was known to testing potential Judies… from Jayne Mansfield to under-age Natalie Wood.  In bed!   Reeves was found shot dead, naked and bruised in his home on June 16, 1959. Suicide or murder – connected to an affair with an MGM exec’s wife? The case was filmed… but never solved.

 Birth year: 1914Death year: 1959Other name: Casting Calls:  4