Richest CelebritiesActors
Net Worth:
$200 Thousand
Jan 5, 1914 - Jun 16, 1959 (45 years old)
6 ft (1.85 m)
United States of America
💰 Compare George Reeves' Net Worth
Table of ContentsExpand
  1. Early Life
  2. Career
  3. Personal Life

What was George Reeves' net worth?

George Reeves was an American actor who had a net worth of $200 thousand at the time of his death in 1959. That's the same as around $2 million in today's dollars. George Reeves was born in Woolstock, Iowa in January 1914 and passed away in June 1959. Reeves was best known for playing the role of Superman in the television series "Adventures of Superman." Ben Affleck played George in the 2006 movie "Hollywoodland."

He studied acting at the Pasadena Playhouse where he met his future wife Ellanora Needles. Reeves had over 80 acting credits to his name. In 1939 he starred in the films "Four Wives," "Gone with the Wind," "On Dress Parade," "Smashing the Money Ring," and "Espionage Agent." His best known role came starring as Superman/Clark Kent on the TV series "Adventures of Superman" from 1952 to 1958. Reeves also starred as Superman/Clark Kent in the 1951 movie "Superman and the Mole Men." He appeared in episodes of the TV series "Suspense" from 1949 to 1950 and "Kraft Theatre" from 1949 to 1952. In 1960 he was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6709 Hollywood Blvd. George Reeves passed away on June 16, 1959 at the age of 45 from a gunshot wound. The official finding was that his death was a suicide although some people believed that he was murdered or a victim of an accidental shooting.

Early Life

George Reeves was born on January 5, 1914 in Woolstock, Iowa and given the name George Keefer Brewer by his parents, Donald Carl Brewer and Helen Lescher. The couple, who had been officially together for five months when Reeves was born, separated shortly after his birth. Reeves then moved with his mother to Kentucky to live with other family members and then on to Galesburg, Illinois. They later moved to California where his mother met Frank Joseph Bessolo. The two married in 1927 and Bessolo adopted Reeves as his son.

While in high school, Reeves began acting and singing. He then continued studying the arts while a student at Pasadena Junior College. He also studied acting at the Pasadena Playhouse.


In 1949, Reeves was cast as Stuart Tarleton in "Gone with the Wind." While it was a minor role, he was featured in the film's opening scene. After filming the movie, he returned to the Pasadena Playhouse and was given the lead role in the play "Pancho." This role led to him being contracted to Warner Brothers as an actor. At this point, he officially changed his professional name to George Reeves.

Under his contract with Warner Brothers, Reeves was featured in films like "Torrid Zone," "The Fighting 69th," and "The Strawberry Blonde." However, these roles did little to advance his career and he and Warner Brothers decided to dissolve his contract. He then signed a contract with Twentieth Century Fox. He appeared in a few more films but was again released after failing to make a big name for himself.

Reeves then began freelancing and looked for work in western films. His friend, Teddi Sherman, introduced him to her father, the producer Harry Sherman, who asked Reeves to do a screen test for the Hopalong Cassidy films. Reeves impressed the casting director during his screen test and appeared in five Hopalong Cassidy films. He was then cast as Lieutenant John Summers in "So Proudly We Hail!" in 1942.

Reeves was inspired by the film and its pro-military sentiment. He decided to enlist in the U.S. Army. He was drafted in 1943 and was assigned to the U.S. Army Air Forces. He performed in the USAAF's Broadway show, "Winged Victory." Reeves was then transferred to the USAAF's First Motion Picture Unit, where he made training films.

After the war was over, Reeves returned to Hollywood. However, many studios were slowing down their production schedules so he had a hard time finding steady work. In 1949, he moved to New York City and performed on live anthology programs and on the radio. He returned to Hollywood in 1951 to appear in the film "Rancho Notorious." In 1953, he appeared in "From Here to Eternity," which won the Academy Award for Best Picture.

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In June of 1951, Reeves was offered the role of Superman in a new television series called "Adventures of Superman." Though he was originally reluctant to take the role, as he considered television to be unimportant work, he decided to accept. The filming schedule for the show was quite strict, preventing Reeves from taking extended breaks to work on films or act in stage plays, but also only lasted for a few weeks out of the year. However, he was able to make additional income by making personal appearances with fans.

Reeves did grow dissatisfied with the one-dimensional nature of the role after two seasons. He decided he wanted to quit and established his own production company. He conceived of the television adventure series "Port of Entry" and wrote the pilot script himself. However, the "Superman" producers offered him more money so he returned to the series.

In 1956, Reeves appeared in "Westward Ho the Wagons!," which was his final film appearance. He later toured with other actors and musicians in a public appearance show from 1957 onward. During the final years of his life, Reeves struggled with money and had a hard time getting any of his film or television projects off the ground.

Personal Life

While studying at the Pasadena Playhouse, Reeves met Ellanora Needles. The couple married in September of 1940 in San Gabriel, California. They had no children during their marriage and then divorced 10 years later. Later in life, he had a romantic relationship with Toni Mannix, the wife of Metro-Goldywyn-Mayer general manager Eddie Mannix. They split up in 1958. He soon after announced he was engaged to Leonore Lemmon.

In June of 1959, police officers found Reeves dead in his home from a gunshot wound to the head. The news attributed his death to suicide and reporters speculated that Reeves was depressed over his failed career and inability to find more work. However, in the months afterward, many began to doubt the suicide story and became suspicious that Lemmon had something to do with Reeves' death. Others believed that Eddie Mannix may have been involved, considering Reeves had an affair with his wife.

All net worths are calculated using data drawn from public sources. When provided, we also incorporate private tips and feedback received from the celebrities or their representatives. While we work diligently to ensure that our numbers are as accurate as possible, unless otherwise indicated they are only estimates. We welcome all corrections and feedback using the button below.
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