10 fun facts about Superman’s Canadian ties

The iconic Superman logo. DC Comics

TORONTO – One of the world’s most famous superheroes celebrated the 75th anniversary of his comic book debut Thursday.

Superman — and his alter ego Clark Kent — first appeared in the June edition of Action Comics #1, which was published on April 18, 1938.

Here are some fun facts about the Man of Steel’s ties to Canada.

1. The Superman character was co-created by Canadian artist Joseph Shuster. Born in Toronto, he is a cousin of Wayne Shuster, one-half of the beloved Canadian comedy duo Wayne and Shuster. Joseph, who passed away in 1992 at the age of 78, said Metropolis was modelled on Toronto and the Daily Planet was inspired by the Toronto Star, which he delivered as a kid.

2. Canadian actress Margot Kidder, who was born in Yellowknife, played Lois Lane opposite Christopher Reeve in four Superman movies between 1978 and 1987.

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3. The 2006 movie Hollywoodland, in which Ben Affleck portrays troubled actor George Reeves (who played Superman on TV in the ’50s), was filmed in Toronto.

4. The long-running series Smallville, which focused on the early life of Clark Kent, was filmed in British Columbia.

5. Ontario-born actor Robert Beatty played a tanker captain in Superman III and the U.S. president in Superman IV: The Quest for Peace. Glenn Ford, who was born in Quebec, played Jonathan Kent in 1978’s Superman.

6. Lois Lane was portrayed on Smallville by Alberta’s Erica Durance. B.C. native Aaron Ashmore played Jimmy Olsen.

7. Hamilton, Ont. native Jonathan Hale portrayed Professor Roberts in the ’50s TV series Adventures of Superman.

8. A number of Canadian artists have worked on Superman projects, including Tom Grummett of Saskatoon, Toronto’s Stuart Immonen and Denis Rodier of Quebec.

9. The biggest hit for Winnipeg band Crash Test Dummies was 1991’s “Superman’s Song.”

10. One of the ubiquious Heritage Minute commercials on Canadian TV featured Joseph Shuster talking to his aunt Lois about his ideas for a superhero that can “leap tall buildings.” Criticized for being wildly inaccurate, it was the first time most Canadians learned about Superman’s northern roots.


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