Bob Holiday, who played Clark Kent/Superman in the Broadway musical It's a Bird...It's a Plane...It's Superman!, has died. He was 84.
Holiday was the first actor to play Superman on the stage, and the first live-action Superman after the death of George Reeves, who played the role on TV's The Adventures of Superman from 1952-1958.
Holiday played Superman starting in March 1966 on Broadway. While the show ran for only a few months on Broadway, The Bob Holiday Superman homepage rightly notes that Holiday drew critical praise for his performance.
The site also notes that given the limited technology available at the time, and the live nature of performing onstage, "Superman flew in real time. There was no chance for a second take, so Bob had to be physically powerful, flexing his muscles on cue and maintaining a Super-posture as he soared on and off the stage."
“I was very proud to ‘take care’ of Superman in the 1960’s," Holiday said. "Playing the part was great fun, and I loved it. I still hear from fans today, and it’s wonderful. Over and over, someone will find me, get in touch, and let me know how much they loved the show (and even me personally). You can’t imagine how much that means to me 40 years later.”0comments
He would remain in show business for a few years after his Superman role, but spent most of his adult life as a homebuilder. He has occasionally appeared at fan events such as Metropolis, Illinois's Superman Festival, where in 2003 he participated in a documentary about the character's live-action history.
The original cast album by Sony Broadway is available via numerous online retailers, and can be found on YouTube.