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

Bob Holiday,
Always In Demand

After Fiorello!
Before Superman!

After Fiorello! closed, Bob went back to working in nightclubs. In his autobiography, Superman on Broadway, co-written with Chuck Harter, Bob shared highlights of this time:

They [nightclubs] were my first love, and my closeness with an audience. It’s always what a performer wants is the closeness, the feel of an audience.

During this time, Bob was paired with some of the most glamorous stars of the day. It’s worth getting a copy of Superman on Broadway to read about some of Bob’s experiences.

Superman On Broadway
Camelot Program

From the nightclub circuit, Bob moved into Dinner Theatre. He then landed the role of Sir Lancelot in the touring company of Camelot, with Howard Keel as King Arthur and Constance Towers as Guenevere.

From Superman on Broadway:

I auditioned for the part of Lancelot in Camelot. The audition went well, and I think my reputation from Fiorello! certainly helped. I had two marvelous numbers, “C’est Moi” and “If Ever I Would Leave You.”
The play starred the great MGM star Howard Keel. He had an incredible voice, and it was amazing to hear him sing in the show each night. We worked well together. Our version was said to have [better] acceptance than the national company.

Reviews were terrific.

IN BOB HOLIDAY, John Kenley has found another rare combination—a chap whose phisical image is perfect, whose spotless acting is imbued with the required strength and masculinity, and who sings with a fervor totally appropriate to Lancelot.

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Bob Holiday. He walks erect, speaks clearly and is a fine choice for this important role in which he excels.

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Bob Holiday stood above most of the performers Tuesday with a splended portrayal of Lancelot that reached its highest levels with two fine numbers, "C'Est Moi" and "If Ever I Should Leave You."

Bob Holiday as Sir Lancelot, 1964

And just as Bob was invited to play Superman in a revival performance, he was also invited to play Sir Lancelot one more time!

A Bit More ...

Cast List

A few personal memories: You’ll note a number of misspellings on the front page. Bob is featured as “Bob Holliday” (definitely misspelled, but an appropriate “LL” for the future Superman) at the top, but correctly listed as “Bob Holiday” in the cast list. The actor who played Merlyn was alternatively listed as “Richard Nielson” and “Richard Neilson.”

Both men had connections to my family. Bob Holiday, of course, was my dear friend for the last dozen years of his life, and I'm honored that his family has asked me to continue building his website. Richard Neilson was a good friend of my mother’s. I remember us visiting Richard when I was a child. He let me play with a lovely little seal statue with real fur; it certainly kept me from being bored around the adults. He even came to our house when he was touring in California several years later. Until I found the program for Camelot, I'd had no idea that Bob and Mr. Neilson had performed together.

Because of her friendship with Richard, my mom sent a note to Bob Holiday when we arrived at the Alvin Theater in June of 1966, telling Bob that she was a friend of Richard’s. I still remember when Bob bellowed in his best Superman voice, “I thought you’d come backstage BEFORE the show.” That was pretty heady stuff, to have Superman interested in meeting our family. Of course, I now know that it wasn’t just our family. Bob told me repeatedly how much it meant to him that children enjoyed meeting him after every matinee. He really was Superman, in every sense that's important.

Photos courtesy the Estate of Bob Holiday
Text ©2021 Toni Collins and
Superman on Broadway, ©2003 Bob Holiday and Chuck Harter, page 16
SUPERMAN and all related elements are the property of DC Comics. TM & © 2021
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Bob Holiday as Superman Bob Holiday as Clark Kent