Saturday, October 3, 2015

R.I.P. Jack Larson.

We sadly note the passing of actor Jack Larson, on September 20, 2015, at the age of 87.

Larson was, and will always be, best known for the role of cub reporter Jimmy Olsen, on the ultra-classic 1950s TV series THE ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN

As “Superman’s Pal”, Larson was perfect in the role of Olsen, exhibiting both a fine comedic talent and a great chemistry with his co-stars George Reeves (Superman / Clark Kent), Phyllis Coates and later Noel Neill (Lois Lane) and especially John Hamilton as the gruff Daily Planet Editor-in-Chief Perry White. 

Admit it… Right now, you can hear Jack Larson’s Jimmy Olsen saying “Jeepers, Mister Kent!”, or calling Perry White “Chief” – to which John Hamilton would classically respond: “Don’t call me Chief!” 

So, popular was Jack Larson’s portrayal of Jimmy Olsen that DC Comics began to publish THIS COMIC BOOK TITLE, starting in 1954 and running until 1974!

First Issue: 1954.

Final Issue: 1974.

In between, there were stops like THESE...

And, as legend goes, this would never have happened if not for the life Jack Larson breathed into the character of Jimmy Olsen!  

I didn’t  see it, but the older Jack Larson is said to have played an older version of Olsen on LOIS AND CLARK, THE NEW ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN, and don’t think I didn’t jump out of my seat with joy upon seeing Larson’s cameo in the 2006 feature film “Superman Returns”. 

Jack Larson, in more modern times, can be seen throughout the Special Features of the various DVD sets of THE ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN, from Warner Home Entertainment.  

It just seemed so great to have a living connection to THE ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN still with us, and so enthusiastic!     

The 2006 DVD feature "Superman's Pal: Jimmy Olsen - Jack Larson Celebrates his Series Character", from "THE ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN the Complete Fifth and Sixth Seasons" is a particular delight, and a virtual Larson / Olsen retrospective, in which Noel Neill also appears!

Jack Larson on ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN DVD Special Features.   

Most comic book readers may know Jimmy Olsen like this…

Some modern ones may know him as this…

But, classic television fans best know him as this!  

Rest in Peace, Jack Larson, and thank you for everything!  


Deb said...

Jeepers! That's a sad headline for the Daily Planet. While I am not a big superhero fan, I did enjoy The Adventures of Superman TV series (and the even earlier radio show and Max Fleischer cartoons) quite a bit. Watching Jack Larson's Jimmy Olsen is a good deal of the fun of the TV series.

Joe Torcivia said...


That cast, for that show, for that particular time… was PERFECT!

And Jack Larson, as Jimmy Olsen, was a very large part of the reason why!

As I write this, I can’t help but wonder if Jimmy Olsen’s “Jeepers!” didn’t help inspire Velma’s (from Scooby-Doo) “Jinkies!”

TC said...

He should have won an Emmy award just for being likable and believable while delivering lines that mainly consisted of ""Gosh," "Golly," and "Jeepers!"

Joe Torcivia said...

That was indeed part of his charm, TC! …And probably a LOT harder to pull off then it would seem!