Jack Larson, an entertainer best known for playing Jimmy Olsen in the 1950s series "The Adventures of Superman," died at his home in Los Angeles' Brentwood neighborhood at 87 on Sunday.
Larson became forever tied to the classic superhero series role that he reluctantly took in 1952 because he was afraid of being typecast, according to Deadline.com
. "The Adventures of Superman" ran from 1952 to 1958 in syndication.
Larson was paid $250 per episode, but his real goal was the make it to Broadway, said The Hollywood Reporter.
"The casting man and my agent talked to me very seriously about doing this," Larson said in an interview with the Archives of American Television in 2003. "They said, 'Look, you’re a very mixed-up kid, do this. It's 26 shows, it's a season's work, and you'll have enough money to go to New York. It's probably like doing a Saturday morning serial. No one will ever see it. Take the money and run.'"
The show, though, became a huge hit and Larson's Jimmy Olsen character became synonymous with the show.
"My life had turned upside down, and this was not a good experience," Larson said at one time, adding that he declined to do publicity for the series. "I wouldn’t do a magazine interview, I wouldn't do anything, because I thought everything I do as Jimmy Olsen publicity is just a further nail in my coffin as an actor."
Larson's association with the show made it difficult to get other acting jobs afterwards, said Deadline.com, but he went on to earn success as a playwright and producer. His plays included "The Candied House" in 1966, "Chuck" in 1968 and "The Astronaut's Tale" in 1998.
He was the partner of Oscar-nominated writer James Bridges, best known for "The China Syndrome" in 1979 and "Urban Cowboy" in 1980, who died in 1993, noted THR. Larson produced several of Bridges' movies, including "The Baby Maker" in 1970 and "Bright Lights, Big City," in 1988.
"It was obvious to anyone that since we lived together we were partners," Larson said to the Los Angeles Times
in 2011. "We always went places together. We never pretended. I always did what I felt like doing."
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