In 1978, a film was released that had cinema audiences believing that a man can indeed fly. That was Warner Bros.’ “Superman”, which starred – and made stars of at the time – Christopher Reeve and Margot Kidder as the iconic superhero comic-book couple Clark Kent/Superman and Lois Lane. In the decades that followed however, bad luck shadowed them both. Reeve was paralyzed from the neck down in 1995, and died of complications in 2004. Kidder meanwhile found her film roles drying up, and suffered a nervous breakdown in 1996. She struggled with her condition from then, until her passing this Sunday.
According to Vanity Fair, Margot Kidder died on May 13 on her home in Livingston, Montana, She was 69 years old. The official cause of death has not been determined as of this time, but a statement from her manager noted that the actress died in her sleep. An official announcement of Kidder’s passing was made by the Franzen-Davis Funeral Home in Livingston, which posed a notice on its website that was picked up by news sources. As word, spread, celebrities went on social media to express their condolences to the actress’ family, and pay tribute to her on-and-off-screen career.
Getting a start in showbiz in 1968 with various roles on television, the Canadian-born Margaret Ruth Kidder became a contender of a movie actress with films like Brian de Palma’s “Sisters” and Terrence Malick’s “The Gravy Train”. Following her star-making role as Lois Lane in the first “Superman” movie, she went on to headline the 1979 scream flick “The Amityville Horror”, which would go on to become a staple of the scary movie genre, despite her own low opinion of it. Three “Superman” sequels would follow over the years; none of which could recapture the box-office heights of the original.
She continued working through to the 1990s when she suffered a manic episode that caused her to disappear for four days in 1996, brought upon by her bourgeoning bipolar disorder. Following psychiatric treatment and recovery, Kidder would become a mental-health advocate, pushing for greater recognition and attention to related issues. She also engaged in political activism, being arrested in a 2011 protest and casting support for Bernie Sanders’ 2016 Presidential campaign. Kidder noted that her great on-screen chemistry with Christopher Reeve on “Superman” was simply due to perceived similarities in their backgrounds, and because he resembled one of Kidder’s brothers.
Social media messages by stars and companies that Margot Kidder had worked with all applauded her work both in and out of show business. DC Comics thanked her for “being the Lois Lane that many of us grew up with”.
Photo courtesy of deadline.com