Past News Reports - 1999
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- January 4, 1999: Christopher Reeve and Wayne Gretzky will serve as honorary captains of Superskate '99, a charity event to be held Friday, January 8 at Madison Square Garden starting at 7 p.m. The entire Ranger Team will participate in a skills competition and there will be a celebrity hockey game featuring Pat LaFontaine, familiar faces, and a number of wives of the Ranger players. Proceeds from the event will go to the Christopher Reeve Foundation and the NYR Skate Program, which benefits children in the New York area. It was later reported on "Access Hollywood" that this event raised more than $100,000 for the Reeve Foundation.
- January 5, 1999: "Still Me," written and narrated by Christopher Reeve, is nominated for a Grammy in the category "Best Spoken Word Album." Other albums nominated in this group (including their authors/narrators) are "Beloved" (Toni Morrison), "Spiders In The Hairdo: Modern Urban Legends" (David Holt & Bill Mooney), "The Virtues Of Aging (Jimmy Carter), and "Wobegon Boy (Garrison Keillor). The awards will be handed out at "The 41st Annual Grammy Awards" which will air on CBS, February 24.
- January 5, 1999: Christopher Reeve was interviewed on BBC Radio 2 in the first part of a new series "No Triumph, No Tragedy" in which disabled achievers in the United States talk to Peter White. Reeve discussed his return to work in "Rear Window" and "In the Gloaming" saying: "Resting doesn't agree with me......during 'Rear Window' my SAT's remained high, I had no pressure sores, unlimited energy....I was in the chair for 15 hours a day for more than a month." He spoke of the importance to him of his wife and three children and added: "I don't want other people to be dragged down by the fact that I had a silly accident and so I try as hard as possible, and this is the most important lesson I've learned since the accident and something I would pass on to other disabled people, and that is, even when you're feeling needy your job is to give." When asked if as long as he was still working, still spiritually content, would it matter if he's not walking at 50? He immediately said, "No" and concluded: "As long as the scientists keep working for a cure. No slacking off! Then I'll still be content because I'm convinced and so are they that one day there will be a cure, and that's common ground, not wishful thinking." "Something that was thought impossible for 1000's of years can actually be achieved."
- January 8, 1999: The International Council of Nurses (ICN) in Geneva, Switzerland announced that Christopher Reeve will be Honorary Patron for this year's celebrations of the ICN centennial. Reeve said, "Nurses have been pivotal to my own recovery and health. I know this is also true for millions around the world who are restored to health and comforted in illness by the caring, compassion and expertise of nurses. As Honorary Patron for the 100th birthday of the International Council of Nurses, I ask that we recognise the work of our nurses and thank them for their contribution in promoting good health in all of our communities." ICN's centennial year celebrations aim to remind the world how in homes, work places, schools, hospitals, villages, refugee camps and many other settings, that nurses promote the health and well-being of their communities, educate, tend to people in need, and search for new ways to improve the health of humanity. The official beginning of the ICN centennial celebrations will take place January 28th in Geneva, the site of ICN's corporate headquarters. The highlight of ICN's centennial will be the International Nursing Conference, to be held in London, England on June 27-July 1, 1999. Nurses from across the globe will gather for this five-day event, hosted by the Royal College of Nursing.
- January 25, 1999: Fans gave Dana and Christopher Reeve a standing ovation as they arrived at the Golden Globe Awards sponsored by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. Chris was nominated in what presenter Alfre Woodard described as "one of the most competitive categories of the night": Best Actor in a Miniseries or Movie Made for Television. Stanley Tucci took home the award for his performance in HBO's "Winchell."
- January 26, 1999: Christopher Reeve was nominated for a Screen Actors Guild Award for his performance in "Rear Window." Others nominated for Best Actor in a TV Movie or Miniseries are Charles S. Dutton for "Blind Faith," (Showtime), James Garner for "Legalese" (TNT), Ben Kingsley for "The Tale of Sweeny Todd" (Showtime), Ray Liotta for "The Rat Pack" (HBO), and Stanley Tucci for "Winchell" (HBO). The awards will be presented in Los Angeles at a televised ceremony airing live on TNT March 7.
