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.
- At the time he was paralyzed, he had been doing a film on horseback-riding safety.
- Wore nearly 25 different Superman costumes for _Superman (1978)_ (qv), some of which were specifically for walking and others that were for flying, and some of which were turquoise for blue screen shots (in order to balance out the blue of the uniform).
- After he died, a number of memorial cartoons to commemorate his death were Superman-themed. Many artists drew Reeve as Superman flying away from the wheelchair. In one picture, Superman came to Reeve's grave with flowers. In another picture, a grief-stricken Superman reads the news of Reeve's death in The Daily Planet newspaper and says to the reader, "He was my hero." In another, Captain America, Spider-Man, and Batman come to Reeve's grave with Batman, commenting, "He really was a super man." In another, a young boy in a wheelchair tells the reader, "He was the Man of Steel. He had incredible vision. He used his powers to save people. Nothing could stop him. And I think before that he acted in some Superman movies." Some pictures depicted Reeve arriving in heaven dressed as Superman; in one, he says to Gabriel, "You can keep the wings." In another, dressed as a regular angel, he declines the wings by saying, "No thanks, I'd rather walk.".
- 'Hal Ketchum' (qv)'s "Hang in There, Superman" was written about him.
- Was a fan of _"Law & Order" (1990)_ (qv). He claimed that watching it helped him through his physical therapy.
- A Superbowl XXXIV commercial for a medical company, set in the future, portrayed Reeve as being able to walk, via computer animation. The next day, the company was flooded with phone calls from people asking how they had cured him.
- 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.
- Turned down the lead role in _American Gigolo (1980)_ (qv) which went to 'Richard Gere' (qv). Turned down the role of Fletcher Christian in _The Bounty (1984)_ (qv) which went to 'Mel Gibson (I)' (qv). Turned down the lead role in _Body Heat (1981)_ (qv) which went to 'William Hurt (I)' (qv). Turned down the role of Mason Verger in _Hannibal (2001)_ (qv) which went to 'Gary Oldman' (qv). In 1976, turned down the role of Mark Harris in _"Man from Atlantis" (1977)_ (qv) which went to 'Patrick Duffy (I)' (qv). Turned down the role of Jack T. Colton in _Romancing the Stone (1984)_ (qv) which went to 'Michael Douglas (I)' (qv), who also served as one of the film's producers.