Christopher Reeve
Actor, Director, Producer, Screenwriter
Christopher Reeve
Christopher D'Olier Reeve was an American actor, film director, producer, screenwriter, author and activist. He achieved stardom for his acting achievements, in particular his motion-picture portrayal of the fictional superhero Superman. On May 27, 1995, Reeve became a quadriplegic after being thrown from a horse during an equestrian competition in Virginia. He required a wheelchair and breathing apparatus for the rest of his life.
Biography
Christopher Reeve's personal information overview.
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News
News abour Christopher Reeve from around the web
Jackie Chan Finally Wins Honorary Oscar After 56 Years And 200 Films
Huffington Post - 3 months
function onPlayerReadyVidible(e){'undefined'!=typeof HPTrack&&HPTrack.Vid.Vidible_track(e)}!function(e,i){if(e.vdb_Player){if('object'==typeof commercial_video){var a='',o='m.fwsitesection='+commercial_video.site_and_category;if(a+=o,commercial_video['package']){var c='&m.fwkeyvalues=sponsorship%3D'+commercial_video['package'];a+=c}e.setAttribute('vdb_params',a)}i(e.vdb_Player)}else{var t=arguments.callee;setTimeout(function(){t(e,i)},0)}}(document.getElementById('vidible_1'),onPlayerReadyVidible); LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - When Jackie Chan saw an Oscar at Sylvester Stallone’s house 23 years ago, he said that was the moment he decided he wanted one. On Saturday at the annual Governors Awards, the Chinese actor and martial arts star finally received his little gold statuette, an honorary Oscar for his decades of work in film. “After 56 years in the film industry, making more than 200 films, after so many bones, finally,” Chan, 62, quipped at the star-studd ...
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Huffington Post article
FedEx Plane Catches Fire At Fort Lauderdale Airport
Huffington Post - 4 months
New video shows fireball shooting from FedEx plane at Fort Lauderdale Int'l Airport; both pilots escaped. pic.twitter.com/DjxIPfDKf8 — ABC News (@ABC) October 28, 2016 The landing gear of a FedEx DC-10 cargo plane collapsed on Friday at the main airport in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, causing a fire that was quickly extinguished, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration said. Video from local broadcasters shows what appears to be a FedEx cargo plane that is intact with the fire having taken place near the tail section. The company later said the pilots were safe. The airport said on its Twitter feed it is currently closed as firefighters respond to the incident. Welcome back to America...yikes!! #fll #cnnireport A video posted by Jacob Barnes (@jpaulbarnes) on Oct 28, 2016 at 3:05pm PDT FedEx plane exploded next to my departure gate at Ft Lauderdale. #Fedexexplosion pic.twitter.com/H3QtFbzg9i — Kevan Shokat (@kevansf) Oct ...
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Huffington Post article
Chipotle's Sales Still Tanking In Wake Of E. Coli Outbreak
Huffington Post - 4 months
(Reuters) - Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc on Tuesday said it expects sales at established restaurants to grow in the “high single digit” percentages next year, which would end a long string of declines following food safety lapses last year. Shares in Chipotle were down 1.4 percent at $400 in after-hours trading after the burrito chain said third-quarter sales at restaurants open at least 13 months dropped 21.9 percent. Analysts, on average, had expected a decline of 18.7 percent, according to tracking firm Consensus Metrix. Traffic declined 15.2 percent for the quarter. Net profit fell to $7.8 million, or 27 cents per share, during the quarter due to the sales slowdown and a variety of charges, from $144.9 million, or $4.59 cents per share, a year earlier. Chipotle also said it planned to build 195 to 201 new restaurants next year, down from 220 to 235 in 2016.   (Reporting by Lisa Baertlein in Los Angeles; Editing by Chris Reese) -- This feed and its contents are t ...
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Huffington Post article
Stem Cell Battles -- in Times Square?
Huffington Post - about 1 year
One sunny afternoon in 1963, two very young soldiers were standing on the observation deck of the Empire State Building, 86 floors up, looking out over the greatest city in the world. Paris may be lovelier, Los Angeles more packed with movie stars, and San Francisco has our Golden Gate; but New York City is where everything comes together, the city of nations, meeting place of Earth. And at the pulsing heart of it, the most visited destination in the world -- Times Square. At one end of the famous square, on 7th Avenue, across from the Hard Rock Café, is a giant electronic billboard -- the famous Reuters building sign, 22 stories tall, 7,000 square feet of breaking news, like the pulse of the planet. Remember that billboard. But first, back to the Empire State Building. Behind us was a security guard, leaning back in his chair, beside a door leading down into darkness. Yes, that was the indoor fire escape, he said, and no, we could not walk down it. But we were y ...
