Jack Larson


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

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About
About this interview

In his one-hour Archive interview focusing on his television work, actor Jack Larson speaks in great detail about the role for which he is most associated, that of Daily Planet cub reporter "Jimmy Olsen" in the 1950s television series Adventures of Superman. He discusses the ways he played the character, the kinds of comedy and stunts he did for the series, the one-take filming schedule, and his work with the regular cast and guest stars. He also discusses the popularity of "Superman" and why he thinks it has become a franchise phenomenon. Larson speaks candidly about the difficulties he had coping with instant celebrity and his struggles later on when he found that he was typecast. "I wouldn't do a magazine interview, I wouldn't do anything because I thought everything I do as 'Jimmy Olsen' publicity in this is just a further nail in my coffin as an actor, Jack Larson," he says. Additionally, he talks about his earlier career, screen testing for the feature film "Fighter Squadron" and landing a contract with Warner Brothers, as well as his work in "live" television in New York. Finally, Larson talks about his guest appearances in recent years on such series as Lois & Clark — The New Adventures of Superman. Karen Herman conducted the interview in Los Angeles, CA on August 17, 2003.

"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." 

Highlights
Jack Larson on being cast as Jimmy Olsen on Adventures of Superman
02:19
Jack Larson on his advice to aspiring actors
03:53
Jack Larson on why the Superman character has remained popular
02:33
Jack Larson on his instant celebrity after Adventures of Superman aired
02:30
Full Interview

Chapter 1

On his childhood and growing up in Los Angeles
On his childhood bowling ability and his first appearance bowling in an MGM short, which kindled his interest in theatre
On his first work in theatre and some of his early roles in film and television
On being offered the part of Jimmy Olsen on Adventures of Superman  -- thinking it would never go on the air
On being on live television
On the success of Adventures of Superman and his instant rise to celebrity and how he felt typecast in the role

Chapter 2

On playing "Jimmy Olsen" on Adventures of Superman
On working with George Reeves, Noel Neill and John Hamilton on Adventures of Superman
On Adventures of Superman producers, his favorite episode, and turning down an offer to continue "Jimmy Olsen" after George Reeves' death
On his film and stagework after Adventures of Superman and his return to television in later Superman series
On why the Superman character has remained popular
On his advice to aspiring actors
Shows

Adventures of Superman

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Jack Larson on being cast as Jimmy Olsen on Adventures of Superman
02:19
Jack Larson on the instant popularity of Jimmy Olsen and being typecast as an actor
06:05
Jack Larson on working on Adventures of Superman, where he played "Jimmy Olsen"
15:14

Gomer Pyle - USMC

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Jack Larson on turning down a regular role on Gomer Pyle
01:05

Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman

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Jack Larson on appearing as an aged "Jimmy Olsen" on the 1996 Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman  episode, "Brutal Youth" 
01:15
Topics

Characters & Catchphrases

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Jack Larson on the instant popularity of "Jimmy Olsen" and being typecast as an actor
02:30
Jack Larson on why the Superman character has remained popular
02:33

Fame & Celebrity

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Jack Larson on the instant popularity of "Jimmy Olsen" and being typecast as an actor
02:30

Pop Culture

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Jack Larson on the instant popularity of "Jimmy Olsen" and being typecast as an actor
02:30

TV's Golden Age (1940s & '50s)

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Jack Larson on working on a live drama, where line cuts were made hours before airtime
03:19

Television Industry

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Jack Larson on the instant popularity of "Jimmy Olsen" and being typecast as an actor
02:30
Professions

Actor

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Jack Larson on the instant popularity of "Jimmy Olsen" and being typecast as an actor
02:30
Jack Larson on his advice to aspiring actors
03:56
Genres

Sci-Fi/Supernatural Series

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Jack Larson on why the Superman character has remained popular
02:33
People

John Hamilton

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Jack Larson on working with John Hamilton on Adventures of Superman
00:54

Sterling Holloway

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Jack Larson on Sterling Holloway's helping him with comedic bits [briefly]
01:10

Phyllis Kirk

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Jack Larson on working with Phyllis Kirk on a live TV drama
03:19

Noel Neill

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Jack Larson on working with Noel Neill on Adventures of Superman
01:02

George Reeves

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Jack Larson on working with George Reeves on Adventures of Superman
03:23
Jack Larson on the death of Adventures of  Superman co-star George Reeves
00:40

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