Today would’ve been Christopher Reeve’s 61st birthday. Here at SUPERMANIA we mark the occasion celebrating his life with a lookback to how he nurtured the image that made him famous the world over in the words of personal trainer David Prowse.
Put together in unusual circumstances having both fought to secure the role of Superman– Prowse (rejected on the basis that audiences would not accept anyone but an American in the cape) was instead hired to transfer his admittedly ideal physique (top pic) to the ideal actor for the part. To his credit, Prowse embraced the assignment and the eventual result would speak for itself.
Shown above are pages from a vintage special STARLOG publication dedicated to the ‘Hollywood Musclemen’ of the late 1970’s. Despite its Disco-era title it is in fact a fairly credible piece of pre- Muscle & Fitness/Men’s Health literature with great interviews & pictorials, especially on the part of Prowse who gets excellent coverage and thorough retrospective of his career to that point.
However Prowse observations and program for the burgeoning Man Of Steel remain the most compelling, with the exclusive full workout routine and basic diet requirements highlighted (based around the consumption of Neutramint!) although probably quaint/obsolete by today’s standards.
Openly regarding the training as a necessary evil possibly appealing to his method-actor perfectionism (DeNiro style) rather than any burning desire to maintain personal fitness, Reeve’s dogged determination to meet audience expectations was summed up early on when he stated simply – “I put up a Superman poster up on the wall and said – That’s what I must work up to…”
Happy Birthday ‘Toph.