Christopher Dennis, better known as the "Hollywood Boulevard Superman," has passed away at the age of 52.. For nearly three decades, Dennis had worked as a street performer donning the classic red-and-blue Superman outfit, in part due to his physical resemblance to Christopher Reeve.
According to law enforcement officials, Dennis was found dead on Saturday in the San Fernando Valley, with his body found laying head-first in a bin used for clothing donations. Foul play is not suspected, and it is believed Dennis - who was homeless - died suddenly while retrieving clothing from the bin for himself. An exact cause of death is not yet known, with further information pending the results of an autopsy.
After dressing up as Superman for many years, Dennis tasted fame in 2007 when he was one of the primary subjects of the 2007 documentary Confessions of a Superhero. Directed by Matthew Ogens, the movie focused on costumed street performers working for donations at the Hollywood Walk of Fame. According to Dennis in the movie, he was raised as an orphan, though he also claims to be the illegitimate son of actress Sandy Dennis.
He is also featured prominently on the movie's poster, laying on a therapist's couch in his Man of Steel costume. Additionally, Dennis' work as a Hollywood Boulevard Superman impersonator has also led to the entertainer being featured multiple times on the late night talk show Jimmy Kimmel Live!.
Unfortunately, Dennis' life has been marred with tragedy and hardship. After working for two decades as a Superman impersonator, Dennis was viciously attacked in a brutal assault which severely injured him. His Superman costume was also taken, leaving him without a source of income. The street performer was then able to pick the pieces back up to rebuild his life thanks to the help of friends and a Kickstarter campaign, which brought about a new and improved Superman suit for Dennis to continue his career. Sadly, it appears Dennis once again fell on some hard times since, and was still living on the streets.
Clark Kent himself may be a fictional character, but Christopher Dennis was what you could call a real-life Superman. Though he had tremendous appreciation for the character, Dennis clearly loved bringing smiles to the untold thousands of people who've crossed paths with him in Hollywood. Those who've been touched by his story through his documentary or TV appearances will also recognize just how special the man truly was. If the Man of Steel were somehow able to see the work Dennis has done, I think Superman would be very proud.
There's no telling just how many people Dennis has brought joy to over the past several decades by impersonating the Man of Steel. What is for sure is that the world needs more people like him, and seeing the friendly entertainer leaving us so soon is nothing short of heartbreaking. Our thoughts are with his close friends at this time. This news was first reported by TMZ.