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Huffington Post article
Aisle View: Splendidly Delirious
Huffington Post - about 1 year
Jeremy Shamos, Kate Jennings Grant, David Furr, Andrea Martin, Tracee Chimo and Campbell Scott in Noises Off. Photo: Joan Marcus Michael Frayn's Noises Off, when it premiered back in 1982 in London (with Patricia Routledge) and when it opened in 1983 at the Atkinson (with Dorothy Loudon), was farce comedy par excellence; we didn't quite realize, in those days of Cats and Torch Song Trilogy, that broad, knock-down stage farce could not only be viable but classy. When the play was revived at the Atkinson in 2001--with a cast headed by Patti LuPone and Peter Gallagher, under the direction of Jeremy Sams--this playgoer found the results funny; or, rather, merely funny. Which was not enough at all. Far more problematic was Peter Bogdanovich's earlier, star-studded motion picture version, which suffered immediate death with critics and audiences. Slinging the prop sardines was Carol Burnett--still, in 1992, America's funniest lady--supported by the likes of Michael Caine and Chris ...
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Huffington Post article
Four Years Later, I No Longer Feel There Is No Future
The Huffington Post - about 1 year
This Thanksgiving weekend marked the fourth anniversary of my near-death accident when an out-of-control SUV with a sleeping driver barreled into my bicycle. I was an experienced cyclist taking all possible precautions -- I was wearing a helmet and bright clothing, obeying traffic laws, and riding on the right shoulder of a sparsely-travelled country road. It was at 1:06 p.m. on a Saturday afternoon everything changed in a split second. I think about that moment in time every day. For the first two years after the accident, I kept asking, "Why me? Why me?" I hadn't done anything to cause the accident that crushed my spine and left me a paraplegic. People said to me, "Thank God you survived. You are lucky to be alive!" But I didn't feel lucky at all; anything but. This wasn't the life I had worked so hard to build nor the life that I wanted. But these last two years have been different. I can't say I've accepted my lot with a sense of joie de vivre but I do accept that I need to ...
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The Huffington Post article
DVDs: "The Great American Dream Machine" Turned TV "Inside Out"
Huffington Post - over 1 year
Ok, the holidays are approaching. So we've got repackaged holiday TV classics slapped together so they can be restocked in the big box stores. We've got complete sets of "classic" (or just popular or just cult-y enough) TV shows in cheaper than ever sets. We've got some hit films. We'e got pirates fighting over treasure in "Black Sails" and thank God we have Criterion and their Eclipse label to uncover some treasures from the cinematic past. Arghhhh! THE GREAT AMERICAN DREAM MACHINE ($39.98 DVD; Entertainment One) BEST OF ENEMIES ($29.98 BluRay; Magnolia) BLACK SAILS SEASON TWO ($59.99 BluRay; Anchor Bay) BETTER CALL SAUL SEASON ONE ($65.99 BluRay; Sony) Great television has been produced since they started broadcasting in the 1940s. (The Nazis delayed the spread of TV, actually, or it would have been dominant even sooner.) The decline of TV began at just about the same time.Sometimes, strangely, both happen at the same moment. Certainly The Great American Dream ...
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Huffington Post article
One Stem Cell Awareness Day
Huffington Post - over 1 year
I was writing in a goldfish bowl: more accurately the goldfish bowl, the glass-walled conference room of the California stem cell agency, 210 King Street, San Francisco. I was autographing a copy of a book, "STEM CELL BATTLES: Proposition 71 and Beyond" with intentions of leaving it for guests to read. October 14th is international Stem Cell Awareness Day. I had asked my publisher to let that be the official launch day for my new book, "STEM CELL BATTLES: Proposition 71 and Beyond"* and they had managed to get some books in my hands, although the wide publication date was two months later--December 6th. An author gets a certain amount of books (in my case, 25) for his personal use. These I brought with me, as gifts for the first 25 people who attended It took 20 years to live this book, plus a year and a half to write it. Wayne Freedman and Greg DeRego of ABC TV had captured the story in print and video-- here is my little office at Americans for Cures! They joked about ...
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Huffington Post article
'Batman v. Superman,' with Adam West, Christopher Reeve
CNN - almost 2 years
Article Link:
CNN article
Adam West and Christopher Reeve star in hilarious new spoof trailer
Fox News - almost 2 years
When Ben Affleck was cast as Batman in the upcoming “Batman v Superman,” many people took to social media to protest. And now there’s a spoof trailer that should make those anti-Affleckers pleased.  
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Fox News article
Warburg Pincus buys stake in European ETF provider: report
Yahoo News - about 3 years
NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. private equity firm Warburg Pincus has bought a majority stake in a European exchange traded fund provider, in a deal that will give the asset manager new funds to expand offerings and grow through acquisitions, the Financial Times reported on Sunday. Warburg Pincus purchased the stake in Source from a group of banks that included Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Goldman Sachs, according to the report that valued the investment at about $300 million. (Reporting by Chris Prentice; Editing by Chris Reese)
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Yahoo News article
'Gravity's' Special Effects Flashback
NYTimes - about 3 years
The effects supervisor says the job recalled his visit to the set of “Superman” in the ’70s, when his uncle took on the challenge of making Christopher Reeve look like he could fly.
