As a “child of the 1980’s”, to me, Christopher Reeve *IS* Superman.
I believe the sentiment is shared by those growing up in the 70’s, 90’s and beyond. To many of us, his was the first portrayal of a superhero that treated us respectfully. We didn’t want a silly, campy children’s story. Reeve’s Superman was distinguished and dignified. He took it seriously and showed us that you can proudly strive to be GOOD. I can’t imagine how some of his lines looked on the script’s page to him. In less competent hands it could have become a cheesy disaster. While he may not have gotten critical acclaim (as many big budget films do not), there were few performances that meant more to a young generation.
Just as Christopher Reeve was one of the first actors I could name as a child- his 1995 accident became one of the first tragedies I watched one of my heroes encounter. Our hearts were broken as we watched Superman cling to life. He showed his heroic spirit again as he pushed for recovery and worked endlessly for advancements in spinal cord injury treatment. I clearly remember the joy of seeing him take those few underwater steps in a therapy pool thinking- Superman will be back soon.
Although he lost his battle and passed in 2004, His wife, Dana, kept up the fight in her husband’s name. The Christopher Reeve Foundation (now called The Christopher and Dan Reeve Foundation since her passing in 2006) has been instrumental in raising awareness and research funding for the cause of spinal injury sufferers.
Truly an icon, we remember Christopher Reeve today, on what would have been his 63rd birthday. We met him as Superman but had no idea what a super man he would prove to be. Mr. Reeve, we still believe a man can fly.
We strive to brighten the day of hospitalized children by delivering comic books and visiting superheroes. We operate mostly in Arizona with occasional trips to neighboring states in the Southwestern U.S.