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

Bob Holiday Sits at King Arthur's Roundtable
A Second Time

Bob Holiday reprised his role as Sir Lancelot in Miami, 1967

Bob Holiday played Sir Lancelot in the official Broadway touring company of Camelot in 1964.
He reprised his role in 1967 at the famous Coconut Grove Playhouse in Miami, Florida.

Once You Play a Cape,
You Always Play a Cape
by Ted Crail

Bob Holiday as Sir Lancelot

What does he think about when he can think about anything he feels like?

"Just girls. I keep thinking of girls. Girls. Blondes. All the time."

What mortal creature of the five billion or so here on earth would he like to be in touch with?

[Bob and Ted Crail then bantered a bit about women. You'll have to read Bob's book to see exactly who Bob named!]

THOUGH HIS HAIR GOES a bit Dagwoodish at the sides, Bob Holiday who struck the producers as a believable Superman for the somewhat unbelievable role os Superman-on-Broadway has great gusto and great good nature.

This week he was in rehearsal at Coconut Grove Playhouse, ready for an outing in the soon-to-open production of Camelot, a musical about King Arthur and all his goodly knights. Holiday plays that goodliest knight of all, Sir Lancelot.

It seems a long cry from Superman; but only at first. When he went to audition for Superman, Holiday sang one of the numbers from Camelot.

"Why Supe believes in goodness just like Lancelot. They're the same, actually," he says.

And he adds the final note on typecasting: "Once you play a cape, you always play a cape."

THOUGH IT WOULD BE HARD to prove that he feels more passionately about it than he feels about [the aforementioned mystery actress], Holiday does most of his emoting in an interview when the talk rolls around to How To Succeed in Business Without Really Having X-Ray Vision or a Big Red S on the Chest.

"I believe," says Holiday, "the actor should run the business, the business should not run him. Once you become a prisoner of show business, you're in trouble."

Though it may be hard to escape being typed as a cape, he will try. He hasn't been interested in TV roles as "A Captain Fantastic or some jazz like that." He doesn't press advice on Adam West who, as Batman, has given the U.S. just about enough camp to make the country into one big Campfire Boy. But if he were West, he says, "I'd grab all I could, invest the money and go on from there."

Playing Superman on Broadway is risky business. It was physically tough—he had to stay in flying harness all three hours on the stage because the plot recurrently called for him to go swinging up-up-away. But the real risk was the chance that the actor who took the role would seem to the critics more like Super-Moron than anything else.

HOLIDAY LOOKS exactly as though he were breaking through his clothes from a bad case of expanding muscles, and he had a triumph in the role. This has given him a sense of cool he admittedly didn't have in the earlier part of his career.

"I've kind of relaxed more now," he says. "It was something I always wanted, the lead in a show, and I feel very secure within myself now. If I go to an audition, half an hour later it's out of my mind. Years ago I'd be on the phone to my agent crying, 'What happened? Did I get it? Did I get it?' "

His self-confidence is not yet galactial through he has managed to get involved with a lot of derring-do and still avoid the derring-dung.

"Too many actors," he says, "are a product of their manager or their agents. Exploitation. I'm a product of mismanagement and no exploitation." Who is there really to protect the actor today?

Thirty-two years old, on his own since age nine, Bob Holiday doesn't expect Superman to zoom down from the skies and help the actor—though in his case, that's what's happened.

IS HE BRAVE and adventurous, aside from all the gallant-goodness of the stage? Well, kiddies, in a way. He's a racer. He doesn't race the big cars. He races the little ones. The two-inchers. Slot cars. But don't call that tame. He beefs them up.

For the historical record, he was asked this week, since he has been close to each of them, who would win in a joust, Superman or Lancelot?

"Guinevere and Lois," he said in a tone pregnant with meaning.

Photos courtesy the Estate of Bob Holiday
Text © Ted Crail, Miami Beach Sun, July 21, 1967
as quoted in Superman on Broadway, ©2003 Bob Holiday and Chuck Harter, page 16
additional commentary by Toni Collins, ©2021
SUPERMAN and all related elements are the property of DC Comics. TM & © 2021
Site optimized for Google Chrome
Original Site developed by Steve McCracken
Current caretaker: Cross that "T" and Dot That "i" Editing and Web Services
Contact Web Master:
Bob Holiday as Superman Bob Holiday as Clark Kent