Although Astro Boy Atom/Tetsuwan (Iron Arm) Atom is well known for its anime products based on the manga authored by Osamu Tezuka, it is also know that the hero was also featured in a live-action TV series before being made into anime.
It seems that it aired from 1959 to 1960 (before I was born) with 65 episodes in total as the 58 of them are available on DVD, and, while I didn’t know this at all, Atom is likely to have been made into a paper puppet play and aired for half a year in 1957 with 25 episodes with the films not existing anymore unfortunately.
Atom in the live action is often made fun of by people because he looks quite funny by today’s standards as the character was acted by a kid actor (Masahito Segawa) wearing a plain costume and helmet.
As a person of my generation I remember we enjoyed watching the anime Tetsuwan Atom aired from 1963 through 1966 (with 193 episodes) with great popularity along with its impressive theme song I think I often heard sung among children back then.
It is said to have been the first genuinely home-made TV anime series of Japan, and it is known that a variety of TV anime shows started being produced one after another in the wake of the success of this first home-made anime show.
Moreover, with the emergence of Ultra Q in 1966, tokusatsu and anime plunged into fierce competition to win popularity from among children although it definitely gave the time of bliss to us kids!