Christopher Reeve

Christopher Reeve

52 (passed away Oct. 10th, 2004)
Sep. 25th, 1952
Born in
New York City, New York, USA
6' 4

Christopher Reeve's Main TV Roles

Show Character(s)
Smallville TV Show
The Carol Burnett Show TV Show
The Carol Burnett Show
Carol & Company TV Show
Carol & Company
Paula Zahn Now TV Show
Paula Zahn Now

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.

  • 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.
  • Was roommate with 'Robin Williams (I)' (qv) at Juilliard. They remained close friends for the remainder of his life. Williams helped pay his medical bills during his final years and dedicated his 'Cecil B. DeMille' (qv) lifetime achievement award to Reeve.
  • August 2000: Broke his leg after falling out of his wheelchair during a workout.
  • Was not given first billing in any of the Superman films until _Superman III (1983)_ (qv). As a relatively unknown actor at the time, he was given third billing behind 'Marlon Brando' (qv) and 'Gene Hackman' (qv) in the _Superman (1978)_ (qv), then given second billing behind Hackman in _Superman II (1980)_ (qv) before achieving top billing in the third film.
  • Starred opposite 'Michael Keaton' (qv) in _Speechless (1994)_ (qv). Keaton and Reeve portrayed DC Comics' two most iconic characters, Batman and Superman respectively.
  • Among the lead roles turned down were Julian Kaye in _American Gigolo (1980)_ (qv), Richard Lestrange in _The Blue Lagoon (1980)_ (qv), Ned Racine in _Body Heat (1981)_ (qv), T.S. Garp in _The World According to Garp (1982)_ (qv), Jeff Spicoli in _Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982)_ (qv), Allen Bauer in _Splash (1984)_ (qv), Daniel Jack T. Colton in _Romancing the Stone (1984)_ (qv), Dan Gallagher in _Fatal Attraction (1987)_ (qv), Martin Riggs in _Lethal Weapon (1987)_ (qv), Edward Lewis in _Pretty Woman (1990)_ (qv) and Fletcher Christian in _The Bounty (1984)_ (qv) (when 'David Lean (I)' (qv) was attached as director).
  • 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.".
  • 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."

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