Christopher D’Olier Reeve was born on September 25, 1952 – October 10, 2004 and he was an American actor, director, and activist, best known for playing the title character and the title role in the film Superman (1978) and its three sequels. 

Christopher Reeve Biography

He was born on September 25, 1952, in New York City, the son of Barbara Pitney Lamb, a journalist; and Franklin D’Olier Reeve (1928-2013), teacher, novelist, poet, and scholar. 

Franklin and Barbara divorced in 1956, and she was moving with Christopher and his younger brother to Princeton, New Jersey , where they was attending Nassau Street School and then Princeton Country Day School, which later merged with Miss Fine’s School for Girls to become in mixed school Princeton Day School . 

His parents remarried. He was excelling academically, athletically, and on stage; he was on the honor roll and was playing soccer, baseball, tennis, and hockey. The sportsmanship award at the Princeton Day School invitational hockey tournament was named in honor of Reeve.

He had a rocky relationship with his father, Franklin. He was writing in 1998 that his father’s “love for his children always seemed tied to performance”  and that he was pressuring himself to act older than he really was to gain approval of his father.  Between 1988 and 1995, the two barely spoke, but they was reconciling after Reeve’s crippling accident. christopher-reeve-biography.jpg

He was finding his passion for acting in 1962 at age nine when he was cast in an amateur version of the operetta The Yeomen of the Guard ; it was the first of many student plays. 

Christopher Reeve Accident

He was suffering from asthma and allergies since childhood. At age 16, he start suffering from alopecia areata, a condition that causes patches of hair to fall out of otherwise healthy tresses. 

He was generally able to style it, and often the problem went away for long periods, but she did wear a wig for the third and fourth Superman films . The condition became more noticeable after he became paralyzed, so he shaved his head. 

More than once he had a severe reaction to a drug. At Kessler, he tried a drug called Sygen that was theorized to help reduce spinal cord damage. 

The drug put him into anaphylactic shock and his heart was stopping. He was claiming to have had an out-of-body experience and recalled saying, “I’m sorry, but I have to go now,” during the event. In his autobiography, she wrote, “and then I left my body. I was up on the roof… I looked down and saw my body lying on the bed, not moving, while everyone, there were 15 or 20 people, the doctors, the EMTs, the nurses, they were working on me. christopher-reeve-accident.jpg

The noise and commotion grew quieter, as if someone was gradually lowering the volume.” After receiving a large dose of epinephrine, he awoke and stabilized later that night. 

In 2002 and 2004, he was surviving several serious infections believed to have originated in his bone marrow. He was recovering from three that could have been fatal.

Christopher Reeve Career

In late 1975, he was auditioning for the Broadway play A Matter of GravityKatharine Hepburn saw him audition and cast him as the grandson of her character in the play. With Hepburn’s influence on the CBS network, Reeve crafted the schedules for the soap opera Love of Lifeand the play to be able to do both. 

Due to his busy schedule, she ate chocolate bars and drank coffee instead of meals and thus suffered from exhaustion and malnutrition. On the first night of the play’s run, Reeve walked onto the stage, said the first line of it, and then promptly passed out. 

Hepburn was turning to the audience and said, “This kid is a bloody fool. He doesn’t eat enough red meat.” The understudy finished the play for Reeve and was treated by a doctor. The doctor recommended that Reeve follow a healthier diet. She was remaining in the play throughout the year and received rave reviews. christopher-reeve-career.jpg

Some gossip columns rumored an affair between the two. Reeve said, “She was sixty-seven and I was twenty-two, but I thought it was a great honour…I think it was pretty close to what a son or a grandson might have been to her.” 

He said that her father, who was an English professor and attended many of the performances, was the man who most captivated Hepburn. When the play was moving to Los Angeles in 1976, Reeve, to Hepburn’s disappointment, dropped out. When the play was moving to Los Angeles in 1976, Reeve, to Hepburn’s disappointment, dropped out.

His first role in a Hollywood film was a very small role as a junior officer in the 1978 naval submarine disaster film Gray Lady Down , starring Charlton Heston. He then performed in the Circle Repertory Company play My Life with his friend William Hurt. 

Christopher Reeve Movies

After his acclaimed performances in Superman and Superman II , he was turning down many roles in action films, choosing instead to work in small films and plays theater with more complex characters. 

