Christopher Reeve is Born

Christopher D'Olier Reeve (September 25, 1952 – October 10, 2004) was an American actor, film director, producer and screenwriter.

He achieved stardom for his acting achievements, including his notable motion picture portrayal of the fictional character Superman.

On May 27, 1995, Reeve became a quadriplegic after being thrown from his horse in an eventing competition in Culpeper, Virginia. He required a wheelchair and breathing apparatus for the rest of his life. He lobbied on behalf of people with spinal cord injuries, and for human embryonic stem cell research afterward. He founded the Christopher Reeve Foundation and co-founded the Reeve-Irvine Research Center.

Reeve married Dana Morosini in April 1992, and they had a son, William, born that June. Reeve had two children, Matthew (born 1979) and Alexandra (born 1983), from his previous relationship with girlfriend Gae Exton.

After My Life, Stark Hesseltine told Reeve that he had been asked to audition for the leading role as Clark Kent/Superman in the big budget film, Superman: The Movie (1978). Lynn Stalmaster, the casting director, put Reeve's picture and resume on the top of the pile three separate times, only to have the producers throw it out each time. 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. 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 he was 6 ft 4, 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."