Actor Christopher Reeve, best known for playing the Man of Steel in the Superman movies, died of heart failure Sunday at the age of 52. Reeve became a symbol of hope and perseverance for many when a 1995 horse riding accident left him a quadriplegic.
While he enjoyed a long and distinguished career, Reeve will always be remembered for bringing DC Comics’ signature superhero to life. The classically trained thespian expertly portrayed the duality of bumbling, mild-mannered reporter Clark Kent and his extraterrestrial alter-ego in director Richard Donner’s 1978 blockbuster, Superman, and its three sequels. He also won over audiences and critics with the romantic time-travel favorite Somewhere in Time (1980), the Sidney Lumet mystery Deathtrap (1982) and the Merchant Ivory romantic drama, Remains of the Day (1993).
Since his accident, Reeve has starred in ABC’s 1998 television remake of Alfred Hitchcock’s Rear Window and turned to directing with a couple of telepics. Most recently, he appeared in an episode of The WB’s Superman-related series, Smallville.
Reeve was recently signed to direct an unnamed CG-animated feature for IDT Ent. Described as an urban fable set in the 1930s, the film was scheduled to be completed in early 2006.