Question: I saw in the Aug. 29 issue of TV Guide that Dean Cain and Teri Hatcher of Lois & Clark both have new series starting up this fall after long absences from episodic TV. I remember hearing about a supposed "Superman curse" that has affected numerous people involved in various Superman-related TV and movie projects over the years. We know about Christopher Reeve's accident and paralysis, of course, but what else has been attributed to this "curse"? Maybe this is more of a FlickChick question. If so, I apologize. — Emily, Carlisle, Pa.

Televisionary: Well, it covers territory for both of us, Emily, so I'll tackle it (and no apology needed).

On the big screen: In addition to Reeve, Richard Pryor (Superman III) suffers from multiple sclerosis and Margot Kidder (Superman) has battled mental illness.

On TV: George Reeves, who played the Man of Steel on the series, was found shot to death in 1959, and though it was said to be a suicide, the case has never really been put to rest. (For more on that, see my Oct. 10, 2000, answer.)

Add to that the number of lesser-known talents from serial and animated versions who've had their lives or careers cut short and you've got yourself a recipe for a "curse" story. Me, I'm not all that superstitious, but I won't be donning a cape on screen anytime soon just the same. (Not that nobody's asking, mind you, but still....)