By Hannah Stevens @Hannahshewans
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Christopher Dennis, 48, first donned the iconic Superman costume in June 1991 after an epiphany convinced him to kick his drug habit.
But despite going on to become Hollywood Boulevard’s longest serving and most beloved costumed attraction, the real-life superhero was recently made homeless.
Dennis, who battled drug addiction for years before becoming a Superman impersonator, became homeless after he was kicked out of the rescue dog shelter he lived and worked at.
He was separated from his two rescue cats and is struggling to find a new place to stay.
Before being evicted from his own Fortress of Solitude, photographer Christina Czybik tracked Dennis down to get a peek at the man behind the red and blue spandex.
She said: “Underneath the Superman costume lies a whole different character - Christopher Dennis. After a troubled youth as a foster child, he grew up to escape from every shelter.
“He was a troublemaker and a runaway who later worked as a truck driver and drove restlessly through 49 states - he regrets that he never quite made it to all 50 states.”
Dennis first donned the costume after being told of his similarity to Christopher Reeve - the man behind the glasses in four iconic 1980’s Superman films.
When Christina found Superman he was living in a flat for free in return for taking care of dogs rescued from being euthanised at other shelters.
She said: “He loves to work with animals because they never talk back.
“He has a very special connection and a certain way of talking to the animals. It sounds like he is a different person.
“Having been given a second chance in life himself, he could relate to the cats and dogs.”
Visiting Christopher at his old home, Czybik wanted to find out how he prepared himself for long days as the costumed hero.
He said: “When I prepare for the day I think about all the struggles Christopher Reeve and many others go through to get in character.
“Plus the smiles on everyone’s faces when I meet them makes it worth it.”
Luckily, Christopher was able to bring his addiction to hard drugs like speed and crack under control before Hollywood Boulevard met its new superhero.
While watching a film’s funeral scene, Christopher’s drug induced haze convinced him that he was watching his own funeral from above.
Terrified by the prospect of dying, Christopher got clean and the aspiring actor found comfort in his Superman persona.
Even though Superman has lost his way a little, Czybik knows that the impact he has had as the first Superman to grace the streets of Hollywood Boulevard will never dim.
She said: “Hollywood Boulevard is his kingdom. Everyone knows him, everyone respects him.
“He is always well mannered and polite. He celebrates the freedom of speech and expression so that he can become something greater than his mortal persona.
“He is real, something that you can breath, touch and feel. He is Superman.”
Superman has become a core part of Christopher’s life and now he is homeless it is all that is keeping him going - but his dreams remain intact.
Dennis hopes that his acting talent will soon be recognised and that one day he will be immortalised forever with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.