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George Reeves (born George Keefer Brewer, January 5, 1914 – June 16, 1959) was an American actor best known for his role as Superman in the 1950s television program Adventures of Superman.
His death at age 45 from a gunshot remains a polarizing issue, the official finding was suicide, but some believe he was murdered or the victim of an accidental shooting.
In contemporary news articles, Lemmon attributed Reeves's alleged suicide to depression caused by his "failed career" and inability to find more work. The report made by the Los Angeles Police states, "[Reeves was]... depressed because he couldn't get the sort of parts he wanted." Newspapers and wire-service reports possibly misquoted LAPD Sergeant V.A. Peterson as saying: "Miss Lemmon blurted, 'He's probably going to go shoot himself.' A noise was heard upstairs. She continued, 'He's opening a drawer to get the gun.' A shot was heard. 'See there—I told you so!'" However, this statement may have been embellished by journalists. Lemmon and her friends were downstairs at the time the shot was fired, with music playing downstairs. It would have been nearly impossible to hear a drawer opening in the upstairs bedroom through the music. Lemmon later claimed that she had never said anything so specific but rather had made an offhand remark along the lines of "Oh, he'll probably go shoot himself now."
While the official story given by Lemmon to the police placed her in the living room with party guests at the time of the shooting, statements from Fred Crane, who was Reeves's friend and colleague from "Gone With The Wind," put Leonore Lemmon either inside or in direct proximity to Reeves's bedroom—minimally as a witness to the shooting.According to Crane, Bill Bliss had told Millicent Trent that after the shot rang out and while Bliss was having a drink, Leonore Lemmon came downstairs and said, “Tell them I was down here, tell them I was down here!” In an interview with Carl Glass, Crane expanded on this: "It needed to be said and that is the way I heard it from Millie as it was told to her by Bill Bliss. Janet Bliss and Millie were very close friends. I met Millie at Bill and Janet’s house up in Benedict Canyon on Easton Drive. We lived on the same street."
Dubious witness statements and the examination of the crime scene by the Los Angeles Police led to the official inquiry conclusion that Reeves's death was a suicide.Reeves' will, dated 1956, bequeathed his entire estate to Toni Mannix, much to Lemmon's surprise and devastation. Her statement to the press read, "Toni got a house for charity, and I got a broken heart," referring to the Myasthenia Gravis Foundation.
Reeves is interred at Mountain View Cemetery and Mausoleum in Altadena, California. In 1985, he was posthumously named one of the honorees by DC Comics in the company's 50th anniversary publication.