Jack Larson, the playwright and librettist who, as he often predicted with good-natured resignation, will be remembered best as the actor who played the cub reporter Jimmy Olsen on the television series “Adventures of Superman,” died on Sunday at his home in the Brentwood neighborhood of Los Angeles.
Jack Edward Larson was born on Feb. 8, 1928, in Los Angeles and grew up in nearby Montebello. His father, George Larson, was a milk-truck driver and iceman, and his mother, the former Anita Kalikov, was a clerk at Western Union.
Although Jack began writing and acting in his own plays in junior high school, he became a high school dropout, convinced that his bowling talent would lead to a professional sports career. Later, when he was in a program at Pasadena Junior College to earn a high school diploma, a Warner Bros. scout saw him in a play and signed him to a movie contract.
He made his film debut in “Fighter Squadron” (1948), a World War II action picture starring Robert Stack and directed by Raoul Walsh, and he continued to appear in films while he was in the “Superman” series.