Article Link:
NYTimes article
Geoff Cox’s DVDs: Man Of Steel, Only God Forgives, The Heat
The Bucks Herald - over 3 years
We had to wait seven years for the return of superhero MAN OF STEEL (12: Warner) following the lukewarm reception given to Superman Returns. But encouraged by the success of Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy, the last son of Krypton is back in the strapping shape of British actor Henry Cavill. Nolan is co-producer and story provider for a reboot that mixes the plots of the first two Christopher Reeve fantasy adventures,. Unlike those classics, it’s more Matrix than mythic. The Krypton depicted here is run by computers, although Russell Crowe as superdad scientist Jor-El at least gets his Gladiator mojo working when he battles to send baby Kal-El to Earth. Flashbacks reveal Clark Kent’s time in Smallville with his parents (Kevin Costner, Diane Lane), but his struggle to deal with being “different” undermines the film’s momentum. And while Cavill certainly looks the part, when he dons his iconic supersuit for the first time, it’s a strangely muted moment instead of a rousing one. ...
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The Bucks Herald article
Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Christopher Reeve
    FIFTIES
  • 2004
    Age 51
    Eighteen hours later, on October 10, 2004, Reeve died at the age of 52.
    More Details Hide Details His doctor, John McDonald, believed that it was an adverse reaction to the antibiotic that caused his death. A memorial service for Reeve was held at the Unitarian Church in Westport, Connecticut, which his wife attended. His wife, Dana Reeve, headed the Christopher Reeve Foundation after his death. She was diagnosed with lung cancer on August 9, 2005, and died at age 44 on March 6, 2006. They were survived by their son, William, and Reeve's son Matthew and daughter Alexandra, both from his relationship with Gae Exton. Christopher was also survived by his parents and Dana was survived by her father. Matthew and Alexandra now serve on the board of directors for the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation.
    In early October 2004, he was being treated for an infected pressure ulcer that was causing sepsis, a complication that he had experienced many times before.
    More Details Hide Details On October 5, he spoke at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago on behalf of the Institute's work. This was to be his last reported public appearance. On October 9, Reeve felt well and attended his son Will's hockey game. That night, he went into cardiac arrest after receiving an antibiotic for the infection. He fell into a coma and was taken to Northern Westchester Hospital in Mount Kisco, New York.
    Also in 2004, Reeve directed the A&E film The Brooke Ellison Story.
    More Details Hide Details The film is based on the true story of Brooke Ellison, the first quadriplegic to graduate from Harvard University. Reeve during this time was directing the animated film Everyone's Hero. It was one of his dream projects and he died during the middle of production for the film. His wife, Dana helped out and his son, Will was a cast member in the film. Reeve suffered from asthma and allergies since childhood. At age 16, he began to suffer from alopecia areata, a condition that causes patches of hair to fall out from an otherwise healthy head of hair. Generally he was able to comb over it and often the problem disappeared for long periods. Later in life, the condition became more noticeable after he became paralyzed, and he would have his head shaved. More than once he had a severe reaction to a drug. In Kessler, he tried a drug named Sygen which was theorized to help reduce damage to the spinal cord. The drug caused him to go into anaphylactic shock and his heart stopped. He claimed to have had an out-of-body experience and remembered saying, "I'm sorry, but I have to go now" during the event. In his autobiography, he wrote, "and then I left my body. I was up on the ceiling I looked down and saw my body stretched out on the bed, not moving, while everybody—there were 15 or 20 people, the doctors, the EMTs, the nurses—was working on me.
    In June 2004, Reeve provided a videotaped message on behalf of the Genetics Policy Institute to the delegates of the United Nations in defense of somatic cell nuclear transfer, which was under consideration to be banned by world treaty.
    More Details Hide Details In the final days of his life, Reeve urged California voters to vote yes on Proposition 71, which would establish the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, and allot $3 billion of state funds to stem cell research. Proposition 71 was approved less than one month after Reeve's death.
    In April 2004, Random House published Reeve's second book, Nothing Is Impossible.
    More Details Hide Details This book is shorter than Still Me and focuses on Reeve's world views and the life experiences that helped him shape them.
  • 2003
    Age 50
    On February 25, 2003, Reeve appeared in the television series Smallville as Dr. Swann in the episode "Rosetta."
