Christopher Reeve: biography
Christopher Reeve was the embodiment of the American dream of a man who could do anything. The actor, the director, the screenwriter and the producer was famous for playing the role of Superman, for which he won a BAFTA Award. "Superman" lost the opportunity to lead a full life because of a spinal injury, combining a film career with participation in competitions in equestrian sports but he did not give up and spent the rest of his days doing his favorite profession and helping people with spinal cord injuries.
Childhood and youth
Christopher D'Olier Reeve was born on September 25, 1952, in New York and was the eldest of 2 children, his father Franklin D'Olier Reeve, was a writer and a scientist and his mother Barbara Pitney Lamb was a journalist. In 1956, the family broke up and the mother and her sons settled in Princeton, where she remarried an employee of the exchange.
The boys attended day school and were successful pupils. Photos of Christopher were regularly on the board of honor, he who was fond of baseball, football, tennis and hockey, received awards for sports achievements.
He was early addicted to theatrical life, Reeve participated in youth performances from the age of 9 and the teenager was invited to Theatre Festival in Massachusetts in mid-1968. The boy, who looked older than his classmates, impressed the audience, received good reviews about his performance in Arthur Miller's play " A View from the Bridge" and got into the theater troupe "Harvard Summer Repertory Theater Company."
In 1970, Christopher wanted to move to New York and devote his life to stage career but he changed his mind and entered Cornell University on the advice of his mother. The young man promised his parents that he would not become an actor until he received higher education. But this word did not prevent him from regularly participating in student productions and becoming the subject of interest of a famous theatrical agent.
Thanks to the patronage of a talented representative, Reeve spent his holidays on tour and casting and eventually decided that his biography should connect with the theater. Christopher entered Juilliard School of Performing Arts, not graduating from University and he was in the class for advanced students together with the outstanding actor Robin Williams.
Reeve auditioned for the Broadway and at the Circle Repertory Company when he received a bachelor's degree in 1974 and debuted on the screen in an episode of the film Gray Lady Down. The main aspiration of the actors was to appear in the main role in the box office film of an outstanding director in the film business of the late 1970s. Not everybody had this opportunity but Reeve in this sense was lucky.
In 1978, the agent arranged for Christopher audition with the director of the casting of the movie Superman. The summary of the actor, which was repeatedly at the end of the list, impressed the producers and the candidacy of Reeve was approved for the role of the main character Clark Kent.
The young talent immediately began to work on a new image after receiving the script. Christopher gained 30 lbs (14 kg) of the muscle mass and could star without false biceps thanks to intensive training under the guidance of the weightlifter David Prowse and a special diet.
Besides, the actor seriously thought about the stylistic difference between Clark Kent and Man of Steel. He consulted with the creative director of the film on this matter many times and as a result, both of the incarnations were masterfully played by Reeve, it delighted the audience and there were positive reviews from critics.
Christopher woke up famous the next morning after the premiere of Superman: The British Academy of Film and Television Arts recognized the actor as the most outstanding newcomer and he received the prestigious "Golden Mask." Reeve was invited to popular programs and talk shows and to participate in public events: charity events, sports competitions, national holidays, etc.
The actor did not have a minute of free time; he combined public performance with the work on the continuation of Superman, which began immediately after the release of the 1st part of the superhero saga. The audience saw the sequel in winter 1980 and looked forward to the adaptations with the participation of Reeve.
The producers decided to make Superman III a comedy. He received negative reviews and was twice nominated for the anti-prize "Golden Raspberry." Reeve swore that it was the end with the movie Man of Steel after that but he starred in the 4th part of the epic, which finally disappointed the actor.
Christopher starred with Jane Seymour in the science fiction film Somewhere in Time in search of new images and then in the arthouse drama The Bostonians and the classic film adaptation Anna Karenina. Reeve hoped for an outstanding role, turning over the scripts but the image of a fool in the comedy Switching Channels finally knocked the actor out of the rut and forced to quit the film industry.
His back in the movie took place in 1990 when Reeve agreed to participate in the film The Rose and the Jackal about the civil war. Then there was an outstanding work in the melodrama The Remains Of The Day, which was nominated for Academic Awards/ Oscar 8 times and there were several roles in television series.
The role of a paralyzed police officer in the film Above Suspicion was for Reeve prophetic. Christopher fell off his horse and got a serious spinal injury that chained him to a wheelchair a year after the premiere of the film at the equestrian competitions.
In the late 1990s, a paralyzed "Superman" made his debut as a director in the film In the Gloaming and continued his career as a film actor despite health problems. Reeve received a Screen Actors Guild Award for his role in the movie Rear Window and then settled on television. His last works were the projects The Practice, Smallville and Christopher Reeve: Man of Steel
In his youth, Christopher regularly had affairs with actresses. His first hobby was a graduate of Carnegie Mellon University, who played the main roles in student performances. The girl was older than Reeve and it prevented the development of the serious relationship.
In the mid-1970s, Christopher met a woman Gae Exton, who gave birth to his son Matthew and his daughter Alexandra. Their joint life did not bring satisfaction and had constant skirmishes and quarrels. As a result, the not married couple broke up in 1987, the children stayed with their mother and the actor settled in New York, separately from his relatives.
Being in a state of depression, Christopher found solace in work and six months later received his father's care. The family settled in Williamstown and the singer Dana Morosini appeared in the personal life of the actor in the early 1990s, she was the wife of Reeve in April 1992. The couple had a son William 2 months after the wedding.
He thought about suicide when he was disabled but his devoted friend Dana stopped these thoughts and she brought the actor back to life with the power of love.
In his youth, Reeve had asthma and several types of allergies. The weakened body reacted to all external influences and internal interventions after a spinal injury.
In the 2000s, Christopher survived many infectious diseases and a problematic procedure for restoring the skin. By 2004, the actor recovered from complications and began to appear in public: people saw him at a hockey match with the son of William the last time.
Reeve regularly took antibiotics, which caused cardiac arrest on October 9, 2004. The actor was taken to the intensive care, where he fell into a coma and doctors pronounced death after 18 hours.
- 1978 - Superman
- 1980 - Superman II
- 1982 - Deathtrap
- 1983 - Superman III
- 1984 - The Bostonians
- 1985 - Anna Karenina
- 1987 - Superman IV: The Quest for Peace
- 1988 - Switching Channels
- 1993 - The Remains Of The Day
- 1995 - Above Suspicion
- 2003-2004 - Smallville
- 2004 - Christopher Reeve: Man of Steel