Bob Holiday, Broadway's First Superman
Bob Holiday's Publicity Portfolio
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The First Publicity Photo

A Young Bob Holiday Begins His Career

Bob Holiday's autobiography, Superman on Broadway written with Chuck Harter, opens with this stunning photo.
Bob Holiday First Publicity Photo

From Superman on Broadway:

I was born in 1932 in Seagate, Brooklyn, New York. When I was two years old, my parents and I moved to New York City, to Washington Heights in Manhattan. We lived on 214th Street. When I was young, I loved comic books.
I was a big Superman fan when I was a kid, and I remember the comic books very well. They were very real to me. As an only child, and a bit of a loner, Superman was a hero to me. They were thicker books then, and comics were very popular.
Superman was a person who fought off evil, but was kind. He was tough, but he was gentle. When I say he was tough, he got you if you were the bad guy. He got you in a way that he didn't destroy you, unless you had to be destroyed. He was a very lovable tough-guy.
Lois Lane loved superman, but didn't love Clark Kent. I remember that she used to call him "worm" in the comic books.
I did listen to the Superman radio show, and was mesmerized by the voice of Bud Collyer. It was great when Clark Kent would lower his voice and exclaim, "This is a Job for Superman." I liked many of the other adventure radio shows such as The Green Hornet, The Shadow, etc., but my favorite was Superman....
I first performed in front of an audience in the Catskills at a resort, while vacationing with my Mother. There was an amateur contest, which I entered. I sang "My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean," and I won. The prize was a lollipop. That was neat, and I wanted more lollipops, so I was bitten by the performing bug.

And thus began Bob Holiday's career as a performer. This photo, identified as his first publicity photo, was taken when he was in his early twenties. He participated in amateur contests and came in second on the famous Ted Mack Amateur Hour. He'd cut class to see his favorite entertainers, Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis. After High School, he began to perform in restaurants in Manhattan, learning a lot about putting on a show. When he entered the Army, he served as a disc jockey and performer after the Korean War ended.

To his dying day, Bob Holiday considered his time as Superman to be the pinnacle of his career as an entertainer.

Photos courtesy the Estate of Bob Holiday
Quotes from Superman on Broadway, ©2003, Bob Holiday and Chuck Harter
Other text ©2021, Toni Collins
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Bob Holiday as Superman Bob Holiday as Clark Kent