Is George Reeves Related to Christopher Reeve? The Truth Behind the Superman Actors

Many people wonder if George Reeves and Christopher Reeve are related, as they both played the role of Superman on screen. However, the truth is that they are not related at all, and their surnames are different. Here is everything you need to know about the two actors and their connection to the iconic superhero.

Who is George Reeves?

George Reeves (born George Keefer Brewer; January 5, 1914 – June 16, 1959) was an American actor who portrayed Superman in the television series *Adventures of Superman* (1952–1958). He also appeared in films such as *Gone with the Wind* (1939), *From Here to Eternity* (1953), and *The Jungle* (1952). Reeves’s death at the age of 45, resulting from a gunshot, remains a subject of controversy. While the official ruling was suicide, some speculate that he may have been murdered or the victim of an accidental shooting.

Reeves was born in Woolstock, Iowa, as the son of Helen Lescher and Donald Carl Brewer. His parents separated shortly after his birth, and he moved with his mother to various places, including Kentucky, Illinois, and California. He was legally adopted by his stepfather, Frank Joseph Bessolo, when he was 13, and changed his name to George Bessolo. However, he later adopted the stage name George Reeves in late 1939, as Bessolo was deemed unsuitable for a leading man.

Who is Christopher Reeve?

Christopher Reeve (born Christopher D’Olier Reeve; September 25, 1952 – October 10, 2004) was an American actor who portrayed Superman in four films: *Superman: The Movie* (1978), *Superman II* (1980), *Superman III* (1983), and *Superman IV: The Quest for Peace* (1987). He also starred in films such as *Somewhere in Time* (1980), *The Remains of the Day* (1993), and *Village of the Damned* (1995). Reeve’s life changed dramatically when he became paralyzed from the neck down after a horse-riding accident in 1995. He became an advocate for spinal cord research and disability rights until his death in 2004.

Reeve was born in New York City, as the son of Barbara Pitney Lamb and Franklin D’Olier Reeve. He had English, Irish, Scottish, Welsh, Dutch, German, and French ancestry. He grew up in Princeton, New Jersey, and attended Cornell University and Juilliard School. He began his acting career on stage and television before landing his breakthrough role as Superman.

Are They Related?

George Reeves and Christopher Reeve are not related in any way, despite both actors having portrayed Superman. Many people mistakenly assume they are related due to the similarity in their last names and their shared role as iconic superheroes. However, this is not the case.

First of all, their surnames are different. George’s surname is Reeves, with an “s” at the end, while Christopher’s surname is Reeve, without an “s”. The two surnames are distinct and unrelated.

Secondly, their family backgrounds are different. George was born as George Keefer Brewer and later became George Bessolo when his mother remarried. He then changed his name to George Reeves for his acting career. Christopher was born as Christopher D’Olier Reeve and kept his name throughout his life.

Thirdly, their roles as Superman are different. George played Superman in a television series that ran for six seasons from 1952 to 1958. Christopher played Superman in four films that spanned from 1978 to 1987. They never met or worked together on screen.

Therefore, there is no familial relationship between George Reeves and Christopher Reeve. The only commonality between them is that they both played Superman on screen and left a lasting legacy for fans of the superhero.


George Reeves and Christopher Reeve are not related at all. They have different surnames, family backgrounds, and roles as Superman. They are both remembered for their portrayals of the iconic superhero on screen and their tragic deaths.

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