52 (passed away Oct. 10th, 2004)
Sep. 25th, 1952
New York City, New York, USA
Christopher Reeve's Main TV Roles
Main Movie Roles1995 - Above Suspicion
1994 - Speechless
1993 - The Remains of the Day
1992 - Noises Off...
1988 - Switching Channels
1987 - Superman IV: The Quest for Peace
1984 - The Bostonians
1983 - Superman III
1982 - Deathtrap
1980 - Superman II
1980 - Somewhere in Time
1978 - Gray Lady Down
1978 - Superman
Guest TV Roles
Christopher Reeve was born September 25, 1952, in New York City. At age four, his parents (journalist Barbara Johnson (XI) and writer/professor Franklin F.D. Reeve) divorced. His mother moved sons Christopher and Benjamin to Princeton, New Jersey, and married an investment banker a few years later. After graduating from high school, Reeve studied at Cornell University, while at the same time working as a professional actor. In his final year of Cornell, he was one of two students selected (Robin Williams (I) was the other) to study at New York's famous Juilliard School of Performing Arts, under the renowned John Houseman (I). Although Christopher is best known for his role as Superman (1978), a role which he played with both charisma and grace, his acting career spans a much larger ground. Paralyzed after a horse riding accident, he died suddenly at age 52, after several years of living and working with his severe disability.
- His weight trainer for _Superman (1978)_ (qv) was British weight-lifting champion 'David Prowse (I)' (qv), who played Darth Vader in _Star Wars (1977)_ (qv), _Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back (1980)_ (qv), and _Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi (1983)_ (qv).
- At the height of his popularity as Superman, a group of children who recognized him in a park purposefully threw their Frisbee over a fence and then asked him to fly after it. Trying hard not to hurt their feelings, Reeve replied he couldn't fly after the Frisbee because his cape was in the washer, so they settled for him just reaching over the fence and handing it back to them.
- After the critical and box-office failure of _Superman III (1983)_ (qv), he was reluctant to do a fourth Superman film, especially if it was going to be treated as a farce. He eventually agreed to do it when the producers promised him story input and that they would finance a longtime pet project of his, the gritty crime drama _Street Smart (1987)_ (qv), in which he played an amoral reporter.
- Was offered numerous roles, such as the lead in _The Running Man (1987)_ (qv) and _Total Recall (1990)_ (qv) (both of which went to 'Arnold Schwarzenegger' (qv)). He turned them down to take on more challenging ones.
- 5/18/05: Was posthumously awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Letters by Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, in New Brunswick, and an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree at Stony Brook University's commencement on 5/20/05. His degree was accepted by Stony Brook graduate student 'Brooke Ellison' (qv), whose life and struggle against paralysis was the subject of a made-for-TV movie directed by the late actor just before his death in 2004.
- The _"Smallville" (2001)_ (qv) episode "Devoted" was dedicated to his memory, with the caption at the end of the credits reading: "He made us believe a man could fly.".
- He had a love of Scotland and its countryside. He often visited Scotland with his family.
- Following _Superman (1978)_ (qv), he was offered a number of scripts for action films, one of which he claims was a script for a film about the Viking Eric the Red. He turned them down because he felt they didn't require much in the way of acting. Instead, he chose _Somewhere in Time (1980)_ (qv) as his first post-Superman film, against the advice of his agent, because he liked the script and the character.