For a long time I was reluctant to watch “Smallville” as the idea of Superman in high-school seemed kind of ridiculous and, to be honest, I didn’t want to see anyone else but Christopher Reeve as Clark Kent. But finally I decided to give it a try a few months ago and I was hooked. Now I’m on Season 2 and yesterday I watched a particular episode that got the little nerd inside me screaming with delight – my favorite Superman was there as Dr. Virgil Swann. Then I got reading about him and decided to share some of the most interesting and awesome facts about the true Man of steel that he was.
Christopher Reeve was born September 25, 1952, in New York City. After graduating from high school, he studied at Cornell University and worked as an actor. In his final year of Cornell, he and Robin Williams were selected to study at New York’s famous Juilliard School of Performing Arts. Although Reeve is best known for his role as Superman, he appeared in 17 films, a dozen TV movies, about 150 plays, he hosted or narrated various documentaries and TV specials. In addition to his acting career, he was actively supporting causes like Amnesty International, Save the Children, The National Resources Defense Council, The Environmental Air Force, The Lindbergh Foundation, and the People for the American Way.
Paralyzed after a horse riding accident, he didn’t drown in despair but began to use the interest in his situation to increase public awareness about spinal cord injury and to raise money for the research and invention of a cure. Together with his wife Dana Reeve, Christopher opened a center devoted to teaching paralyzed people to live more independently. The Paralysis Resource Center publishes “Paralysis Resource Guide”, houses the largest U.S. collection of paralysis-related publications and has distributed grants to paralysis researchers totaling $22 million.
And now some trivia.
The character Dr. Swann, which he portrayed on “Smallville”, was named after longtime Superman artist Curt Swann.
Wore nearly 25 different Superman costumes for Superman.
He turned down the lead roles in American Gigolo, The Blue Lagoon, Body Heat, The World According to Garp, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Splash, Romancing the Stone, Fatal Attraction, Lethal Weapon, Pretty Woman, The Bounty, The Running Man, Total Recall.
After meeting Reeve at the 1979 Academy Awards, John Wayne turned ti Cary Grant and said: “This is our new man. He’s taking over.”
He was very interested in stunts and was as a licensed pilot.
Jane Seymour‘s son was named after him.
Once a group of children recognized him in a park and purposefully threw their Frisbee over a fence and then asked him to fly after it. He didn’t want to hurt their feelings and said he couldn’t fly after it because his cape was in the washer, so they settled for him just reaching over the fence and handing it back to them.
After his death in 2004, a number of memorial cartoons to commemorate his death were Superman-themed.