52 (passed away Oct. 10th, 2004)
Sep. 25th, 1952
New York City, New York, USA
Christopher Reeve's Main TV Roles
Main Movie Roles
Guest TV Roles[none found]
Christopher Reeve was born September 25, 1952, in New York City. At age four, his parents (journalist Barbara Johnson 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 was the other) to study at New York's famous Juilliard School of Performing Arts, under the renowned John Houseman. 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.
- Starred opposite 'Michael Keaton' (qv) in _Speechless (1994)_ (qv). Keaton and Reeve portrayed DC Comics' two most iconic characters, Batman and Superman respectively.
- 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.
- Made his Broadway debut starring opposite 'Katharine Hepburn' (qv) in a production of "A Matter of Gravity" in 1976. Hepburn became very fond of him, both as an actor and as a person, and teased him that he would take care of her when she retired. Ironically, Reeve's reply was "Miss Hepburn, I don't think I'll live that long."
- 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.
- The last character he played before his riding accident was a paralyzed individual in _Above Suspicion (1995)_ (qv), which was released six days before the accident.
- 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.
- Was slated to direct a fifth Superman film featuring a new actor in the lead role if the fourth film was successful. Since the fourth film did poorly at the box office, the fifth film never materialized.
- Took some criticism for his portrayal of Clark Kent (Superman's alter ego) as a weak, bumbling nerd. This characterization (which he said was based on a younger 'Cary Grant' (qv)), in Reeve's opinion, was necessary because he felt that there had to be some kind of a difference between Superman and Clark Kent, otherwise "it's just the same guy in glasses."