Today is the 70th birthday of the actor and activist Christopher Reeve. He was my first Superman. I saw the movies first, then the original TV show, then the others. The true test of a person’s character is what they do and how they act when they are not at the height of perfect popularity, when they face challenges (and I feel silly and trivializing by calling a paralyzing spinal cord injury a ‘challenge’) and what they do with their new normal. He didn’t just turn lemons into lemonade for himself, he turned it into a sweeter lemonade for individuals with similar injuries and explained exactly what he was experiencing for those of us that have been fortunate enough to not have to learn the recipe. The world is a better place because he was in it and still feels the loss that he has left.
NAME: Christopher Reeve
BIRTH DATE: September 25, 1952
DEATH DATE: October 10, 2004
EDUCATION: The Juilliard School, Cornell University
PLACE OF BIRTH: New York, New York
PLACE OF DEATH: Mount Kisco, New York
CAUSE OF DEATH: Infection
REMAINS: Cremated (ashes scattered)
EMMY 1997 for Without Pity: A Film About Abilities (shared)
HOLLYWOOD WALK OF FAME 15-Apr-1997 at 7021 Hollywood Blvd.
LASKER AWARD Public Service Award (2003)
BEST KNOWN FOR: Actor Christopher Reeve played Superman in the movie and its sequels. After a spinal cord injury, he started a foundation to help other paraplegics.
Film and stage actor, director, born on September 25, 1952 in New York City, USA. He studied at Cornell University and the Juilliard School in New York, and had various stage and television roles before becoming universally known as the star of Superman and its sequels (1978, 1980, 1983, 1987). Later films include Noises Off (1992) and Morning Glory (1994).
In May 1995 Reeve became paralysed from the neck downwards and wheel-chair bound following a horse-riding accident. He also required a respirator to assist his breathing for the rest of his life. He became very involved in campaigns supporting handicapped children and paraplegics, and founded the Christopher Reeve Paralysis Foundation in 1998 to promote research into spinal cord injuries, testifying before a Senate subcommittee in favor of federal funding for stem cell research.
Reeve continued to work after ongoing rehabilitation. He acted again in films, including a television production of Rear Window (1998) and directed two television films with health themes, In the Gloaming (1997), and The Brooke Ellison Story (2004). His autobiography Still Me appeared in 1998.
Christopher Reeve died from cardiac arrest on October 10, 2004. He was survived by his wife Dana and son William, as well as his two children, Matthew and Alexandra from his previous relationship. Sadly, his wife Dana was diagnosed with cancer in 2005 and died in March 2006 at the age of 44.
Love of Life Ben Harper (1974-76)
FILMOGRAPHY AS DIRECTOR
Everyone’s Hero (15-Sep-2006)
The Brooke Ellison Story (25-Oct-2004)
In the Gloaming (20-Apr-1997)
FILMOGRAPHY AS ACTOR
Robin Williams: Come Inside My Mind (Jan-2018) · Himself
Rear Window (22-Nov-1998) · Jason Kemp
Above Suspicion (21-May-1995)
Village of the Damned (28-Apr-1995) · Alan Chaffee
Speechless (16-Dec-1994) · Freed
The Remains of the Day (5-Nov-1993)
Morning Glory (17-Sep-1993)
The Sea Wolf (18-Apr-1993)
Nightmare in the Daylight (22-Nov-1992)
Noises Off… (20-Mar-1992)
Death Dreams (25-Jun-1991)
Bump in the Night (6-Jan-1991)
The Great Escape II: The Untold Story (6-Nov-1988)
Switching Channels (4-Mar-1988) · Blaine Bingham
Superman IV: The Quest for Peace (24-Jul-1987) · Superman
Street Smart (20-Mar-1987)
Anna Karenina (26-Mar-1985)
The Aviator (8-Mar-1985)
The Bostonians (May-1984) · Basil Ransome
Superman III (17-Jun-1983) · Superman
Deathtrap (19-Mar-1982) · Clifford Anderson
Superman II (19-Jun-1981) · Superman
Somewhere in Time (1980) · Richard Collier
Superman (15-Dec-1978) · Superman
Gray Lady Down (10-Mar-1978) · Phillips
Author of books:
Nothing Is Impossible: Reflections on a New Life (2002)