    More Details Hide Details In that episode, Dr. Swann brings to Clark Kent (Tom Welling) information about where he comes from and how to use his powers for the good of mankind. The scenes of Reeve and Welling feature music cues from the 1978 Superman movie, composed by John Williams and arranged by Mark Snow. At the end of this episode, Reeve and Welling appeared in a short spot inviting people to support the Christopher Reeve Paralysis Foundation. "Rosetta" set ratings history for The WB network. The fan community met the episode with rave reviews and praise it as being among the series' best to this day. Reeve also appeared in the Smallville episode "Legacy", in which he met again with fellow stage actor John Glover, who played Lionel Luthor in the show.
  • FORTIES
  • 2002
    Age 49
    In 2002, Reeve lobbied for the Human Cloning Prohibition Act of 2001, which would allow somatic cell nuclear transfer research, but would ban reproductive cloning.
    More Details Hide Details He argued that stem cell implantation is unsafe unless the stem cells contain the patient's own DNA, and that because somatic cell nuclear transfer is done without fertilizing an egg, it can be fully regulated.
    In 2002, the Christopher and Dana Reeve Paralysis Resource Center, a federal government facility created through a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention non-compete grant, was opened in Short Hills, New Jersey.
    More Details Hide Details Its mission is to teach paralyzed people to live more independently. Reeve said, "When somebody is first injured or as a disease progresses into paralysis, people don't know where to turn. Dana and I wanted a facility that could give support and information to people. With this new Center, we're off to an amazing start."
  • 2001
    Age 48
    Reeve lobbied for expanded federal funding on embryonic stem cell research to include all embryonic stem cell lines in existence and for open-ended scientific inquiry of the research by self-governance. President George W. Bush limited the federal funding to research only on human embryonic stem cell lines created on or before August 9, 2001, the day he announced his policy, and allotted approximately $100 million for it.
    More Details Hide Details Reeve initially called this "a step in the right direction," admitting that he did not know about the existing lines and would look into them further. He fought against the limit when scientists revealed that most of the old lines were contaminated by an early research technique that involved mixing the human stem cells with mouse cells.
    In 2001, Reeve was elected to serve on the board of directors for the company TechHealth, headquartered in Tampa, Florida, which provided products and services for severely injured patients.
    More Details Hide Details While serving on the TechHealth board, Reeve participated in board meetings and advised the company on strategic direction. He refused compensation. He made phone calls to the company's catastrophically injured patients to cheer them up.
  • 2000
    Age 47
    In 2000, he began to regain some motor function, and was able to sense hot and cold temperatures on his body.
    More Details Hide Details His doctor, John McDonald of Washington University in St. Louis, asked him if anything was new with his recovery. Reeve then moved his left index finger on command. "I don't think Dr. McDonald would have been more surprised if I had just walked on water," said Reeve in an interview. Also during that year, he made guest appearances on the long-running PBS series Sesame Street.
  • 1998
    Age 45
    On April 25, 1998, Random House published Reeve's autobiography, Still Me.
    More Details Hide Details The book spent eleven weeks on the New York Times Best Seller list and Reeve won a Grammy Award for Best Spoken Word Album. Throughout this time, Reeve kept his body as physically strong as possible by using specialized exercise machines. He did this both because he believed that the nervous system could be regenerated through intense physical therapy, and because he wanted his body to be strong enough to support itself if a cure was found.
    In 1998, Reeve produced and starred in Rear Window, a remake of Alfred Hitchcock's 1954 film.
    More Details Hide Details He was nominated for a Golden Globe and won a Screen Actors Guild Award for his performance.
  • 1997
    Age 44
    In 1997, Reeve made his directorial debut with the HBO film In the Gloaming with Robert Sean Leonard, Glenn Close, Whoopi Goldberg, Bridget Fonda and David Strathairn.
    More Details Hide Details The film won four Cable Ace Awards and was nominated for five Emmy Awards including "Outstanding Director for a Miniseries or Special." Dana Reeve said, "There's such a difference in his outlook, his health, his overall sense of well-being when he's working at what he loves, which is creative work."
  • 1996
    Age 43
    For these efforts, he was placed on the cover of TIME on August 26, 1996.
    More Details Hide Details In the same year, he narrated the HBO film Without Pity: A Film About Abilities. The film won the Emmy Award for "Outstanding Informational Special." He then acted in a small role in the film A Step Towards Tomorrow. Reeve was elected Chairman of the American Paralysis Association and Vice Chairman of the National Organization on Disability. He co-founded the Reeve-Irvine Research Center, which is now one of the leading spinal cord research centers in the world. He created the Christopher Reeve Foundation (currently known as the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation) to speed up research through funding, and to use grants to improve the quality of the lives of people with disabilities. The Foundation to date has given more than $65 million for research, and more than $8.5 million in quality-of-life grants. The Foundation has funded a new technology called "Locomotor Training" that uses a treadmill to mimic the movements of walking to help develop neural connections, in effect re-teaching the spinal cord how to send signals to the legs to walk. This technology has helped several paralyzed patients walk again. Of Christopher Reeve, UC Irvine said, "in the years following his injury, Christopher did more to promote research on spinal cord injury and other neurological disorders than any other person before or since."
