|Johnny Rockwell, then and now|
Meet the Actor Who Played Superboy for a 1961 One-Shot TV Episode
Johnny Rockwell starred as Superboy in the unaired pilot for 1961's Adventures of Superboy. The plot revolves around Jimmy, Clark Kent and Lana Lang's friend, being ashamed that his father works as a doorman at the Smallville Theater. His opinion changes when Superboy is able to thwart a robbery with Jimmy's father's help.
"I first studied acting with Agnes Moorehead at 20th Century Fox and then did a Playhouse 90 show as an extra. Paul Newman was the star and he suggested to me that I go back to New York and study with Sandy Meisner. It just so happened that Sandy once came out to see him, and I said, “I want to be in this class.” They said, “We're only taking professionals,” but I talked my way into the class. And who was in the class... Barbara Rush, John Erickson, Dyan Cannon and Terry Moore... a few people. Before the Superboy pilot, I did a few things at ZIV, including Lockup, with MacDonald Carey. I also studied at Warner Brothers. They had an acting school. Ty Hardin and I did a film together called As Young As You Are for Paramount.
|Stills from the TV show|
"When Superboy was casting, I was on the lot working on a pilot called Time Out for Ginger. As soon as I heard about the part being available, I went over and found out where the office was on a break. I walked in and Whitney Ellsworth was playing gin rummy with the head of the studio. I told him, “You don't have to look any further. I can fly.” I was also a very good gin player at the time, so I said I would play the winner. Whit won, so I started playing him and began winning. At that point I more or less knew I had the job. I did have to read a few lines, but I think I got the job because I was a good gin player.” – Johnny Rockwell, Superboy