Way back in 2011 I wrote an entry about Marc Tyler Nobleman's site, Noblemania, and his great work in tracking down and interviewing cast members for the 1979 Legends of the Superheroes television specials. The show, while extremely goofy, was the first time we saw live action versions of a number of DC's iconic characters, including Green Lantern. The credited actor, Howard Murphy, was one of two actors that Marc had not been able to track down and I remember interacting with Marc and wanting to help find Murphy so he could be interviewed.
That was five years ago and between then and now I had spent some spare time trying to track the actor down. As you can imagine with a common name like Howard Murphy it was rather difficult to find much information. That's all changed as Marc was able to find, and interview, the man who was the first to wear a power ring, or rather, that man found Marc.
The headslapping moment of Marc's interview came with the revelation that Howard Murphy is an abandoned screen name! Concerned with his career being tied to the quality of the show and this being his first real screen credit the actor's agent changed his screen name a few years later to Howard Houston with his real name being Reese Larson. Dealing with health issues Larson left acting in the late 1980's and wasn't aware of any interest in his career until a friend shared one of Marc's articles with him. There are some interesting anecdotes from the interview including the idea that the specials were essentially a pilot for what might have been a live action television series. To read the full interview check out Marc's great site, Noblemania.
|Larson today (Source: Noblemania)|
|Larson as Green Lantern in 1979|