How real was the tour to Australia?

For those of you who have read about and studied the life of George Reeves,
you know about the planned tour to Australia.

It was real; it was going to happen. George was excited about it.

However, I have serious doubts if it was as real as everyone has thought.

There had been a number of tour appearances in America with George, Nati, Gene, Noel and others.
They were planning for a $20,000 tour of Australia.
The money figure has always been reported.

George had Henry Gris doing the negotiations for him.
Henry worked for UPI and interviewed numerous movie stars
in the 1940's, 50's and 60's.

He had interviewed George and the two became friends.
Just how far he got into the actual discussing of details
about a tour in Australia we will never know.

When I was researching my book about George I emailed Jim Nolt.
I asked him if he had any information on this tour to Australia.
He responded with a copy of a telex message that Henry Gris had sent to a UPI friend in Japan.
Henry told his friend that there were plans for the Australian tour in late summer or early fall.
That would cover August, September and October.

The letter states that an Australian TV company is prepared to pay for appearances,
plus airfare and hotel rooms for George, his judo partner (I assume Gene) and his wife (Leonore).

Henry asked his friend to talk with a Japanese TV station
about the tour going to Japan after Australia (or the reverse).

I question in my book why Henry doesn't mention Nati and others.
I question if Henry really understood what the plan actually was.

Beginning on July 29, 1959,
Qantas flew the Boeing 707
jetliner from Sydney to
San Francisco, via Honolulu.

I think it can be assumed that
George and company would fly
first-class to Australia
and possibly Japan
on a jet plane,
instead of the much slower
propeller planes.

In 1959, a first-class
round trip ticket from
LA to NYC cost $352
($2,136 in today's dollars).
That was for a 2400-2500 mile flight.

The distances to Australia
and Japan are much more
so the ticket prices might
have been prohibitive.

Now, I suppose that it is possible that the Australian company didn't want to pay
for a number of people coming, and that George had to make sacrifices.
Regardless, Nati Vacio told Jan Henderson that he was going to Australia on the tour,
and Henry Gris did not mention him in the telex to Japan.

It all just seems to be confusing.

I'm not trying to hijack my own thread,
but I have to wonder if the tour to Australia was much needed by George.
Is it possible that he was hurting for money?

What did Art Weismann mean when he told a newspaper that
most of George's estate would go to pay off creditors and court costs?

George had money in the bank and travelers checks at home.
Did he borrow money on his house?
Was his brand new car paid for?

On his final night, when George sat at the piano bar in Paul's Steakhouse,
he was probably thinking about his upcoming marriage (and whether he even wanted to).
He was also thinking about the upcoming filming of 26 episodes.
(Regardless of what you have read, no actual date had been set).
I believe he also thought about Toni.

Is it possible that he was also thinking about
an Australian tour that didn't seem to be moving forward?

Henry sent his telex message to Japan on June 15th,
the day before George's death...

I have the idea that the Australian tour
was still very much in the initial talking stage.
It may not have been as definite as we have all thought...

Thanks to Jim Nolt.

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