LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Hollywood Boulevard’s original Superman performer is plotting his return to the Walk of Fame just months after a string of bad luck sent the street performer into a period of homelessness and drug abuse.
He’s doing it with the help of hundreds of fans and supporters.
Christopher Dennis is a familiar face to Walk of Fame regulars — he has been performing on the street as Superman for about 25 years. In that time, he has greeted and taken photos with countless tourists. He was even featured in a documentary, “Confessions of a Superhero.”
“It made me feel amazing,” he said. “I was superman.”
But his career was quickly derailed about six months ago when he says he was attacked by a mugger while walking home from work.
“He beat me down with the golf clubs, knocking out my teeth,” Dennis said.
The mugger also took Dennis’ costume, laptop and more than $900 in cash. The attack left the performer deeply demoralized and directionless.
“I felt like I died,” Dennis said. “Because for me, that was my livelihood.”
Soon after, Dennis began living on the streets, begging for change.
“I had to come up with a new way to come up with some kind of income to be able to survive,” he said.
He also struggled with drug abuse.
But Dennis’ luck began to change recently when a friend suggested he create a fundraising page to raise money for a new Superman costume.
At first, the money was slow to roll in. But the campaign soon gained traction on social media and the donations easily beat the campaign’s $1,000 goal.
The page has now raised more than $7,000 for Dennis’ cause. It has also helped restore Dennis’ faith in others.
“I started losing faith in humanity,” he said. “These people who donated have shown me there is humanity and people do care.”
What’s more, local costume designers have offered to make Dennis a new costume for free so the performer can use the crowdfunding money to pay rent on a new apartment.
Dennis is currently staying at a clean living facility and working on his sobriety.
Within weeks, however, he expects to return to his place of business, donning a new cape.
“I won’t be the same, but I’ll be a new man out there,” he said. “As soon as I get the outfits in the mail, I am going to be out there immediately.”