Christopher Reeve died Sunday from complications from a systemic infection. He was 52 years old. With regards to his acting career, Reeve was best known for his role as Superman in four movies. He also co-starred in Somewhere in Time alongside Jane Seymour and in Deathtrap with Michael Caine. He directed the telefilms In the Gloaming and The Brooke Ellison Story.
As much fame as Reeve gained from playing Superman, he perhaps achieved even greater fame following the unfortunate horseback riding accident that paralysed him in 1995. He became perhaps the best known spokesman for spinal cord research.
I must say that Reeve's death saddens me greatly. It is not simply because I enjoyed his performances in the Superman films and other movies, but rather because I admired him for his courage. Following his accident, Reeve had to undergo months and months of therapy before he could even breathe for long periods without a respirator. He went on to go before Congress regarding better insurance protection against catastrophic injury. He lobbied for spinal cord research. And he continued with his acting career. He appeared in the TV remake of Rear Window and episodes of Smallville. He even took up directing.
From my point of view, Reeve showed enormous resolve in the face of an injury that would have forced many others to simply give up. In doing so he served as an example for others who suffered spinal cord injuries. While many will remember Reeve as Superman from the movies, I will always think of him as a superman from his courage and resolve in the face of a catastrophic injury.