Monday, September 21, 2015

Jack Larson R.I.P.

The actor who single handed elevated "Jimmy Olsen" from cameo status to featured co-star in the Superman mythos, Jack Larson has died at the age of eighty seven. Never has a performer so lightly and expertly escaped the bounds of typecasting as Jack Larson who effortlessly segued into writing producing and directing in the theater after his seven year stint as "Superman's Pal". Larson piled up enough accomplishments in other areas of show biz that he was always able to bear the burden of "Olsenishness" very lightly, he didn't need to sell his autograph to survive he could play paterfamilias to the Superman fanbase sans worry or woe. Along the way to "Grand old Man of DC Comics", Larson did something pretty amazing his goofy trouble-prone characterization of Jimmy Olsen was deemed so central to the TV show's popularity that he inspired a comic book "Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen" which had an impressive nineteen year run on the spinner racks. And I swear, Jack Larson that out and proud playwright lived a good long life in part so he could remind people that scandal, a tangled personal life & mysterious death aside, George Reeves was still a very nice man and a princely castmate. Or as he once told a rapt audience at the Brattle Theatre (on the occasion of Superman's 60th anniversary) "Jimmy Olsen has been good to me, so I am going to be good to Jimmy Olsen".