We’ll always know him as Jimmy Olsen

March 29, 2011 at 11:26 am (Whatever happened to ...?) (, , , )

Remember the Superman movies? (The good ones, I mean, not that tedious reboot by Bryan Singer.) (And by the good ones, I mean the first two and parts of the third one, but only for the nostalgia value.)

They told us we would believe a man could fly, and they were right.

*Sniff* I still believe, Mr. Reeve!

But that’s not what we’re here to talk about today. Or read about. Or whatever. No, we’re here for Jimmy Olsen, also known as the actor Marc McClure, who was also in Back to the Future, which I don’t remember at all.

I mean, if he really had been in Back to the Future, wouldn't he be wearing a Back to the Future shirt here?

McClure’s career started in 1975 with a guest shot on the television series Emergency!, which I can only assume was an awesome show because of the exclamation point! It’s not just an emergency, it’s an Emergency! Moving right along, his next role was on The Cop and The Kid, which was either about a scrappy orphan and his policeman buddy, or a cop who owns a goat. Of course, then you’d’ve thunk they’d have gone with the more insulting The Pig and The Goat, so it’s probably the first one.

Here's a picture of a baby goat, because it's really cute.

He also had a role in the movie Freaky Friday, and I guess I didn’t realize that movie was older than me. But it is. Good to know.

Other notable roles in the 1970s included guest spots on Happy Days and Eight is Enough. OK, maybe not so much “notable roles” as just plain old “roles,” but the important thing is, in 1978, McClure was cast as the photographer friend of the man of steel in Superman.

Because in the 1970s, people still read newspapers.

That plum role was enough to get him … oh. More roles intelevision movies. Well, shoot. Ooooh, ooooh, but in 1979, he had a starring role in a TV series called California Fever as a teenager enjoying the Southern California lifestyle. If it was a reality show, it would still be airing today, but it wasn’t, so it only ran for 10 episodes.

Sometimes I forget how silly everyone's hair was in the 1970s. But then I remember.

But that’s OK, because Superman II!

And then moving right along to 1981’s Strange Behavior, which is about a scientist turning good kids into murderers, because there just weren’t enough teen killers in the early ’80s, apparently. Then ’82’s Pandemonium, which is about a Mountie tracking a killer at a cheerleading camp. Phil Hartman was in that one, too, but I still wouldn’t recommend it.

"You might remember me from such films as Pandemonium. Ha, ha, I'm just kidding. Don't watch it."

Then Superman III! And Supergirl! McClure was the only actor from the Superman films to appear in Supergirl, which was awfully nice of him.

I mean, gosh, no one else bothered, you know?

He then went on to a guest role on Trapper John, MD, which I only mention because the character’s name was Luther, which is probably some sort of homage to Lex Luthor, but who knows.

Gratuitous Azzarello plug alert!

Then he played Dave McFly in Back to the Future. Was Dave McFly Marty’s cousin or something? I seriously can’t remember this character at all.

Oooh, then he was on a couple of episodes of Hunter, and does anyone else remember that show? I loved that show when I was a kid.

Like the '70s before them, the 1980s were a bad decade for hair and clothing.

Then between Superman IV and Back to the Future III, there was something called Amazon Women on the Moon, as well as several other movies that I don’t feel like mentioning.

Phil Hartman was in this one too.

The ’90s brought him a guest-starring role heyday, with appearances on Beverly Hills, 90210; Sister, Sister; and Nash Bridges. I never watched any of those shows, but good for them for employing Jimmy Olsen. He also had roles in Apollo 13 and That Thing You Do!, both of which were popular movies at the time and I also didn’t see.

In 2003, he was in Freaky Friday, so I guess that was the remake or something? I didn’t realize Lindsay Lohan was that old. I mean, she looks haggard and all, but I always assumed that was the rampant drug abuse.

Also, she's 47!

Anyway, he continued his guest-starring streak, with roles on The Shield, ER and Cold Case, as well as Smallville in 2008, which always did like throwing fans a bone and giving roles to the old movie cast.

(What do you mean it’s still not canceled? Are you sure?)

Also in 2008, he had a role in Proud American and in Frost/Nixon.

And what’s he been doing since then?

Well, that’s a good question, because I don’t know. He does appear to be alive, but that’s really all I know. I’m sorry I have failed you all.

To cheer you up, here's a 2010 photo of Marc McClure with a small dog that is wearing a scarf.



  1. Nikki said,

    Dave McFly was Marty’s older brother and eldest of the McFly children. Therefore he was the first to disappear from Marty’s photo. Their sister, Linda McFly was played by Wendie Jo Sperber who also played Amy Cassidy on Bosom Buddies. As for Hunter, I loved that show, and actually believed that my parents resembled Hunter and McCall. Unfortunately, I don’t remember Marc McClure’s appearances in any of the episodes.

    • lokifire said,

      I’ll bet it’s because he disappeared so early on that I forgot he existed. Yeah, that’s it.

  2. Tim Magee said,

    What a really fucking obnoxiously-written article this is. You basically marginalized Marc Mcclure’s entire career. Go screw yourself, Gay Boy.

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