    In 1996, he appeared at the Academy Awards to a long standing ovation and gave a speech about Hollywood's duty to make movies that face the world's most important issues head-on.
    More Details Hide Details He also hosted the Paralympics in Atlanta and spoke at the Democratic National Convention. He traveled across the country to make speeches, never needing a teleprompter or a script.
  • 1995
    Age 42
    On June 28, 1995, Reeve was taken to the Kessler Rehabilitation Center in West Orange, New Jersey.
    More Details Hide Details He was given several blood transfusions in the first few weeks because of very low hemoglobin and protein levels. Many times his breathing tube would become disconnected and he would be at the mercy of nurses to come in and save his life. At the Institute, one of his aides was a Jamaican man named Glenn Miller, nicknamed Juice, who helped him learn how to get into the shower and how to use a powered wheelchair, which was activated by blowing air through a straw. Miller and Reeve would watch the film Cool Runnings and joke about Reeve directing the sequel, Bobsled Two. In July 2003, Christopher Reeve's continuing frustration with the pace of stem cell research in the U.S. led him to Israel, a country that was then, according to him, at the center of research in spinal cord injury. He was invited by Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs to seek out the best treatment for his condition. During his visit, Reeve called the experience “a privilege” and said, “Israel has very proactive rehab facilities, excellent medical schools and teaching hospitals, and an absolutely first-rate research infrastructure.”
    On May 27, 1995, Reeve's horse made a refusal.
    More Details Hide Details Witnesses said that the horse began the third fence jump and suddenly stopped. Reeve fell forward off the horse, holding on to the reins. His hands somehow became tangled in the reins, and the bridle and bit were pulled off the horse. He landed headfirst on the far side of the fence, shattering his first and second vertebrae. This cervical spinal injury, which paralyzed him from the neck down, also halted his breathing. Paramedics arrived three minutes later and immediately took measures to get air into his lungs. He was taken first to the local hospital, before being flown on by helicopter to the University of Virginia Medical Center. Afterwards he had no recollection of the accident. Due to this injury, Armand Assante replaced Reeve for the role of Alan Breck Stewart in Kidnapped. For the first few days after the accident, Reeve suffered from delirium, woke up sporadically and would mouth words to Dana such as "Get the gun" and "They're after us." After five days, he regained full consciousness, and his doctor explained to him that he had destroyed his first and second cervical vertebrae, which meant that his skull and spine were not connected. His lungs were filling with fluid and were suctioned by entry through the throat; this was said to be the most painful part of Reeve's recovery.
  • 1994
    Age 41
    He trained with Buck in 1994, and planned to do Training Level events in 1995 and move up to Preliminary in 1996.
    More Details Hide Details Though Reeve had originally signed up to compete at an event in Vermont, his coach invited him to go to the Commonwealth Dressage and Combined Training Association finals at the Commonwealth Park equestrian center in Culpeper, Virginia. Reeve finished at fourth place out of 27 in the dressage, before walking his cross-country course. He was concerned about jumps 16 and 17, but paid little attention to the third jump, which was a routine three-foot-three fence shaped like the letter 'W'.
    In 1994, Reeve was elected as a co-president of the Creative Coalition.
    More Details Hide Details The organization's work was noticed nationwide, and Reeve was asked by the Democratic Party to run for the United States Congress. He replied, "Run for Congress? And lose my influence in Washington?" At this time, he had received scripts for Picket Fences and Chicago Hope and was asked by CBS if he wanted to start his own television series. This meant moving to Los Angeles, which would place him even further from Matthew and Alexandra, who lived in London. In Massachusetts, Reeve could take a Concorde and see them any time. He declined the offers. Reeve did not mind making trips, however; he went to New Mexico to shoot Speechless (co-starring Michael Keaton who, like Reeve, also portrayed a famous DC Comics superhero on film; Batman) and went to Point Reyes to shoot Village of the Damned.
  • THIRTIES
  • 1992
    Age 39
    Dana gave birth to William Elliot "Will" Reeve on June 7, 1992 at North Adams Regional Hospital in North Adams, Massachusetts.
    More Details Hide Details In October, Reeve was offered the part of Lewis in The Remains of the Day. The script was one of the best he had read, and he unhesitatingly took the part. The film was deemed an instant classic and was nominated for eight Academy Awards. In the early 1990s, Reeve was in three roles for television in which he was cast as a villain. The most notable of these was Bump in the Night based on the novel by Isabelle Holland in which Reeve played a child molester who abducts a young boy in New York City. The movie got fair to positive reviews. Reeve felt it was important for parents of young children to see the film. It is on home video in the UK, but not in the US. In another television movie, Mortal Sins (1992), Reeve for the second time played a Catholic priest, this time hearing the confessions of a serial murderer in a role reminiscent of that of Montgomery Clift in Hitchcock's I Confess.
