11 Oct 2004 - Christopher Reeve RIPA column article, Comics Bulletin Soapbox by: James Redington
I woke up as normal today, got up to go to work. I was in just my boxer shorts – not my Superman ones, I have them saved for special events or when I need extra support – I left my bedroom and my Mum was walking up the stairs… she said to me
“Your mate has died”
I didn’t know what she meant; she saw the look of confusion on my face and said
“Superman… Christopher Reeve has died”
I walked right back into my bedroom, saying nothing to girlfriend who was busy doing her hair. She is now a converted Superman fan, that’s what being with me for the last four years has done – in fact, it’s funny because her father’s uncle was Roy Field, who won an Oscar for the special effects on Superman: The Movie.
I turned on the TV; she asked me what was wrong I told her, although I didn’t believe it.
“It couldn’t be true” I thought I was dreaming.
Well the new was over 20 minutes away but the BBC suddenly cuts to LA and their reporter confirms what my Mum had said
My friend was dead.
Superman The Movie is the reason I am who I am today – Chris Reeve made me believe in heroes, made me believe that Superman is real. Even after his accident he was still that hero, more so because of his determination and will to achieve the impossible. He is a real man of steel.
This man is and will be forever my hero. He made me believe I could fly; he gave to hope where there was none. My heart goes out to his family, he was our Superman. I feel as if my childhood has died, maybe Chris is up there somewhere now walking and maybe even flying.
Rest In Peace 'Friend'
"But most will remember this sad day as the day the proudest, most noble man they ever knew finally fell. For those who loved him -- one who would call him husband, one who would be his pal, or those who would call him son -- this is the darkest day they could ever imagine. They raised him to be a hero: to know the value of sacrifice, to know the value of life. And for those who served with Superman in the protection of all life comes the shock of a failure: the weight of being too late to help. For a city to live, a man had given his all and more. But it's too late. For this is the day that a Superman died." - Superman #75, Dan Jurgens.
Christopher Reeve, known to many people as "Superman", died Sunday of heart failure, his publicist said. He was 52.
Reeve fell into a coma Saturday after going into cardiac arrest while at his New York home, his publicist, Wesley Combs told The Associated Press by phone from Washington, D.C., on Sunday night.
Reeve was being treated at Northern Westchester Hospital for a pressure wound, a common complication for people living with paralysis. In the past week, the wound had become severely infected, resulting in a serious systemic infection.
"On behalf of my entire family, I want to thank Northern Westchester Hospital for the excellent care they provided to my husband," Dana Reeve, Christopher's wife, said in a statement. "I also want to thank his personal staff of nurses and aides, as well as the millions of fans from around the world who have supported and loved my husband over the years."
Reeve was born Sept. 25, 1952, in New York City, son of a novelist and a newspaper reporter. He in around 10 when he made his first stage appearance - in Gilbert and Sullivan's "The Yeoman of the Guard" at McCarter Theatre in Princeton, N.J.
Reeve broke his neck in May 1995 when he was thrown from his horse during an equestrian competition in Culpeper, Va. Enduring months of therapy to allow him to breathe for longer and longer periods without a respirator, Reeve emerged to lobby Congress for better insurance protection against catastrophic injury and to move an Academy Award audience to tears with a call for more films about social issues.
He returned to directing, and even returned to acting in a 1998 production of "Rear Window," a modern update of the Hitchcock thriller about a man in a wheelchair who becomes convinced a neighbour has been murdered. Reeve won a Screen Actors Guild award for best actor in a television movie or miniseries.
"I was worried that only acting with my voice and my face, I might not be able to communicate effectively enough to tell the story," Reeve said. "But I was surprised to find that if I really concentrated, and just let the thoughts happen, that they would read on my face. With so many close-ups, I knew that my every thought would count."
“Hollywood needs to do more," he said in the March 1996 Oscar awards appearance. "Let's continue to take risks. Let's tackle the issues. In many ways our film community can do it better than anyone else. There is no challenge, artistic or otherwise, that we can't meet."
Reeve also is survived by his mother, Barbara Johnson; his father, Franklin Reeve; his brother, Benjamin Reeve; and his two children from his relationship with Exton, Matthew, 25, and Alexandra, 21.
RIP - Christopher Reeve 25th September 1952 – 10th October 2004