We can only cross our fingers and hope for the best when Brandon Routh, Smallville’s first gay Clark Kent, dons the red, yellow, and blue of Superman. The star of this summer’s much-anticipated Superman Returns as good as signed his death warrant when he inked on to the Bryan Singer project. Here’s the macabre history of the Curse of the Man of Steel (we should probably quickly write that treatment) :
• Christopher Reeve, the movies’ first modern Superman, in 1978, was paralyzed in an equestrian accident in 1995 and died in 2004 at 52. Wife Dana died last week at 44.
• Reeve’s Lois Lane in all four Superman movies, Margot Kidder, stopped working when a car crash in 1990 left her bankrupt. Later she became non compos mentis, couldn’t get hired, and broke her hip in 2002.
• Richard Pryor, who played Gus Gorman in 1983’s Superman III, was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis three years later, and died last December.
• George Reeves played Superman on the crazy-popular 1950s TV series, The Adventures of Superman. In 1959, he was found dead in his bedroom with a bullet in his head.
• The fate of Kirk Alyn, Superman in the 1940s, was more somewhat sour-grapier than it was fatal. He blamed the role for ruining his life and preventing him from ever working again. He kept waiting for that “one good picture.” He died in 1999 of unspecified causes.
(Photos from top: Routh, Reeve, Kidder with Reeve, Pryor with Reeve, Reeves, Alyn)