    The two began dating and were married in Williamstown in April 1992.
    More Details Hide Details In the late 1980s, Reeve became more active. He was taking horse-riding lessons, and trained five to six days a week for competition in combined training events. He built a sailboat, The Sea Angel, and sailed from the Chesapeake to Nova Scotia. He campaigned for Senator Patrick Leahy and made speeches throughout the state. He served as a board member for the Charles Lindbergh Fund, which promotes environmentally safe technologies. He lent support to causes such as Amnesty International, the Natural Resources Defense Council, and People for the American Way. He joined the Environmental Air Force, and used his Cheyenne II turboprop plane to take government officials and journalists over areas of environmental damage. In late 1987, 77 actors in Santiago, Chile were threatened with execution by the dictator Augusto Pinochet. Reeve was asked by Ariel Dorfman to help save their lives. Reeve flew to Chile and helped lead a protest march. A cartoon then ran in a newspaper showing him carrying Pinochet by the collar with the caption, "Where will you take him, Superman?" For his heroics, he was awarded the Grand Cross of the Bernardo O'Higgins Order, the highest Chilean distinction for foreigners. He also received the Obie Prize and the Annual Walter Brielh Human Rights Foundation award. Reeve's friend Ron Silver later started the Creative Coalition, an organization designed to teach celebrities how to speak knowledgeably about political issues.
  • 1990
    Age 37
    In 1990, Reeve starred in the Civil War film, The Rose and the Jackal, in which he played Allan Pinkerton, the head of President Lincoln's new Secret Service.
    More Details Hide Details
  • 1987
    Age 34
    After Superman IV in 1987, Reeve's relationship with Exton fell apart, and they separated.
    More Details Hide Details He moved to New York without his children. He became depressed and decided that doing a comedy might be good for him. He was given a lead in Switching Channels. Burt Reynolds and Kathleen Turner had a feud during filming, which made the time even more unbearable for Reeve. Reeve later stated that he made a fool of himself in the film and that most of his time was spent refereeing between Reynolds and Turner. The film did poorly, and Reeve believed that it marked the end of his movie star career. He spent the next years mostly doing plays. He tried out for the Richard Gere role in Pretty Woman, but walked out on the audition because they had a half-hearted casting director fill in for Julia Roberts. Five months after separating from Gae Exton and after filming Switching Channels, he went back to Williamstown with his children, Matthew and Alexandra, who were seven and three respectively. Reeve watched a group of singers called the Cabaret Corps perform, and took notice of one of the singers, Dana Morosini.
  • 1986
    Age 33
    In 1986, he was still struggling to find scripts that he liked.
    More Details Hide Details A script named Street Smart had been lying in his house for years, and after re-reading it, he had it green-lit at Cannon Films. He starred opposite Morgan Freeman, who was nominated for his first Academy Award for the film. The film received excellent reviews but performed poorly at the box office, possibly because Cannon Films had failed to properly advertise it.
  • 1985
    Age 32
    Also in 1985, DC Comics named Reeve as one of the honorees in the company's 50th anniversary publication Fifty Who Made DC Great for his work on the Superman film series.
    More Details Hide Details
    In 1985, Reeve hosted the television documentary Dinosaur!
    More Details Hide Details Fascinated with dinosaurs since he was a kid (as he says in the documentary) he flew himself to New York in his own plane to shoot on location at the American Museum of Natural History.
  • 1984
    Age 31
    In 1984, Reeve appeared in The Aspern Papers with Vanessa Redgrave.
    More Details Hide Details He then played Tony in The Royal Family and the Count in Marriage of Figaro.
  • 1983
    Age 30
    At this time, Gae Exton gave birth to their second child, Alexandra Exton Reeve, in December 1983 at Welbeck Hospital in London, England.
    More Details Hide Details
  • TWENTIES
  • 1979
    Age 26
    Gae Exton, Reeve's partner at the time, gave birth to their son, Matthew Exton Reeve, on December 20, 1979, at Welbeck Hospital in London, England.
    More Details Hide Details After finishing Superman II, the family left London and rented a house in Hollywood Hills. Soon after, Reeve grew tired of Hollywood and took the family to Williamstown, Massachusetts, where he played the lead in the successful play The Front Page, directed by Robert Allan Ackerman. Later in the year, Reeve played a disabled Vietnam veteran in the Broadway play Fifth of July. In his research for the role, he was coached by an amputee on how to walk on artificial legs. After The Fifth of July, Reeve stretched his acting range further and played a homicidal novice playwright trying to kill his lover and mentor Michael Caine in Sidney Lumet's dark comedy film Deathtrap based on the play by Ira Levin. The film was well received. After Superman II, Reeve portrayed partially corrupt Catholic priest John Flaherty in Monsignor. Reeve felt this gave him the opportunity to play "a morally ambiguous character who was neither clearly good nor clearly bad, someone to whom life is much more complex than the characters I've played previously". Reeve blamed the failure of the film on poor editing. He said "the movie is sort of a series of outrageous incidents that you find hard to believe. Since they don't have a focus, and since they aren't justified and explained, they become laughable"
    The film was shot on Mackinac Island in mid-1979 and was Reeve's favorite film ever to shoot.
