What comes to mind when you think.. 'Superman'?? Christopher Reeve.. Being a superhero in Hollywood.. Often comes with one word in BOLD... 'TYPECAST'! Reeves had to know it when he took on the role.. But he played it - & he played it well! He brought the classic DC comic book superhero Superman, to life. Out of the comic books for an updated generation.. Honestly?? I was never a real big fan of Reeves. His role in the 'Superman' movie series, however, made him a legend. He tried other films - but they sank like the Titanic. You just couldn't visualize him in ANYTHING other than 'THAT' of Superman. The other things I saw him in.. My brain would continuously say.. 'That's Superman.' I am sure I am not alone. But like I stated - he played the Superman charactor to a SOLID perfection. So solid - that if you have noticed - the 'new' Superman films, have an actor looking 'more-than-slightly' - like Reeves... With that?? His story...
He was born Christopher D'Olier Reeve, on September 25, 1952, in New York City (aka modern-day Metropolis.) His 'rents divorced in 1956.. & his mom moved he (and his brother) to Princeton, New Jersey.. Where he was enrolled in school here... He (and his brother) would attend that school until 1959.. When they were transferred to Princeton Day School. He 'did' take part in 'plays' in school, and excelled in them. He excelled in anything he would put his young mind to. C'mon!! He was 'THE Supa-Dupa kid!' His brother would later recall to Rolling Stone- that when alone (or just them & mom).. Christopher would 'let loose' with his imagination. Outwardly in school.. He was VERY into sports.. Reeve played baseball, soccer, tennis, & hockey... EXCELLING in them ALL!! In fact - the sportsmanship award at Princeton Day School's invitational hockey tournament was named in his honor.. He was 'CONSISTANTLY' on the honor roll in school. Young Reeve.. FOUND his passion at the age of 9, however, when he was cast in an amateur version of the operetta 'The Yeomen of the Gaurd.' It would be the 'first' of MANY-a-play to come. After his first.. He began to look beyond the school to any plays he could audition for locally.
At the age of 15 - he was accepted as an apprintice at The Williamstown Theatre Festival in Williamstown, Massachusetts. The other apprinties were all college age. Reeve stood out and was even complimented by actress Olympia Dukakis, who said to him.. 'I'm surprised! You have alotta talent. Don't mess it up!' My response woulda been.. 'we've all learned how NOT to do that from you.'... Pshhh..
Anyhoo- From there.. Reeve only grew to be a notable name with theatre locals from New Jersey to Massachusetts... Appearing in COUNTLESS plays.. And apparently taking up Scientology for a bit. ONLY for a bit before leaving & (as they allll do) becoming a 'vocal' critic of it...
Upon graduating from his alma-matter, Princeton Day School, in June of '70.. Reeve received scholarships from several notable schools. Ultimately accepting the scholarship from Cornell University. Later he would state the reason he chose Cornell was "it was only a 3 and a half hour drive to New York'.. Where he was looking to jump-start his acting career.
Apparently - either Clark Kent was on 'brain duty' that day, or he was just trying to be nice cause TWO of the other colleges that offered him a scholarship.. Were closer to New York City than Cornell.. (In fact - one was actually 'IN' NYC.) I personally believe it was one of those Clark Kent moments. Anyway - The next year, Reeve received a full-season contract with the San Diego Shakespeare Festival..
Reeve's next stop was Juilliard.. (NOOOWWW he got 'er right).. Where a fellow classmate was another silver screen celeb.. Fellow Legend, Robin Williams. Reeve & Robin Williams became fast friends & stayed so all the way up until Reeve's death. His class at Julliard also included legend, Kevin Kline..
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.' Nearly the 'DAY' filming wrapped on that? A friend called him from Julliard.. And ask him to come audition for a big budget film, called 'Superman.' MmmmHmm! The friend was a casting director, Lynn Stalmaster, who thought her ol class pal PERFECT for the role. She'd even put Reeve's headshot at the top-o-the stack 3 different times. A meeting & small audition was arranged.. Reeve was set - in January 1977 at the Sherry Netherland Hotel on Fifth Avenue.. He signed the contract to play 'Superman.' Destiny was in play. Though known for 'Superman', Reeve has a pretty robust resume - check it out!!
He lived here, in New York.. With wife & kids.. Living room.. Study quarters.. House foyer...
In 1985, after learning to ride horses for the film, 'Anna Karenina', he began riding horses. A rather dangerous sport that Reeve was well aware of and even lobbied awareness for. On May 27, 1995, he was in-competition in Virginia for Commonwealth Dressage and Combined Training Association finals when his horse made a 'refuse' (which is where a horse stops sudden or refuses to jump the hurdle.) 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 head first on the far side of the fence, shattering his first and second vertebrae... This. (as we all know), was the result!!
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. 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 enough to attend his son Will's hockey game. That night, (not-so-much), he went into cardiac arrest after receiving an antibiotic for the infection. He fell into a coma and was taken to emergency room. Eighteen hours later, on October 10, 2004, Reeve died at the age of 52.. Comics went off the CHARTS!! Hopefully, HOPEFULLY, your resting in peace. You became the FACE of a SUPERHERO!! Leave your non-wilting flowers & comments for Reeve here..
VERY cool stuff..
Now you TOO can own... 'THE CAPE!!" Mmmhmm..
Former 'filming' locales for Superman 4... Here's the foyer for the Daily Planet... Lobby spectators 'saw' the Man of Steel at.