Superman is one of the most iconic superheroes to have ever existed. He’s essentially the superhero that others have been based on. Just think about it: that swooped-back hair, the tight costume, the long cape, and the underwear over the tights are all a part of the quintessential look for a superhero. It’s essentially pretty iconic if you think about it. Whether it’s DC or Marvel, the appearance all links back to the original appearance of Superman.
There are plenty of superhero TV shows and movies out there. In fact, there are probably hundreds. While there are many actors who have played the role of a hero, no one has done it like Christopher Reeve — not even the first actor who played Superman. While he’s best known for his iconic portrayal of Superman, like the first Superman movie that came out back in 1978, Reeve’s life and legacy go far beyond the silver screen.
The Rise to Superhero Stardom
Born on September 25th, 1952, in New York City, this man is the embodiment of strength and resilience, just like Superman. In 1978, he donned the cape and tights so he could play that legendary character in Richard Donner’s iconic film. His portrayal of Clark Kent captivated audiences worldwide which made him an instant superstar. Superhero shows were still a fairly new concept; other than Batman, there wasn’t any other to go by.
Just like the character he portrayed, he believed in justice, truth, and compassion, all of which made him the perfect actor to play Superman. There’s just something about Christopher that makes him stand out from all of the other actors — not just the others that have also played Superman, but the ones that have played any superhero. He really was a hero, just without the fancy costume.
An Actor of Versatility
While Reeve’s portrayal of Superman became his most famous role, he showcased his versatility as an actor through a diverse range of projects. Sure, Superman was still his biggest role and probably will be forever, but like all actors, he was able to demonstrate he could do more than wear tights and a cape. He acted in intense dramas like “The Remains of the Day” as well as light-hearted comedies like “Noises Off”. Reeve proved his talent for immersing himself in a variety of roles – something that made him even more recognized as the incredible actor that he truly is!
Legacy of Hope and Inspiration
Sadly, a tragedy happened to Reeve back in 1995; he had a horse riding accident which then took a turn for the worst when, unfortunately, he became paralyzed from the neck down. Though, despite all of his challenges, there’s no doubt that Reeve’s spirit remained unyielding. He didn’t hide in shame or grow self-loathing; it was the exact opposite! He quickly became known as a champion for spinal cord injury research.
He began strongly focusing on bringing awareness and advocating for advancements in the field. Not only did he want a cure for himself, but he wanted to improve the lives of everyone who has suffered spinal cord injuries. It’s pretty heroic, isn’t it?
He and his wife founded the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation, an organization that was fully committed to finding a cure for spinal cord injuries. He dedicated his efforts to innovative research and providing support for those living with paralysis, and that includes helping those have better access to healthcare. Undoubtedly, this man is a hero to everyone; his dedication to his cause and the thousands of people he helped with his foundation will never be forgotten.