- February 1, 1999: Proceeds from this year's Baileys American Ski Classic and the "Hope in Motion" benefit dinner in Vail, Colorado, were donated to the Christopher Reeve Foundation. Chris, Dana, and Will Reeve were in attendance along with former President Gerald Ford, Jane Seymour, Kelsey Grammar, and Mary Hart from Entertainment Tonight, where it was announced that $200,000 was raised for the Reeve Foundation. This was the first time Christopher Reeve visited Vail since he had competed in the same event in the winter of 1995, a few months before he was injured and he said it took him a little time to adjust when he arrived in his room and looked at the slopes. "There have been tremendous breakthroughs recently, and there is tremendous reason for hope," said Reeve. "I may not be able to ski again right away, but it certainly is not outside the realm of possibility."
- February 9, 1999: "Rear Window" will be shown on Australian television for the first time on February 15, 1999 at 8.30pm on Channel 9 (check your local guides for verification).
- February 10, 1999: Christopher Reeve, Colin Powell, and other friends paid tribute to Wanda Chappell, the 39-year-old Random House executive who died in a West Side Manhattan high-rise fire in December, at the 92nd Street Y memorial. Reeve remembered Chappell as a "vivid orange flash" when he signed books in Stamford, Connecticut. "I think of her as vivid in life as she was in her cashmere sweater."
- February 14, 1999: A special supplement in The Times, a newspaper in the United Kingdom, called Chronicle of the Future predicted that on March 25, 2002 Chris will "haul himself out of his wheelchair and stride across the stage to present a lifetime achievement award to his old friend Robin Williams" at that years Oscar ceremony. They also predict that he recovered after "prompt use of methylprednisolone, a steroid, reduced initial damage. Then tissue was transplanted to act as a bridge across which motor neurons could reconnect." The prediction goes a little further with the more technical medical terms, but it is very encouraging to read that it is predicted that Chris will recover the year he turns 50 whether or not he actually does.
- February 16, 1999: According to U.S. News & World Report, in their February 22nd issue, quadriplegic painter Chuck Close is feuding with Chris. They base this on Close airing his criticism in New Mobility magazine. Close wants Chris to use his popularity to push for social improvements like better health insurance-not a cure for paralysis, which many see as wishful thinking. A cure is Chris's priority, but he has lobbied Congress before, in 1997 and 1998, to increase insurance companies' lifetime caps on payments for catastrophic injuries and will do so again in April 1999 by asking Congress to double the research budget of the National Institutes of Health.
- February 21, 1999: Two appearance dates to see Chris in Peter Lowe's
Success 1999 seminar are now available. He will appear on Tuesday, March 2nd in Tulsa, Oklahoma at the Mabee Center; and on Thursday, March 18th in Richmond, Virginia at the Richmond Coliseum. Other speakers in Tulsa include Naomi Judd and President Gerald Ford among others and in Richmond include, Jackie Joyner-Kersee and Elizabeth Dole among others.
- February 22, 1999: While she made an appearance on the NBC late night show Later, Dana Reeve said she recently handed in the manuscript to the book she is working on called Care Packages: Letters To Christopher Reeve and that it is due for Christmas release. The book shares letters from people all over the world who wrote to Chris while he was in Virginia after his equestrian accident in 1995. Speaking of books, more biographys about Chris will be coming out this year including Christopher Reeve by Megan Howard from the A&E Biography series and Christopher Reeve: Hollywood's Man of Courage from the People to Know series.
- February 24, 1999: In the untelevised ceremony, Christopher Reeve won a Grammy award in the category of "Best Spoken Word Album" for his audiobook version of Still Me that he read.
- March 1, 1999: Access Hollywood reported Chris is the highest paid speaker based on Forbes magazine placing him number one because he gets an average of $100,000 per speech and makes about 40 speeches a year bringing in $2.4 million last year.
- March 2, 1999: On Saturday, April 10th at 7pm Chris will be in St. Louis, Missouri to support the second annual "Gateway to a Cure" benefit dinner at the Hyatt Regency Hotel. Proceeds will support spinal cord injury research at Saint Louis University School of Medicine.
