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HoverboyHistory

NY TIMES VIGILANCE OFFICE FIRE ARTICLE

Short but nonetheless interesting article on the 1971 Vigilance Pictures office fire that took the life of Hoverboy co-creator C.L.Nut. Hoverboy as a character had been pretty much out of the public eye for more than a few years at this point, so I'm surprised the Times picked up the story at all! The text can be a bit difficult to read, so I've duplicated the text at the bottom of the page.

Vigilance Fire Article

FROM NY TIMES DATED FEBUARY 21, 1971

History Goes Up In Smoke
Office fire kills "HOVERBOY" creator.

NEW YORK – It is believed the very man who became its sole victim started the fire that destroyed the offices of Vigilance Pictures on Wednesday. Even more tragic is the news that a piece of Animation History has been lost to the flames as well.

It wasn't until firefighters cleared the smoke that they found the burned body in the office archives at the rear of a Broadway building, north of W 22nd St. at about 11:15 p.m.

The badly burned body was found inside a seventh-floor office, where the fire was believed to have originated, said New York District Chief Patrick Garcia.

Forensics identified the man as Charles Leroy Nutt, 78, and reports of a charred suicide note have been confirmed. Nutt, along with the late Bob Stark, was a co-creator of the character Hoverboy, star of screen, comic books and television. When Nutt and Stark lost controlling rights of the Hoverboy Character, Stark took his own life and the action may have been the catalyst in sending Nutt over the edge.

“Charlie was a strange one,” remarked Vigilance Pictures president Harvey Kretschmann. “Remarkably spry for almost eighty years.” Kretschmann believes all of the original Hoverboy negatives were consumed in the flames.

“Of course it was deliberate,” he conceded. “Mr. Nutt was working as a courier and just happened to make a delivery to our offices just last week. He was enraged – he claimed that if we didn’t return the Hoverboy materials to his control he’d ‘show us’. I guess he did.”

“It’s a real shame,” Kretschmann continued. “We had big plans to re-launch Hoverboy and now it’s quite possible he’ll never fly again.”

Mr. Nutt leaves no surviving family members.

David Dunstan
Staff Reporter

 

 

 

 

 

 


All images copyright Marcus Moore