Gay Playwright & Actor Jack Larson, Best Known As Superman’s Jimmy Olsen, Dies At 87 [VIDEO]

From the Hollywood Reporter:

Jack Larson, forever typecast as the overeager cub reporter Jimmy Olsen on the 1950s television series Adventures of Superman, has died. He was 87. Larson, who later produced several films written and/or directed by his longtime companion, the late Oscar nominee James Bridges, died Sunday at his home in Brentwood, The New York Times reported. Further details of his death were not immediately available. In 1951, Larson signed up to play the hapless Olsen for $250 an episode on Adventures of Superman, the first TV show to feature the Man of Steel from the comics. At the time, he wanted to go to New York to tackle Broadway and didn’t think the series — then one of the few to be filmed, not done live — would amount to anything.

Larson and Bridges met when they were supporting players in the cast of Johnny Trouble (1957), starring Ethel Barrymore in her final film. They later formed a production company, and Larson produced such Bridges films as The Baby Maker (1970), Mike’s Murder (1984), Perfect (1985) and Bright Lights, Big City (1988). Bridges died of cancer in June 1993 at age 57. Larson, who also was close with actor Montgomery Clift until his death in 1966, shared a historical Frank Lloyd Wright-designed home on a Brentwood hillside with Bridges for years. “It was obvious to anyone that since we lived together we were partners,” Larson told the Los Angeles Times in 2011. “We always went places together. We never pretended. I always did what I felt like doing. I never did publicity when I was very popular as Jimmy. The question [about being gay] never came up.”


  • RIP Jack Larson.
    Thanks, Joe.

  • Jan Wesselius

    RIP Jimmy Olson. You entertained us and brought enjoyment into our lives..

  • rednekokie

    Ahhh — such good memories!!!

  • CB

    He was my era’s Jimmy Olsen…RIP

    • Steve Teeter

      Whoa! Where’d you get THAT picture?

  • justmeeeee

    Jimmy was so much hotter than Clark.

  • Rocco Gibraltar

    Great Caesar’s ghost! Jack will be missed, true gentleman.

    I watched the series in reruns and always had a crush on Jimmy Olsen. He was cute and kind and funny while always smiling. Give me a man like that over any preening, vain sarcastic gym queen.

    • David Walker

      I always liked Jack/Jimmy. Jimmy always made mistakes and screwed up but was always helped and sometimes even made things right, in a mere mortals way. His crush on Clark Kent felt familiar and somehow good (my age was still in the single digits for the first run). I also liked the way Jack portrayed him. He gave the impression of being a good and kind person. As the article said, he never did any publicity, so I couldn’t buy any fan magazines to read whilst in the bathroom.

    • sherman

      I watched it first run, but feel the same way about him. RIP

    • Swell memories

      Although I didn’t quite know what those feelings were, Jimmy was my first crush, absolutely. “It’s a bird, it’s a plane,” and the start of my gay inklings. What a good soul he was. Thanks for your sweet self, Jack.

    • *TeaCup*

      he was a cutie, i hope he had found someone to treat him right while he was here on this earth, may he rest in peace.

  • Lakeviewbob

    He was such a cutie.

  • Reality.Bites

    Longtime companion? What fucking century is the Hollywood Reporter trapped in and can someone please send a rescue team?

    • Scott Alger-Hortelano

      When Larson and Bridges started living together it was the mid 20th century, when being gay for most of it was more or less illegal and a mental illness. Bridges died in 1993, long before the acceptance of marriage equality in California, so “long term companion” would be an appropriate term.

    • LonelyLiberal

      That may have been what the family, or Larson himself, requested.

    • Chris

      NPR ran an entire story on him tonight, didn’t bother to mention that his partner in life was a man. Saying that he had a ‘longtime companion’ is a step up from that.

  • Orion Dumptee

    Sad for sure…Like alot of us,grew up watching this in the 50s…and 64 years later, Jack ,and the cast still come into our living room,saturdays 6-7 (double)

  • TexasBoy

    As overall hokey as the 1950s series was, his portrayal of Jimmy Olsen was one of the best portrayals of the character so far. Thanks for the wonderful childhood memories, rest peacefully, Jack Larson.

  • NMNative

    As a young gay boy I had a crush on Jimmy. As an old gay man, I will miss him. Thanks Jack.

    • jomicur

      Same here. While all the other kids in the neighborhood were idolizing George Reeves/Superman, my heart belonged to Jack/Jimmy.

  • Queequeg

    They still use the phrase “longtime companion”. I haven’t heard that since the 70’s.

    • bcarter3

      Guess you missed hearing about a 1989 movie by that name.

      • Queequeg

        I’ve heard of the movie, but I thought the title was meant to be ironic

  • Sean Taylor

    Yes, Jimmy was way cuter than clark. I always thought he had a crush on Clark though, which made me like him all the more.
    I noticed the phrase “Longtime Companion” was used. It is a dated phrase, but considering Larson’s age and the era in which he grew up, I thought it respectful.

    • You are the first person I know who agrees with me about Jimmy having a crush on Superman. Maybe in real life he found Superman hot and it came thru to those who are built to receive those messages?

      • Octavio

        I was of the same opinion back in 1952. It was a favorite imaginary theme of my early forays into perfecting my masturbation techniques. 🙂

  • I knew absolutely nothing about him, other than seeing him in reruns in the 70s. He actually had a pretty interesting, and from the sounds of it, a good life. Lord knows I’d love to live in a Frank Lloyd Wright house! RIP.

  • sword

    I enjoyed seeing him as the bartender in ‘Superman Returns’.

  • chasmader

    I met him once at a dinner party. Very nice guy. RIP.

  • jomicur

    Jack Larson was one of my first childhood crushes. I always figured he couldn’t really be as dumb as Jimmy Olsen. And even though Jimmy always dressed in those hideous 50s baggy pants, now and then it was possible to catch a glimpse of the outlines of his backside, and it was a thing of beauty that set this little boy’s gaydar off long before I ever knew what gaydar is. And on the rare occasions when he took his shirt off…wow! Thanks for the memories, Mr. Larson!

  • Albert Ross

    He was also friends with Andy Warhol.

  • Octavio

    Well, there goes another one of my childhood sex fantasies. I used to whack off to visions of me in a three-way with Jimmy and Clark Kent. Not Jimmy and Superman, but Jimmy and Clark Kent. If I were to make one improvement to El Squeeze it would be to make him wear glasses. Unfortunately, he has perfect vision.

    RIP, Jimmy (Larson).

  • Baron Ochs

    I still watch those reruns, and let’s just say that Jimmy is a “favorite”. yumm

  • JCF

    Just heard NPR’s obit. I’m getting really tired of the lamestream media’s NOT acknowleging eldergays AS gay (see re recent obits of Oliver Sacks). Feeds into the (bigoted) narrative that being openly gay is something “new”. >:-/

    RIP, Jack.

  • Chris

    I listened to a story on NPR about this man’s death this evening. Never once did they mention his life partner or made reference to his being gay.