He later was appearing in such critically successful films as The Bostonians (1984), Street Smart (1987) and The Remains of the Day (1993), and in the stage plays Fifth of July on Broadway and The Aspern Papers in London’s West End.

He also made several appearances on the Superman-themed television series Smallville , and write two autobiographical books, Still Me and Nothing is Impossible . Throughout his career, Reeve received a BAFTA award , a Screen Actors Guild Award , an Emmy Award and a Grammy Award.

Christopher Reeve Superman

During My Life , Stark Hesseltine told Reeve that he had been asked to audition for the lead role of Clark Kent/Superman in the big-budget film Superman (1978). Lynn Stalmaster, the casting director, put Reeve’s photo and resume on top of the pile three separate times, only to have it thrown out each time by the producers. 

Through persistent pleas from Stalmaster, a meeting between director Richard Donner, producer Ilya Salkind, and Reeve was arranged. The morning after the meeting, Reeve received a 300-page script. He was delighted that the script took the subject seriously and that Richard Donner’s motto was verisimilitude.

Reeve flew to London for a screen test, and was told on the way that Marlon Brando was going to play Jor-El and Gene Hackman was going to play Lex Luthor. Reeve kept thinking that he didn’t have much of a chance. On the plane ride to London, he envisioned what his approach to the role would be like. 

He later was saying, “By the late 1970s, the male image had changed… It was now acceptable for a man to show gentleness and vulnerability. I was feeling that the new Superman should reflect that contemporary male image.” He was basing his portrayal of Clark Kent on Cary Grant’s role in Bringing Up Baby . After the screen test, his host said, “I’m not supposed to tell you this, but you have the part.” christopher-reeve-superman.jpg

Playing Superman would be overkill for the 24-year-old actor. He was 193 cm (6 ft 4 in) tall, but his physique was slim. He underwent an intense two-month training regimen overseen by former British powerlifting champion David Prowse

The training regimen consisted of running in the morning, followed by two hours of weightlifting and ninety minutes on the trampoline. He added thirty pounds (14 kg) of muscle to his “lean” 189-pound (86 kg) body. 

He later made even greater strides with Superman III (1983), although in Superman IV: The Quest for Peace (1987), he decided it would be healthier to focus more on cardio workouts. One of the reasons Reeve couldn’t work as hard for Superman IV was an emergency appendectomy he had in June 1986. 

Christopher Reeve Son

While filming the first two Superman movies in England, Reeve began a ten-year relationship with model executive Gae Exton.

They had a son, Matthew Exton Reeve, on December 20, 1979, and a daughter, Alexandra Exton Reeve, in December 1983. They were both born in London, England. christopher-reeve-son.jpg

In February 1987, him and Gae Exton amicably were separating with joint custody of their children, and he was returning to New York. Matthew and Alexandra were staying in London with her mother and often spent their holidays with Reeve.

In June 1987, he met his future wife Dana Morosini, a singer and actress. In 1991, they was living together, but him, recalling her parents’ painful divorce and other failed marriages in her family, could not commit. 

After they nearly broke up, he start about a year of therapy, mostly to talk about his fears about marriage. Then one night at dinner he was saying, “I put down my fork and asked her to marry me.” 

They were married in April 1992, and their son William was born on June 7 of that year. The couple remained happily married until Reeve’s death.

Christopher Reeve Death

In early October 2004, he was treating for an infected pressure ulcer that was causing sepsis, a complication he had experienced many times before. On October 4, 2004, he was speaking at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago on behalf of the Institute’s work; it was the last reported public of his appearance.

On October 9, 2004, he was attending his son Will’s hockey game. That night, he was going into cardiac arrest after receiving an antibiotic for the infection. He fell into a coma and was transferred to Northern Westchester Hospital in Mount Kisco, New York. Eighteen hours later, on October 10, 2004, he died at the age of 52christopher-reeve-death.jpg

A memorial service for him has been held at the Unitarian Church in Westport, Connecticut, which both Reeve and Dana had attended. 

Another private memorial service held at the Juilliard School three weeks later was attended by over 900 people, with speakers including Robin Williams, Meryl Streep, and Glenn Close.

Christopher Reeve Net Worth

He had a net worth of $3 million at the time of this death in October 2004.

Previous articleRussell Wilson Trade, Injury And Net Worth
Next articleMontserrat Caballé Young, Husband And Net Worth