- March 3, 1999: Christopher Reeve, Paul Reiser, Neil Simon, Ann Landers, and Charlton Heston are among the celebrity contributors to a new book: Chicken Soup for the Couple's Soul: 101 Inspirational Stories of Love and Relationships. It offers intimate and true stories, most of them from ordinary people, that pay tribute to romantic love. The book, published by Health Communications, costs (US)$12.95 in paperback and (US)$24 for the hardcover. In a brief chapter titled "You're Still You" Reeve describes how his wife, Dana, saved his life when he regained consciousness after his accident and he realized that no matter what she would be with him forever.
- March 3, 1999: Rear Window is coming to home video on April 20th.
- March 4, 1999: Christopher Reeve was interviewed by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, KTRS-AM 550 radio and KMOX-AM 1120 radio and discussed spinal cord injury research and the April 10th benefit dinner co-sponsored by Gateway to a Cure and Saint Louis University. The interviews aired live at 4:15 (KTRS) and 4:50 (KMOX).
- March 5, 1999: People Weekly magazine is celebrating their 25th Anniversary with a much-hyped special issue that goes on sale on newsstands today and Chris is a part of it. He is featured as one of the 25 legends of the last quarter century. Other "legends" include Oprah, Michael Jordan, and Bill Gates.
- March 8, 1999: At the 5th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards last night, Christopher Reeve won the award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries for his work in Rear Window. Although he was unable to attend the ceremony, this award will undoubtedly be special to him because it is the only award given exclusively by actors to their peers.
- March 15, 1999: Christopher Reeve was in Florida to meet with representatives of HealthSouth to discuss funding of spinal cord research. While there, Reeve's son, Will, 6, was scheduled to throw out the first pitch of Sunday's Atlanta Braves vs. Yankees exhibition game, but never got his chance because heavy rain canceled the game. Despite the rain, Reeve still met several players and executives including Braves owner Ted turner and his wife Jane Fonda. "It's a real honor that they all came up here. We had a chance to talk and it was really a thrill for me," Reeve said. While in Florida, Chris also vacationed at Disney World with his wife and two sons.
- March 16, 1999: After viewing videotaped testimony from Christopher Reeve, the Senate Health Committee approved a $1 surcharge on motor vehicle fines to pay for spinal cord research yesterday. Mr. Reeve told lawmakers that the surcharge would raise more than $2.6 million a year for spinal cord research, in addition to having indirect benefits. "Better treatments mean the opportunity to go back to the workforce, to be more active professionally and less dependent on state resources," he said.
- March 19, 1999: In the first half hour of the Arts and Entertainment show Biography Gywneth Paltrow was featured and Christopher Reeve was seen three times talking about her when she was a little girl at the Williamstown Theatre Festival in Massachusetts.
- April 6, 1999: Christopher Reeve is invited to attend the Niagara Film Festival on its premiere night on May 28th for the big screen showing of Superman. The Canadian festival's theme this year is "Favourite Super Heroes" and Superman II is also on the roster. Other guest celebrities that are also invited include Gene Hackman, Margot Kidder and Marlon Brando.
- April 7, 1999: Sang Lan, Dr. Wise Young, Christopher Reeve, and other supporters of spinal cord injury research will attend the 'CURE' Celebration and Fundraiser at the Winter Garden in New York on May 12, 1999. The event will benefit Dr. Young's Spinal Cord Injury Project at Rutgers University in New Jersey and other laboratories doing cutting-edge research.
- April 7, 1999: In an interview he did with the St. Louis Post-Dispatch to promote the "Gateway to a Cure" benefit, Christopher Reeve said that he is particularly satisfied with the Grammy he won for the audio version of his autobiography because, unlike other audio books he had done, it was his own work. He also revealed that his best-selling memoir, Still Me, will be released in paperback this June and that he is busy with a new project that he will direct, a TV movie which he describes as "an urban fable." Unlike In the Gloaming, the new film is a light piece to be shot on location in New York. He hopes to be in production by June.
