Tuesday, July 18, 2006

In Memory of Christopher Reeve

Christopher Reeve set the screen on fire as the mysterious and dashing Superman. Nerdy and innocuous as Clark Kent, a quick trip into a phone booth and presto! Handsome super hero with startling blue eyes, mischievous grin, fierce loyalty and determination to do whatever was needed to save the world. Sure, the story was campy, the special effects cheesy, and the plot didn’t always make sense. But Christopher Reeve could pull it off. We’d believe anything if Christopher Reeve said it.

Superman was just one of many roles Chris took on. No one will ever forget his performance in Somewhere in Time. (No comments, James) It doesn’t matter how many times I see that movie; it always gets me. The Mousetrap – a very odd film, to say the least, but the performance was outstanding. The list goes on and on. Christopher Reeve was an actor among actors.

When I heard about the accident which nearly ended his life, I was heartbroken. Superman was now crippled, never again able to be our hero. I was so wrong. Lobbying in Congress, speaking to thousands upon thousands at rallies around the world, working hours a day to improve his muscle strength, he never gave up. His life story is amazing. Written into a book called Still Me, it talks about his life before and after the accident and his impatience with people who complain and say they can’t do something. In his mind, they are more handicapped than he is. I agree.

The relationship with his wife Dana was something to admire. The love and devotion they had for each other was heartwarming and beautiful. She was by his side through all the triumphs and all the pain, his #1 cheerleader and support. It’s really no wonder to me that she left this earth not too long after he did. They were a team.

The other day I was in the store and saw a rack of merchandise from the new movie Superman Returns. I guess Hollywood has the right to make whatever movies they want; it’s a free country, although I do think it’s in extremely poor taste to release this movie so soon after Dana’s passing. I for one won’t be seeing it. There’s a special place in my heart for Christopher Reeve’s Superman that no other Superman can take. He is Superman and always will be, in Hollywood and his own personal life.

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