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Characters / The Adventures of Superman

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Superman / Clark Kent

Played by George Reeves
  • Alliterative Name: His first and last name don't start with the same letters, but they have the same sound.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Superman always finds time to help, whether in big or small ways. He loves children, animals, and mankind in general. He's even adamant about giving someone trying to reform a second chance. However, he is extremely strong and tough and ferociously protective of the innocent. If villains mess with the people he loves, they do so at their peril.
  • Clothes Make the Superman: During the famous "Panic in the Sky" episode, amnesiac Clark, having discovered Superman's suit under his own, wonders if this might be the case. Unfortunately, Jimmy says no, the man makes the clothes super.
  • Five Temperament Ensemble: Phlegmatic.
  • Flying Brick: He has flight, Super Strength, Nigh-Invulnerability and X-Ray Vision.
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  • For Great Justice: He fights for "truth, justice, and the American way."
  • Friend to All Living Things: Superman rescues animals as well as humans in various episodes.
  • Heroes Love Dogs: He apparently bonds with a gangster's dog in one episode and becomes depressed when he ultimately has to send him away to protect his Secret Identity.
  • Immune to Bullets: Villains would always shoot at Superman's massive chest, the bullets bouncing off, and then throw the gun at his head — and he would sometimes duck.
  • Improbably Cool Car: A Nash-Healey, a limited-production and very expensive sports car that would've been hard to afford on a reporter's salary.
  • Last of His Kind: The only survivor of Krypton.
  • New Powers as the Plot Demands: He develops new superpowers at least twice during the series.
  • Papa Wolf: As in the comics, it's a really bad idea to mess with Jimmy, unless you want Superman to come after you. (Even if that is your plan, you won't like the result.)
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  • Speaks Fluent Animal: Apparently one of Superman's powers, because in "The Dog Who Knew Superman" he's able to talk Corky (the dog of a mobster's wife) into going back to his owners.
  • Superman Can Breathe in Space: In "Panic In The Sky", Superman not only flies through space and lands on an asteroid without trouble, but the asteroid itself apparently has birds on it.
  • The So-Called Coward: Lois constantly derides Clark as a coward, even though in many episodes, he acts fairly brave (notwithstanding the fact that he's really Superman), such as when he headed to Hollywood to supervise a film based on some of his articles, despite knowing he has a price on his head in the area, or when he assisted a doctor in operating on a mysterious "mole man" (who was believed to be radioactive) while outside, a mob was growing to attack the creature.
  • Super Hearing: In addition to his Flying Brick power set, Superman has enhanced senses, including heightened hearing that can detect trouble far away.
  • Unique Protagonist Asset: Superman is the only person with superpowers we ever see (and by implication the only one on the entire planet).

Lois Lane
Phyllis Coates
Noel Neill
Played by Phyllis Coates (Season 1) and Noel Neill (Seasons 2-6)

Jimmy Olsen
Played by Jack Larson
  • Boss's Unfavorite Employee: Jimmy is the most common target of Perry's grouchiness, often for calling him "chief" (something the other reporters call him without comment). While Perry does care about him, he usually conceals it under a layer of growling criticisms.
  • Cannot Spit It Out: If "The Human Bomb" and "My Friend Superman" show anything, Jimmy is shy of saying romantic things.
  • Distressed Dude: He frequently gets in jeopardy so that Superman can save him.
  • First-Name Basis: Clark / Superman and Lois almost always call him "Jim". It's inverted with Perry, who almost always calls him "Olsen."
  • Five Temperament Ensemble: Sanguine.
  • Interspecies Friendship: Superman is Kryptonian; Jimmy is a human. But that doesn't keep them from being fairly close.
  • Muggle Best Friend: Jimmy has no powers of his own (barring one episode), but is close friends with the only superhero apparently in existence.
  • Nice Guy: While not immune to bad influences and prone to the occasional jibe at his cranky boss, Jimmy is innocent (in both senses of the word), polite, and friendly to just about everyone.
  • Phrase Catcher: Who did you think kept calling Perry White chief?
  • Protectorate: Superman refuses to let anybody hurt him.
  • Unluckily Lucky: Jimmy gets into trouble almost every time he appears in the show. At whatever his ambiguous age is, he's been kidnapped, knocked unconscious, pushed off a building, nearly drowned, and left in as many death traps as one could care to count. However, thanks to being friends with the world's only superhero, he always comes out fine. In fact, he doesn't even seem to have any angst from it.
  • Weekend Inventor: Jimmy once invented an Anti-Gravity solution.

Perry White
Played by John Hamilton
  • Catchphrase: Perry has "Great Caesar's Ghost!" and "Don't call me chief!" to his credit.
  • Cigar Chomper: Perry rarely appears without one, which underlines his uncompromising personality.
  • Da Editor: Perry is the editor of the Daily Planet and is very snappy and demanding.
  • Distressed Dude: Perry sometimes got in jeopardy so Superman could swoop in and save the day.
  • Don't Call Me "Sir": Perry hates it when Jimmy calls him "chief", but he can never get him to stop doing it.
  • Five Temperament Ensemble: Melancholic.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Perry is habitually crabby and short with his writing staff (Jimmy especially, but Lois and Clark are not exempt). In "Stamp Day for Superman", he snaps at Clark that he spends half his life keeping track of them and the other half regretting it. However, he has a massive soft spot for all of them and is as protective as he can be while being a non-powered older man.
  • Weekend Inventor: In one episode, he discovers a way to extract uranium from seawater.