Question: Please settle this. My girl says movie Superman Christopher Reeve is related to George Reeves, who played him in the old TV show. I say she's wrong. Also, did George Reeves really die by doing drugs and then jumping out a window to prove he could fly? Thank you. Rick
Televisionary: First things first, Rick you're right on this one. George Reeves is no relation to Christopher Reeve, or even, as many mistakenly assume, to former Mr. Universe Steve (Hercules) Reeves. In fact, Reeves was his stage name. He was born George Brewer, later took the name Bessolo (his adoptive father's name), then used Reeves for professional purposes.
As for your second question, that was a rumor floating about when I was a kid, too. The truth is, sadly, that Reeves died of a gunshot wound to the head in 1959 an incident that remains clouded in questions. The leading theory is that the actor, who'd for years struggled to find roles after being typecast as the man of steel, took his own life. But there are many who believe he was murdered following a night of reveling, either due to a gangland-related grudge (he was said to have carried on a long affair with the wife of a studio figure with mob connections) or in a lover's spat with his fiancée.
Suicide is the prevailing explanation, even though many who knew the actor at the time insisted he was happier than he'd been in years, with an upcoming marriage and the possibility of more Superman episodes in the works. Many who dug into the details the death was once featured on Unsolved Mysteries bring up some intriguing questions. Apparently, there were red flags raised by the positioning of the body, the gun, the shell casings and some additional bulletholes discovered in the room. In addition, the lack of powder burns on Reeves's head suggested the gun was fired from a distance.
Whatever the real story is, it may never be revealed. According to many reports, Reeves often hung out with a hard-partying crew and was said to enjoy a good time himself. Needless to say, those situations don't usually make for total recall.
A sad death all the same, though.