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The late Christopher Reeve (September 25, 1952 – October 10, 2004) is an American film icon best known for his portrayal of Superman in the original film from 1978. He also resumed the roles of Clark Kent and his alter ego for the direct sequel, Superman II, in 1980. Incredibly, the first Superman movie starring Reeve as its title character would go on to become the prototype for the massively popular superhero genre that continues to dominate movie shelves and box offices today. In addition to an enduring acting career, Reeve also explored writing, producing and directing. Sadly, misfortune struck Chris Reeve and his family in 1995 when the actor suffered a severe spinal cord injury after falling off a horse during a riding competition in Virginia. Tragically, the accident resulted in him becoming a quadriplegic. Paralyzed from the neck down, Reeve persevered and used his own misfortune to add author and activist to his long list of life accomplishments prior to his untimely passing in 2004 at the age of 52.