Christopher D’Olier Reeve was born September 25, 1952, in New York City, to journalist Barbara Johnson (née Barbara Pitney Lamb) and writer/professor F.D. Reeve (Franklin D’Olier Reeve). He came from an upper-class family; his paternal grandfather was CEO of Prudential Financial, and one of his maternal great-grandfathers was Supreme Court justice Mahlon Pitney.
When he was four, his parents divorced. His mother moved sons Christopher and Benjamin to Princeton, New Jersey, and married an investment banker a few years later. After graduating from high school, Reeve studied at Cornell University while at the same time working as a professional actor. In his final year at Cornell, he was one of two students selected (Robin Williams was the other) to study at New York’s famous Juilliard School, under the renowned John Houseman. Although Christopher is best known for his role as Superman (1978), a role which he played with both charisma and grace, his acting career spans a much larger ground. Paralyzed after a horse riding accident, he died suddenly at age 52 after several years of living and working with his severe disability.
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