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'Superman' Christopher Reeve dies at age 52

Posted Monday, October 11, 2004 at 6:44 AM Central

by Tim Briscoe

The actor best known for the role as the superhero from Krypton has died at 52. Christopher Reeve went into cardiac arrest on Saturday at his home. He then fell into a coma and died at New York hospital on Sunday.

In 1995 Reeve was paralyzed from the neck down after a fall from a horse during an equestrian event in Virginia. In the years following his accident, his courageous and inspirational drive to one day walk again was an inspiration to many. He once said, "I refuse to allow a disability to determine how I live my life. I don't mean to be reckless, but setting a goal that seems a bit daunting actually is very helpful toward recovery."

Through rigorous therapy, Reeve did regain some limited movement and sensation in parts of his body. Sadly he was never able to meet his goal of walking. However, he did build awareness and funding for paralysis research.

He became an American icon in 1978 with his first feature film, Superman. He reprised the role three times. He starred in fan favorites like Somewhere In Time and Switching Channels.

He even starred in a TV movie after his accident in 1998. Reeve even won a Screen Actors Guild award for this role in the television remake of Hitchcock's Rear Window.