Christopher Lloyd Dennis is one of Hollywood Boulevard's first street characters. He's been known as "Hollywood Superman" for 25 years. After an attack left him homeless and without his costume, his fans stepped in to save him. He's back now, inspired with kindness and a new definition of heroism.
The kindness of his fans and donations of a new outfit and dentistry has moved Chris to pay it forward with small acts of kindness.. "Helping people in small ways makes me feel like a real superhero," said Chris.
When Chris first put on the outfit, it was his way of getting smiles and positive feedback from strangers. He was also escaping a life of trauma and tragedy. He was raised in foster care and then spent years battling drug addiction.
Chris was unrecognizable after he was attacked. He says with his teeth knocked out and his outfit stolen, he couldn't work the street circuit. His fans never realized he was still on the boulevard, but homeless.
Chris once had the opportunity to meet the real "Superman", Christopher Reeve. The resemblance also earned him appearances on shows like "Jimmy Kimmel Live" and a role in the documentary, "Confessions of a Superhero."
Chris returned to the Hollywood Boulevard as a street character in March, but says now he's also wearing his cape to visit shelters for foster children, and even working on a documentary called "The Kid."
He now, tells every tourist that he meets to stop and be kind to others because he says, "A small act can make a world of difference to the person who's lost hope, like I did."
There's a little superhero in everybody. You just have to take a moment to inspire them.
Hollywood Superman says the moral of this story is that anyone can be a superhero in small ways. At CircaCares we tell stories that we hope will inspire you to pay it forward too. Chris doesn't have a charity, but his message is about the difference, even small every day acts of kindness can make.
If you'd like to volunteer to help a charitable effort near you, we recommend you visit Charity Navigator. If you have a story idea for Circa Cares, feel free to send an email to SAbrams@CircaNews.com or send pitches to email@example.com.
Dreamer Pictures LLC contributed to this story with video they'd captured of Christopher Dennis over the past four years. Director Vlad Kozlov met Chris while on another assignment in Hollywood and was inspired to tell his story of living as a street character. When he discovered Chris had been robbed and beaten and was living on the street, he continued to capture video. Kozlov says he offered him food and clothes, but until donations poured in from the GoFundMe.com post, Chris was unable to afford rent in the rehab home. He is currently producing Chris's documentary, "The Kid."
The Hollywood Division of the LAPD confirmed with Circa that Chris was assaulted with a golf club on the street in August.
A Sober Living's Mariposa Home, the home that Chris moved to with donations, confirmed Chris stayed there after posting on GoFundMe.com in December. The home offers low rent along with a mandatory addiction recovery program and meetings.
In the past weeks, Chris moved in with a friend hoping to save money on rent while he refocuses his life with the support of fans and his new documentary project.