A leading lady in the Superman films, an activist for mental health issues and frequent visitor to Metropolis, actress Margot Kidder, 69, died Sunday, May 13 at her home in Livingston, Montana.
Kidder’s manager, Camilla Fluxman Pines, confirmed the death and when news of her passing became known on May 14, Superman fans around the world were saddened to hear of the death of the woman who brought the character Lois Lane to life on the big screen.
Kidder was born Oct. 17, 1948 in Yellowknife, in the Northwest Territories of Canada, where she began acting in the 1960s in low-budget films and on television. Kidder was in the movie The Great Waldo Pepper in 1975, opposite Robert Redford, and she portrayed Kathy Lutz in The Amityville Horror in 1979, which gave her more exposure.
But to Superman fans, the role that launched her career was the 1978 role of Superman’s sweetheart, Lois Lane in the Superman motion picture along side of Christopher Reeve. Kidder and Reeve were close friends until his death in 2004. “When you’re strapped to someone hanging from the ceiling for months and months, you get pretty darned close,” Kidder told CBS in an interview. “He was such a huge part of my life … he was very complicated, very smart, really smart, and he knew he’d done something meaningful. He was very aware of that and very happy with that role.”
In the late 1990s, Kidder went through a manic episode and nervous breakdown and was diagnosed with Bipolar disease. As a result of her personal struggles with mental health, she became an outspoken advocate for mental health issues.
Kidder was also an outspoken political activist, and supporter of the Democratic Party, which brought her first visit to Metropolis to campaign for the late Paul Simon, former Illinois Senator who sought the Democratic nomination for U.S. President that year. Kidder came to Metropolis in support of Simon.
Kidder would make it back to Metropolis four other times, including last year, as a guest for the Superman Celebration and always remained a crowd favorite among Superman fans.