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Louis Simo gives his son an Etch-A-Sketch while taking him to school, and later when Louis stops by to see his son at his ex-wife's house, his son is playing with the Etch-A-Sketch in his bedroom. Both incidents take place in the summer of 1959. George Reeves died June 16, 1959, hence the investigation. The first Etch-A-Sketch toys were produced on July 12, 1960 and Ohio Art launched the toy in the United States in time for the 1960 holiday season.
Although Adrian Brody was officially the star of "Hollywoodland," his character (private detective Louis Simo) was a completely fictional role in the movie. Virtually all of the other characters in the film are based on real people, but there never was a Louis Simo, and he's not based on any actual person (s). George Reeves' mother did hire an attorney and a detective agency in real life; however, "Hollywoodland" director Allen Coulter said that the character of Louis Simo wasn't even partially based on anyone in real life.