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Posted:Christopher Reeve, best known for his role as Superman in the 70s and 80s movies, died yesterday of heart failure in his home in New York State. He had slipped into a coma some time earlier, due to complications from a pressure wound.
The actor, who became a quadriplegic after a fall from a horse in 1991, had become a tireless advocate for spinal cord research, including stem cell research. He also appeared on the WB series Smallville, which was widely viewed as "passing the torch" to Tom Welling, the actor who plays Clark Kent.
I saw Reeve on Broadway, as Count Almaviva in "The Marriage of Figaro" (the original play, not the Mozart opera). It was a very odd production, with many of the actors on roller skates. As you might imagine, realism was in short supply, but fun and energy were not.
At one point Reeve wheeled in an orange shopping cart filled with (also orange) power tools, to open the cabinet where Almaviva thinks his wife's lover is hiding; his expression of slowly dawning confusion as he hunted for a place to plug in a circular saw -- in an 18th Century country house! -- was priceless, and showed the skill of a brilliant comic actor. That's a side of Reeve we didn't get to see very often.
We've lost a great one, folks.
"If you didn't like something the first time, the cud won't be any good either." --Elsie the Cow, Ruminations