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For The Simpsons character, see Jack Larson (Simpsons)
Jack Larson
Born Jack Edward Larson
February 8, 1928 (1928-02-08) (age 81)
Los Angeles, California,
United States

Jack Edward Larson (born February 8, 1928)[1] is an American actor, librettist, screenwriter and producer. He is known for his portrayal of Jimmy Olsen in the TV series Adventures of Superman.


He has at times claimed 1933 as his birth year. He was born in Los Angeles, California, was reared in Pasadena, and graduated from Montebello High School in 1945 at the age of seventeen.

Larson has said that he found the role of the cub reporter to be a handicap due to its typecasting of him. He has not done much acting since then, mostly behind-the-scenes work such as writing and production. However, he has always been willing to sit for interviews about the Superman series and his connection to it, and in recent years has had a number of cameos that pay subtle tribute to his character and the series:

  • He was a guest actor on the series Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman as an aged Jimmy Olsen in the episode "Brutal Youth", first telecast on October 20, 1996.
  • He and his co-star Noel Neill provided commentary on several Superman episodes for the January 2006 DVD release of the 1953 season.
  • Also in 2006, he appears in Bryan Singer's film Superman Returns in a cameo role as "Bo the Bartender"; it was rumored prior to the film's release that his role would actually be Suicide Slum resident and Superman fan, Bibbo Bibbowski, a supporting character from the modern Superman comics. In one of Larson's Superman Returns scenes, where characters celebrate Superman's rescue of a plane, his character is shown wearing a bow tie in the style of Jimmy Olsen and hugging the film's incarnation of Jimmy Olsen played by Sam Huntington.
  • Larson and Noel Neill appeared together at the premiere of Superman Returns. They typically come across as good friends, much like the characters they played in the 1950s series, in which Jimmy and Lois often investigated stories together.

Among his other work, Larson wrote the libretto to the opera Lord Byron to music by Virgil Thomson.

In a TV appearance after Superman, he had a guest role as a corporal on Gomer Pyle USMC.

Larson's most recently appeared in an episode of 'Law and Order' - 'Special Victims Unit' airing on the NBC network on January 6, 2010, at 9:00 pm EST. In this episode, entitled "Quickie", Larson portrayed 'Dewey Butler', grandfather to a young suspect allegedly having unprotected sexual relations with women. In the episode's final scene, Larson's character ingests an overdose of sleeping pills, disinherits his grandson and sets up a trust fund to take care of the women whom the grandson may have infected with HIV/AIDs.

Larson was the life partner of director James Bridges. Their relationship lasted 35 years until Bridges' death on June 6, 1993.[2] Prior to that, he was the companion of actor Montgomery Clift[3]


  1. ^ California Birth Index, 1905-1995. Sacramento, CA, USA: State of California Department of Health Services, Center for Health Statistics.
  2. ^ Stern, Keith (2006), Queers in History, Beverly Hills, California: Quistory Publishers, p. 64, ISBN 1847283489  
  3. ^ Montgomery Clift

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