Then/Now: Superheroes on TV

They used to kick butt, now where are they?

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    Superheroes

    We grew up with these tights-wearing heroes blasting away bad guys and keeping us entertained with their butt-kicking ways. But did their careers soar the way they once did or tank? Click through to find out!   (Universal Studios/Warner Home Video/20th Century Fox)
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    Then: The Incredible Hulk

    The green monster that is 'The Hulk' appears after Dr. David Bruce Banner is accidentally exposed to the blast of a test detonation of a gamma bomb he invented.  When he's angry or upset, the doctor involuntarily transforms into a giant, raging, green monster. But don't be fooled by his scary exterior, this doc always means well. The Hulk was first filmed as a pair of pilot TV movies on the CBS network in 1977. The series later followed, airing from 1978 to 1982.   (Universal Studios)    
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    Now: Lou Ferrigno

    Considering he's still built like a tank, Ferrigno will always be known as 'The Incredible Hulk.' When he does make appearances in movies, it's often as himself. Recently, he appeared in "I Love You, Man" and he will reportedly be lending his voice to "The Avengers" as well.    (AP)
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    Then: Wonder Woman

    “The New Original Wonder Woman” featured Lynda Carter as Diana Prince and her alter-ego, Wonder Woman, in the 1970’s. As one of the first female superheroes, Wonder Woman’s powers included superhuman strength, super speed, super stamina, and super agility.   (Warner Home Video)
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    Now: Lynda Carter

    The 56-year-old former beauty queen still gets small roles on TV and in movies. In 2005, she appeared in “The Dukes of Hazzard” and “Sky High.” In the latter, she got to poke fun of her previous role with the line: "I can't do anything more to help you. I'm not Wonder Woman, y'know."   (AP)
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    Then: Batman and Robin

    These two crime fighting heroes defended "Gotham City” against villains like 'The Joker' and 'The Penguin' for two and a half seasons on ABC from 1966 to 1968.   (20th Century Fox)
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    Now: Burt Ward and Adam West

    Ward, who played Robin, and West, who was Batman, still act and lend their voices to animated shows. West currently lends his voice to “Family Guy” as Mayor Adam West.  Ward has lent his voice to "The Simpsons" and “SpongeBob SquarePants."     (REUTERS)
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    Then: The Greatest American Hero

    The 1981-1983 series chronicles Ralph's adventures after he is given a red suit from a group of aliens. He's supposed to use the powers of the suit to help change the world, but he's a slow learner and barely ever uses the suit properly.    (Starz / Anchor Bay) 
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    Now: William Katt

    Katt's acting career started strong, earning roles as the boyfriend in the horror flick, "Carrie" (1976) and then his role of "The Greatest American Hero" in 1981. But after the show was canceled in 1983, Katt's career began deflating. His most notable recent role was in season three of "Heroes" as a nosy reporter investigating Ali Larter's character. The 59-year-old actor has also written a Greatest American Hero comic book.    (Youtube)
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    Then: Superman

    There have been many renditions of "the man of steel."  The character's very first appearance was in DC Comics in 1938 and he made the transition to TV in "The Adventures of Superman" in 1951.    (AP)
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    Now: George Reeves

    Reeves' career was sadly cut short.  On June 16, 1959, he was found shot to death at his home in Hollywood. He was 45.  To this day, there is still controversy as to whether he killed himself or was murdered. Ben Affleck portrayed Reeves in the movie "Hollywoodland" in 2006.   (imdb)
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    Then: Captain America

    Captain America appeared in two 1979 live-action television movies on CBS.  Also known as Steve Rogers, the superhero wasn't blessed with any superhuman powers, but after receiving potentially fatal injuries in an accident, he was given an experimental chemical which not only saved his life but also enhanced his body with heightened strength and reflexes.    (Universal Studios)
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    Now: Reb Brown

