The Death of Christopher Reeve (“Superman”)

As some of you may have heard already, Christopher Reeve died yesterday due to heart failure at the age of 52.Reeve was probably most well-know for playing Superman in the original “Superman” movies. After becoming paralyzed from the neck down in a horse ridding accident in the spring of 1995, he became deeply involved in activist organizations and causes related to his condition, such as by founding the Christopher Reeve Paralysis Foundation.

I suppose his death is much more significant to me than most people since I met him in the fall of 1994 (when I was 11), before his accident. He spoke in my home town of Hemet, CA, at a liberal rally called “Freedom Fest,” organized in part by my parents. The rally was aimed at speaking out against our conservative school district’s recent adoption of teaching an “abstinence only” sex ed policy (and my parents actually sued the school board — I’ve been a brain-washed liberal from an early age). So, Reeve was an activist of sorts long before his accident — it’s very impressive that he made the effort to come out to our very conservative, little retirement town just to speak at our rally.

3 Responses to “The Death of Christopher Reeve (“Superman”)”

Excellent post, Teisha– everyone’s tastes differ, but I love linky goodness.

I think Christopher Reeve had incredible courage to suffer that accident, and then choose to remain a public figure, trying to help others. I think many people would have hid from the light of day. He had dignity in what he did, and I respect him for that. Then again, in many ways this death is a blessing. He lived a hard life this last decade.

In my online Superhero game, there have been many moments of silence, and dedications (“I’m dedicating this evening’s Nazi hunt” ) for the real Superman.

Paradoxdruid - October 11th, 2004 at 6:15 pm

Anyone else think he might not have been regarded as a national hero if he advocated all the same things with the same passion, but wasn’t paralyzed? Anyone else think the idea that national icon status was awarded to him perhaps because he was crippled is sad? There are others, I think, who are just as heroic and completely unknown because they didn’t star in poorly written movies and then fall off horses…
Although, the man was still heroic for forging forward in his life and trying, not only to help himself, but others in his predicament.

Jon - October 17th, 2004 at 1:29 am

The tragic figure drawing more attention than they earned — I’ve always felt that’s a bit of the case with people such as John Lennon and Mozart (and dare I say… Jesus… ) though, yes, they were wonderful people in their own right, but one can’t help but wish that less attention was given to their tragic deaths (or to them because of it) and more to their amazing lives. Why do you think people need to do that? Why give so much attention to somebody because they died (as we all do!) when the real important component was that they really lived? Maybe it helps us relate, as we all will die someday, but I have the feeling it’s something else.

Teisha - October 17th, 2004 at 6:18 pm

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