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Christopher Reeve
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Christopher Reeve

Christopher Reeve (born September 25, 1952) is an American actor, director and writer perhaps best known for his portrayal of Superman in a number of films. Born in New York City to writer Franklin Reeve and journalist Barbara Johnson. He achieved a Bachelor of Arts degree at Cornell University in 1974 after which he was selected to study at Juilliard School of Performing Arts under John Houseman. While at Juilliard, he became friends with a wildly improvisational classmate named Robin Williams. He worked on the stage, as well as on the soap opera Love of Life, until he was selected to portray the international icon Superman in the 1978 film directed by Richard Donner. This film was an enormous sucess and inspired three sequels. Ironically, this was the kind of part Reeve usually disdained. He was a stage actor at heart who preferred doing classical period plays and films that really required him to "act". He once said, "I want to challenge myself in my roles, not run around on screen with a machine gun". In 1980, Reeve co-starred with Jane Seymour in Somewhere In Time, a time travel "romance". Although this film was not popular at the time it was released, it has since inspired a wide "cult" following especially among college students. Jane Seymour thought so well of Reeve that she named one of her children after him. In 1984, Reeve won critical acclaim for his role as a nineteenth century southern lawyer in The Bostonians.

On May 27, 1995 he was paralyzed from the neck down after falling from his horse in a riding competition at Charlottesville, Virginia. He has largely retired from the production of films since his paralysis, instead devoting his time to rehabilitation therapy and, with his wife Dana, opening the Christopher and Dana Reeve Paralysis Resource Center, a facility in Short Hills, New Jersey devoted to teaching paralyzed people to live more independently.

On February 25, 2003, he appeared as Dr. Swann in the TV series Smallville who provides young Clark Kent insightful clues as to his origins. The episode was warmly received by critics and the viewing public as a fitting connection from one generation's Superman to the next and it has been promised that Reeve's guest role will be recurring.