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Christopher Reeve
C Reeve in Marriage of Figaro Opening night 1985.jpg
Reeve after the opening night of The Marriage of Figaro at the Circle in the Square Theatre, New York City, 1985.
Christopher D'Olier Reeve

(1952-09-25)September 25, 1952
Died October 10, 2004(2004-10-10) (aged 52)
Cause of death Complications from Sepsis
Resting place Cremated
Nationality American
Education Cornell University
Alma mater Juilliard School
Occupation Actor, director, producer, screenwriter, author
Years active 1974 – 2004
Known for Superman
Christopher Reeve Foundation
Home town Princeton, New Jersey
Height 6 ft 4 in (193 cm).
Board member of Christopher Reeve Foundation
Spouse(s) Dana Morosini (1992–2004)
Partner(s) Gae Exton
Children 3 (2 with Exton; 1 with Dana Reeve)
Parent(s) F.D. Reeve
Barbara Pitney Reeve (née Lamb)
Family Franklin D'Olier
Awards Screen Actor Guild Award (1998), Emmy Award (1997), Lasker Award (2003)

Christopher D'Olier Reeve (September 25, 1952 – October 10, 2004) was an American actor, film director, producer, screenwriter, author, activist and former equestrian. He achieved stardom for his acting achievements, in particular. He is best known for his motion picture portrayal of the classic DC comic book superhero Superman, beginning with the acclaimed Superman (1978), for which he won a BAFTA Award.

Reeve appeared in other critically acclaimed films such as Somewhere in Time (1980), The Bostonians (1984), Street Smart (1987) and The Remains of the Day (1993). He received a Screen Actors Guild Award and a Golden Globe Award nomination for his performance in the television remake of Rear Window (1998).

On May 27, 1995, Reeve became a quadriplegic after being thrown from a horse during an equestrian competition in Culpeper, Virginia. He was confined to a wheelchair and required a portable ventilator for the rest of his life. He lobbied on behalf of people with spinal cord injuries and for human embryonic stem cell research, founding the Christopher Reeve Foundation and co-founding the Reeve-Irvine Research Center.

Reeve used his celebrity status for several philanthropic causes. Through the Make-A-Wish Foundation, he visited terminally ill children. He joined the Board of Directors for the worldwide charity Save the Children. In 1979, he served as a track and field coach at the Special Olympics, alongside O. J. Simpson.

Reeve married Dana Morosini in April 1992. They had a son, Will. Reeve also had two children, Matthew and Alexandra, from a relationship he had before with Gae Exton.


Reeve was a talented all-around athlete. Portraying the role of Superman would be a stretch for the young actor, but he was tall enough for the role and had the necessary blue eyes and handsome features. However, his physique was slim. He refused to wear fake muscles under the suit and instead went through an intense two-month training regimen.

Reeve was never a Superman or comic book fan, though he had watched Adventures of Superman starring George Reeves. Reeve found the role offered a suitable challenge because it was a dual role. He said, "there must be some difference stylistically between Clark and Superman. Otherwise, you just have a pair of glasses standing in for a character."

The film grossed $300,218,018 worldwide. Reeve received positive reviews for his performance:

Ripley's Believe It or Not! Hollywood - Superman's Cape (9306298648)
Ripley's Believe It or Not! Hollywood - Superman's Cape
  • "Christopher Reeve's entire performance is a delight. Ridiculously good-looking, with a face as sharp and strong as an ax blade, his bumbling, fumbling Clark Kent and omnipotent Superman are simply two styles of gallantry and innocence.Newsweek
  • "Christopher Reeve has become an instant international star on the basis of his first major movie role, that of Clark Kent/Superman. Film reviewers regardless of their opinion of the film have been almost unanimous in their praise of Reeve's dual portrayal. He is utterly convincing as he switches back and forth between personae. Starlog
  • Won a BAFTA Film Award for Most Promising Newcomer to Leading Film Roles.

Christopher Reeve also guest starred in Smallville, the successful American television show about Clark Kent/Superman's childhood. He appeared as Doctor Virgil Swann, helping Clark Kent understand his heritage, in Seasons 2 and 3, until the character was ultimately "killed off".

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