    More Details Hide Details After the film was completed, the plan was for a limited release and to build word of mouth, but early test screenings were favorable and the studio decided on a wide release, which ultimately proved to be the wrong strategy. Early reviews savaged the film as overly sentimental and melodramatic and an actors' strike prevented Reeve and Seymour from doing publicity. The film quickly closed, although Jean-Pierre Dorléac was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Costume Design in 1980. The film, commercially unsuccessful, was Reeve's first public disappointment. Almost 10 years after Somewhere in Time was released it became a cult film, thanks to screenings on cable networks and video rentals; its popularity began to grow, vindicating the belief of the creative team. INSITE, the International Network of Somewhere in Time Enthusiasts, did fundraising to sponsor a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1997 for Reeve. Jane Seymour became a personal friend of Reeve and in 1996 named one of her twin sons Kristopher in his honor.
  • 1978
    Age 25
    Reeve's first role after 1978's Superman was as Richard Collier in the 1980 romantic fantasy Somewhere in Time.
    More Details Hide Details Jane Seymour played Elise McKenna, his love interest.
    Reeve's first role in a Hollywood film was a small part as a submarine officer in the 1978 naval disaster movie Gray Lady Down.
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  • 1977
    Age 24
    Through Stalmaster's persistent pleading, a meeting between director Richard Donner, producer Ilya Salkind and Reeve was set in January 1977 at the Sherry Netherland Hotel on Fifth Avenue.
    More Details Hide Details The morning after the meeting, Reeve was sent a 300-page script. He was thrilled that the script took the subject matter seriously, and that Richard Donner's motto was verisimilitude. Reeve immediately flew to London for a screen test, and on the way was told that Marlon Brando was going to play Jor-El and Gene Hackman was going to play Lex Luthor. Reeve still did not think he had much of a chance. Though standing 6'4" (193 cm), he was a self-described "skinny WASP." On the plane ride to London, he imagined how his approach to the role would be. He later said, "By the late 1970s the masculine image had changed... Now it was acceptable for a man to show gentleness and vulnerability. I felt that the new Superman ought to reflect that contemporary male image." He based his portrayal of Clark Kent on Cary Grant in his role in Bringing Up Baby. After the screen test, his driver said, "I'm not supposed to tell you this, but you've got the part."
  • 1976
    Age 23
    When the play moved to Los Angeles in 1976, Reeve — to Hepburn's disappointment — dropped out.
    More Details Hide Details They stayed in touch for years after the play's run. Reeve later regretted not staying closer instead of just sending messages back and forth.
  • 1975
    Age 22
    In late 1975, he auditioned for the Broadway play A Matter of Gravity.
    More Details Hide Details Katharine Hepburn watched his audition and cast him as her character's grandson in the play. With Hepburn's influence over the CBS network, Reeve worked out the schedules of Love of Life and the play so that he would be able to do both. Because of his busy schedule, he ate candy bars and drank coffee in place of meals, and suffered from exhaustion and malnutrition. On the first night of the play's run, Reeve entered the stage, said his first line, and then promptly fainted. Hepburn turned to the audience and said, "This boy's a goddamn fool. He doesn't eat enough red meat." The understudy finished the play for him, and Reeve was treated by a doctor who advised him to eat a more healthy diet. He stayed with the play throughout its year-long run and was given very favorable reviews. He and Hepburn became very close. She said, "You're going to be a big star, Christopher, and support me in my old age." He replied, "I can't wait that long." A romance between the two was rumored in some gossip columns. Reeve said, "She was sixty-seven and I was twenty-two, but I thought that was quite an honor I believe I was fairly close to what a child or grandchild might have been to her." Reeve said that his father, who was a professor of literature and came to many of the performances, was the man who most captivated Hepburn.
  • 1974
    Age 21
    In early 1974, Reeve and other Juilliard students toured the New York City middle school system and performed The Love Cure.
    More Details Hide Details In one performance, Reeve, who played the hero, drew his sword out too high and accidentally destroyed a row of lights above him. The students applauded and cheered. Reeve later said that this was the greatest ovation of his career. After completing his first year at Juilliard, Reeve graduated from Cornell in the Class of '74.
