Day three of the 34th Annual Superman Celebration in Metropolis, IL took place on Saturday, June 9th and was certainly the busiest day of the event with the arrival of "Smallville" stars John Glover (Lionel Luthor) and Cassidy Freeman (Tess Mercer) to town.
Both Glover & Freeman were wonderful guests and extremely cordial to all the fans that had lined up for hours on Friday & Saturday morning to obtain autograph session tickets to see them; some for as long as 15+ hours.
Thanks to the Metropolis Chamber, the Superman Super Site was allowed the opportunity to interview both Glover & Freeman privately prior to the start of the VIP autograph session. A video of the exclusive interview in which both stars talked about their time on "Smallville" will be posted in the coming days.
Next on the celebration agenda was an interview panel at the Planet Krypton building with Noel Neill's good friend & personal biographer, Larry Ward and "Superman: The High-Flying History of America's Most Enduring Hero" author, Larry Tye. Fans attending the panel discussion were treated to one of the biggest surprises during the entire course of the celebration; a personal appearance by Noel Neill herself!
Mrs. Neill, who recently became Metropolis' newest resident, waved to everyone and received a wonderful round of applause from the audience which quickly grew in size as word spread about the "Adventures of Superman" actress' appearance. Although her appearance was a brief one due to health concerns, it was an absolute thrill for everyone to see Mrs. Neill again in Metropolis for the first time since the unveiling of her statue at the 32nd Annual Superman Celebration in 2010.
The always popular George Awards & Auction was up next and, as a special bonus, featured a live theater production of "Lucy Meets Superman" from the classic "I Love Lucy" tv series.
The production was a feast for the eyes complete with screen accurate replicas of the sets from the tv series and a primary cast featuring the acting talents of Keith Howard (Superman), Tiffany Kresse (Lucy Ricardo), Steven Kirk (Ricky Ricardo), Brian Morris (Fred Mertz) and Ashley Bayles (Ethel Mertz).
For all of his hard work in not only putting together the production but also building all the set pieces, Keith Howard was the recipient of the 2012 George Award. Tiffany Kesse took home the coveted Noel Neill Award for her portrayal of Lucy in the play.
Prior to the start of the actual auction, Jim Hambrick introduced everyone to Mike Meyer who talked about the theft of a portion of his Superman collection last year from his Granite City, IL home. Meyer talked about how overwhelmed he was by the outpouring of support from fellow Superman fans and thanked everyone for all the donated items he received to help rebuild his collection.
Some of the many ways fans showed their support for Meyer were a personal phone call from "Superman Returns" star Brandon Routh, a trip to the set of "Man of Steel" where Meyer got to meet actor Henry Cavill and actress Amy Adams whom and the opportunity to visit Jerry Siegel's childhood home in Cleveland, Ohio where Meyer said he actually draw a sketch of Superman at the same writing desk where Siegel first created the Man of Steel in the 1930's.
After his collection was recovered and the thief arrested, Meyer donated much of the donated items he recieved to a local children's hospital.
It was then time for the auction to get underway with Steven Kirk once again taking on the duties as emcee & auctioneer over all the Superman related items that were up for bids including various posters, books, statues and vintage collectibles.
Two items which received by far the highest bids of the evening were a cape from the Hoover Dam sequence in "Superman: The Movie" and a flying tunic worn by Christopher Reeve from the same film. The cape sold to an anonoymous phone bidder for $10,500 while the tunic sold for $11,500.
Silent auction items were also available this year and featured an assortment of original artwork pieces by Mike Meyer which I am proud to say that I am now the owner of one.
The evening eventually wrapped up around 11pm and it was time to head back to the hotel to get some much needed rest and prepare for the "Superfriends of Metropolis" group photo at the Superman Statue the next day as well as the long 13 hour drive back to South Carolina.
In the coming days, keep an eye out for a complete recap of Sunday's celebration costume contest by contributing reporter, Chris Brockow.