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Alyn Kirk; disguised as Superman's alter ego ''Clark Kent.'' Columbia 1948

SKU: Alyn Kirk; Superman $59.95
Kirk Alyn (October 8 1910 March 14 1999) was an American actor best known for being the first actor to play Superman on screen in the 1948 film serial Superman and its 1950 sequel Atom Man Vs. Superman. Early life: Born John Feggo Jr. in Oxford New Jersey to Hungarian immigrant parents Alyn was educated at Columbia University. In 1942 he married actress Virginia O'Brien with whom he had two daughters and a son before they divorced in 1955. Career: Alyn started out as a chorus boy on Broadway appearing in notable musicals such as Girl Crazy Of Thee I Sing and Hellzapoppin' in the 1930s. He also worked as a singer and dancer in vaudeville before moving to Hollywood in the early 1940s to make feature films where he was successful only in gaining bit parts in low-budget films before landing the role of Superman in 1948. Alyn also starred in movie serials including Federal Agents Vs. Underworld Inc. (1948) Radar Patrol Vs. Spy King (1950) and Blackhawk (1952). Alyn recalls the day producer Sam Katzman asked him to play Superman: I thought it was a publicity stunt. I didn't think you could ever put Superman on film. They brought the people from D.C. Comics over and they said 'Hey he looks just like Clark Kent.' They said take off your shirt so I did and flexed my muscles. Then the guy said 'Take off your pants' and I said 'Wait a minute.' I was 37 when I played Superman. I picked up that girl and ran up that flight of stairs like it was nothing.'' Alyn appeared as Superman in the first live-action Superman movie serial released in 1948. The serial consisted of 15 episodes which recounted Superman trades arrival on Earth getting a job as a reporter at the Daily Planet newspaper and meeting Lois Lane and Jimmy Olsen. The main plot consisted of Superman trades battle against the arch criminal the Spider Lady. Two years later Atom Man vs. Superman was released featuring Lyle Talbot as Superman trades arch-villain Lex Luthor. This serial also included a sequence involving an eerie alternate dimension not unlike the Phantom Zone which would not appear in the comics for another 11 years. Alyn gave the Man of Steel a different portrayal to Clark Kent adding to the element of disguise. This was in the tradition of radio's Superman Bud Collyer. By contrast his successor George Reeves played the dual roles more alike as pointed out in Gary Grossman's book Superman: Serial to Cereal. The character's flight would be effected by having Alyn jump up at which point he turns into an animated character by way of rotoscoping and flew off. Alyn had tried ''flying'' while suspended by hidden wires for the first serial but the wires turned out to be clearly visible after all and that footage was scrapped. After playing Superman he again suffered casting problems. Apart from starring in some similar comic book-type serials he landed few roles in TV series and movies some even uncredited until he retired after When Superman moved to television in 1951 Alyn was reportedly offered the part but turned it down. In 1974 he published an autobiography entitled A Job for Superman. Alyn shared a very short cameo with his serial co-star Noel Neill as the parents of the young Lois Lane in the 1978 feature film Superman. In a brief on-set interview he explains his method of portraying Superman and Clark Kent contained in a documentary narrated by Ernie Anderson The Making of Superman: The Movie (1978). In 1981 Alyn appeared as ''Pa Cant'' in the parody film ''Superbman: The Other Movie'' a role that lasted only seconds as Cant dies from a heart attack immediately after discovering the strange visitor from the planet Krapton. Alyn made his final film in 1983 Scalps. Personal life: When he first went to Hollywood Alyn met another dancer/actress Virginia O'Brien. They were married in 1942 and divorced 12 years later. Alyn died in 1999 in The Woodlands Texas at the age of 88. He was survived by three children he had with O'Brien - daughters Terri O'Brien and Elizabeth Watkins and son John Feggo. Honors: Alyn was the Grand Marshal of the Metropolis Illinois Christmas parade and Annual Superman Celebrations several times. In 1985 DC Comics named Alyn as one of the honorees in the company's 50th anniversary publication Fifty Who Made DC Great.