  • TEENAGE
  • 1970
    Age 17
    After graduating from Princeton Day School in June 1970, Reeve acted in plays in Boothbay, Maine and planned to go to New York City to find a career in theater.
    More Details Hide Details Instead, at the advice of his mother, he applied for college. He was accepted into Brown, Carnegie Mellon, Columbia, Cornell, Northwestern, and Princeton. Reeve claimed that he chose Cornell primarily because it is a three-and-a-half-hour drive from New York City, where he planned to start his career as an actor, despite the fact that Columbia is in New York City, just a few miles uptown from the theater district. Reeve joined the theater department in Cornell and played Pozzo in Waiting for Godot, Segismundo in Life Is a Dream, Hamlet in Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, and Polixenes in The Winter's Tale. Late in his freshman year, Reeve received a letter from Stark Hesseltine, a high-powered agent who had discovered Robert Redford and represented actors such as Richard Chamberlain, Michael Douglas, and Susan Sarandon. Hesseltine had seen Reeve in A Month in the Country and wanted to represent him. The two met and decided that instead of dropping out of school, Reeve could come to New York once a month to meet casting agents and producers to find work for the summer vacation. That summer, he toured in a production of Forty Carats with Eleanor Parker.
  • 1968
    Age 15
    In mid-1968, at age fifteen, Reeve was accepted as an apprentice at the Williamstown Theatre Festival in Williamstown, Massachusetts.
    More Details Hide Details The other apprentices were mostly college students, but Reeve's older appearance and maturity helped him fit in with the others. In a workshop, he played a scene from A View from the Bridge that was chosen to be presented in front of an audience. After the performance, actress Olympia Dukakis said to him, "I'm surprised. You've got a lot of talent. Don't mess it up." The next summer, Reeve was hired at the Harvard Summer Repertory Theater Company in Cambridge for $44 per week. He played a Russian sailor in The Hostage and Belyayev in A Month in the Country. Famed theater critic Elliot Norton called his performance as Belyayev "startlingly effective." The 23-year-old lead actress in the play, a Carnegie Mellon graduate, turned out to be Reeve's first romance. She was engaged to a fellow Carnegie Mellon graduate at the time; they mutually ended the relationship when he made a surprise visit to her dorm room at seven in the morning and found Reeve with her. Reeve's romance with the actress fizzled a few months later when the age difference became an issue. Reeve was briefly involved with Scientology, but opted out of becoming a member. He subsequently voiced criticism of the organization.
  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1962
    Age 9
    Reeve found his passion in 1962 at age nine when he was cast in an amateur version of the play The Yeomen of the Guard; it was the first of many student plays.
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  • 1956
    Age 3
    Franklin and Barbara divorced in 1956, and she moved with her two sons to Princeton, New Jersey, where they attended Nassau Street School. Later that year, Franklin Reeve married Helen Schmidinger, a Columbia University graduate student. Barbara Pitney Lamb married Tristam B. Johnson, a stockbroker, in 1959.
    More Details Hide Details Johnson enrolled Christopher and his brother, Benjamin, in Princeton Country Day School, which later merged with Miss Fine's School for Girls to become the co-educational Princeton Day School. Reeve excelled academically, athletically, and onstage; he was on the honor roll and played soccer, baseball, tennis and hockey. The sportsmanship award at Princeton Day School's invitational hockey tournament was named in Reeve's honor. Reeve admitted that he put pressure on himself to act older than he actually was in order to gain his father's approval.
  • 1952
    Born
    Christopher Reeve was born on September 25, 1952 in New York City, the son of Barbara Pitney (Lamb), a journalist, and Franklin D'Olier Reeve, a teacher, novelist, poet, and scholar.
    More Details Hide Details Reeve was of almost entirely English ancestry, with many family lines that had been in America since the early 1600s. His paternal grandfather, Colonel Richard Henry Reeve, had been the CEO of Prudential Financial for over twenty-five years, and his great-grandfather, Franklin D'Olier, was a prominent businessman, veteran of World War I, and the first national commander of the American Legion. Reeve's mother was the granddaughter of Mahlon Pitney, a U.S. Supreme Court Justice, and a descendant of William Bradford, a Mayflower passenger. Reeve was also descended from a sister of statesman Elias Boudinot, as well as from Massachusetts governors Thomas Dudley and John Winthrop, Pennsylvania deputy governor Thomas Lloyd, and Henry Baldwin, another U.S. Supreme Court Justice. Reeve's father was a Princeton University graduate studying for a master's degree in Russian at Columbia University prior to the birth of his son, Christopher. Despite being born wealthy, Franklin Reeve spent summers working at the docks with longshoremen. Reeve's mother had been a student at Vassar College, but transferred to Barnard College to be closer to Franklin, whom she had met through a family connection. They had another son, Benjamin, born on October 6, 1953.
Original Authors of this text are noted here.
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