    He should have remained Captain America, cause that's when Brown was at the top of his game. In 1983, he won a razzie for "Worst Newcomer" for the film, "Yor, the Hunter from the Future." The 62-year-old actor was also in "Space Mutiny" in 1988, but hasn't done much else since.    (imdb)
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    Then: The Flash

    The show, based on the DC Comic character, only lasted one season (1991-1992), reportedly due to the expensive production costs.  Flash, also known as Barry Allen is a police scientist who was once very slow, until a rogue lightening bolt shattered a case full of chemicals and spilled them all over him. As a result, Allen finds that he can run extremely fast and has matching reflexes.    (Warner Home Video)
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    Now: John Wesley Shipp

    Although his superhero days were numbered, Shipp's acting career soared once he hung up his red tights.  The 55-year-old actor has been in "CSI: NY," "The Closer" and "JAG" and he has two feature films expected to be released next year.      (Sony Pictures)
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    Then: The Tick

    In 2001, "the big blue bug of justice" made his television debut. But after just nine episodes, someone squashed the bug.    (AP)
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    Now: Patrick Warburton

    "The Tick's" cancelation was probably the best thing that's ever happened to Warburton.  The 45-year-old actor currently stars in "Rules of Engagement" and voices a character for "Family Guy."   (AP)
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    Then: Captain Marvel

    This superhero was the star of the hit show "Shazam!" Whenever Billy Batson would come across any trouble, he would shout "Holy Moley" and would find a secluded area where he could exclaim, "Shazam!" and a bolt of lightning would transform this ordinary guy into superhero, Captain Marvel.  The show aired for three seasons on CBS in the 1970s.   (Warner Bros.)
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    Now: Jackson Bostwick

    Bostwick was fired from "Shazam!" in the second season and replaced by John Davey.  After not showing up for a shoot one day, producers accused him of holding out for a higher salary and let him go. But apparently Bostwick was just getting medical treatment for an injury he sustained on set the day before.  The actor filed a successful lawsuit against Filmation Enterprises, who was forced to pay him for the remainder of his contract which lasted through the second season. Apart from some minor roles here and there, the 66-year-old actor hasn't done anything memorable since.    (YouTube)
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    Then: The Bionic Woman

    Jaime Sommers was a tennis star until a skydiving accident that nearly killed her.  She was rebuilt and became the Bionic Woman since her surgical implantation gave her amplified hearing in her right ear, a greatly strengthened right arm, and enhanced legs, enabling her to run faster than a speeding car. The series ran on ABC from 1976-77, then on NBC until 1978. (Universal Studios)
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    Now: Lindsey Wagner

    The 61-year-old actress won a Primetime Emmy for her role in "The Bionic Woman" at the 29th Annual Emmy Awards. Since then, she's been in countless made for TV movies. She is also a huge advocate for self-help therapy giving seminars and workshops promoting meditation and spirituality.    (AP)
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    Then: The Green Hornet

    Britt Reid is a newspaper publisher who wears a mask and calls himself the "Green Hornet" when he's out fighting crime.  He also has a sidekick, known as Kato, that was played by Bruce Lee on the show, which aired from 1966-1967.   (Bci / Eclipse)
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    Now: Van Williams

    The 76-year-old actor has been semi-retired since 1993 when he made an appearance in "Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story."   (ABC/20th Century)
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    Then: Buffy the Vampire Slayer

    These days, with the success of "Twilight" saga and "True Blood" success, heroes have to be able to know how to kill a vampire.  But in the late 90s, Buffy was a breakthrough. From 1997 to 2003, finally there was a girl who could hunt down blood-sucking vamps and kill them.    (20th Century Fox)
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    Now Buffy the Vampire Slayer

    Sarah Michelle Gellar still appears in movies and lends her voice to animated films. In 2009, she appeared in "The Air I Breathe." Later that year, she welcomed a daughter, Charlotte Grace Prinze, with hubby Freddie Prinze, Jr.   (AP)
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