Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Speaking With "Superman's Sister"

My search for the identity of the child actor who played the role of baby Kal-El in the first episode of The Adventures of Superman from 1952 has taken me far and wide. I've written to a dozen Superman experts with no concrete evidence.

You'll recall that I had previously received a tip from Captain Celluloid over at Superman Homepage that the infant was Aline Towne's own child.
Aline Towne in Superman from Earth
In researching Aline Towne, I came across her biography on www.imdb.com and noted that it had been edited by a Marta Waller. Aline was married to Charles Waller so I did a little research on Marta and was fairly confident that this was Aline's daughter. On the slim chance that Ms. Waller would feel inclined to respond to me, I sent her a missive. After all, she's a well respected newswoman and I was sure she'd be far to busy to reply to my questions.
Hello Ms. Waller,

I am trying to solve a mystery and I was wondering if you could help me. I am trying to identify the baby from the first episode the 1950's television show, The Adventures of Superman. I have a source that tells me that the child who played the baby Superman was the real-life child of Aline Towne who was featured in that episode. My source was unable to produce proof of this, however.

My research on the topic had lead me to think that you are Aline's daughter. I see you edited her biography on the Internet Movie Database so I'm assuming you're extremely knowledgeable about Aline Towne either way. =) 

I've attached a photo of the baby from the show. Can you help me identify this baby? I've been in contact with probably about 10 Superman experts and none of them can. 

Thank you very much for any assistance you can provide.


Dear Mr. Schaffer,

Thank you for your email.  It is always nice to see people are still interested in my mother's work from the 1950's.  Unfortunately, your source is not correct about the baby.  I wasn't born until late 1952 (and the photo is not me) and my brother was born in 1955.  I have no idea the identity of the infant, but I assume he would be about my age (60 this year).  I'm guessing really accurate records of "baby appearances" weren't a high priority in 1952. 

If there's any other trivia I can help with, please let me know and I'll be happy to assist.  Mom had a very interesting career, and it was fun telling everyone that our mom was Superman's mother!

Best regards, 

I sent an e-mail back to her inquiring about the third child of Aline Towne (a daughter) that is mentioned inthe www.imdb.com biography. She responded that her sister was born before her but since Ms. Waller didn't recognize the photo it couldn't be her older sister.\

It seems that I'll have to focus my research efforts elsewhere. Ms. Waller has been an enormous help to me and I'm very grateful for her assistance.

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