- April 8, 1999: A benefit for the American Paralysis Association, honoring Christopher Reeve and others will be held in Hollywood on Saturday, May 1. Tickets begin at $250 and go up from there (to $25,000 which gets you 20 seats, a full page ad in the ad book, special mention from the stage, etc.). The honorary benefit committee includes Jane Seymour, both senators from California, Glenn Close, Blythe Danner (whom Chris has mentioned many times over the years vis a vis the Williamstown theater), Kelsey Grammer, Tom Hanks, Jay Leno and Vanna White.
- April 10, 1999: Christopher Reeve was in St. Louis at the Gateway to a Cure benefit. In his speech Reeve said, "There is only the future. And the cure will come once the Gateway is open." While in St. Louis for the benefit, Reeve visited with Mark McGwire and others when he was a guest in the Cardinals baseball team clubhouse.
- April 12, 1999: The Society for Neuroscience awarded to Christopher Reeve its "Decade of the Brain" Special Achievement Award. The award was given as part of SFN's Neuroscience 2000: A New Era of Discovery symposium in celebration of the achievements of the Decade of the Brain. Reeve said when accepting his award, "And I remember when I was first injured in 1995, a leading researcher, Dr. Wise Young was asked, 'Do you think that Christopher Reeve will ever walk again?' And he said, 'well you can always hope but after awhile hope ebbs.' And when he was asked the same question three years later, he said, 'I am astonished what has happened in the last three years, all bets are off and if the money and the funding continues, it is possible that he could be up and walking within approximatelyfive years!' That is an astounding change and as it has been said before, more has happened in neuroscience in the last five years, than in the previous fifty! And I feel very lucky to have been injured at a time of real hope and real optimism, so that I can get out of bed everyday and say, there is something positive that we can do and it's not just pie in the sky optimism, but there are concrete steps and measures we can take to go forward into what I call "the frontier of inner-space" it's the last frontier of medicine in the brain and the central nervous system." Reeve also participated in a roundtable discussion that focused on furthering scientific knowledge and continued funding for the National Institute of Health. [A 10-hour video set of this whole two-day event is available for purchase. For more information about it click here.]
- April 14, 1999: Katie Couric interviewed Christopher Reeve on the Today show. He said that in recent months he has had new recovery in his ability to breathe while off the vent and that his diaphram now functions normally. He indicated that the experimental treadmill therapy he has been receiving has been crucial to his progress. Reeve said that money will determine how quickly a spinal cord injury cure will be found and he will be testifying before Congress today for an increase in govermnent funding. When Couric asked him when human trials will begin, he estimated "two to three years." Reeve said that a researcher told him that with proper funding he could be out of his chair in 3 to 5 years. Otherwise it could take as long as 15.
- April 14, 1999: During his appearance on the Today show, Christopher Reeve announced the merger of the American Paralysis Association and the Christopher Reeve Foundation to form a single organization: the Christopher Reeve Paralysis Foundation. Reeve said, "This merger makes strong sense...By working together, we can find solutions that none of us alone can achieve." In addition to the merger and name change, Reeve announced that the Christopher Reeve Foundation will bring over $1 million to the CRPF immediately. The Christopher Reeve Paralysis Foundation will continue the work previously done separately by the two organizations as it raises and targets funds for medical research leading to the development of effective treatments and a cure for paralysis caused by spinal cord injury and other central nervous system disorders. CRPF also supports programs that improve the quality of life for people with disabilities.
- April 15, 1999: Christopher Reeve will deliver this year's commencement address at Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts on June 6. Reeve has a summer home in Williamstown and he traces his theater career to 1968 when at age 15 he got a summer apprenticeship at the Williamstown Theater festival.
- April 19, 1999: New York Rangers fan, Christopher Reeve, was one of many celebrities present for the final game of hockey great, Wayne Gretsky. "What he set in motion will continue. He made the game so exciting to watch," said Reeve. "He really put this sport on the national map."
- April 20, 1999: In an Anthony Robbins Summit 2000 seminar in Phoenix, Arizona, Christopher Reeve was among other speakers such as author John Gray, country singing duo Wynonna and Naomi Judd, and CNN talkshow host Larry King at the America West Arena. The seminar is similar to the Peter Lowe Seminars by being an all-day event that goes from 8:00am to 5:30pm and features celebrity speakers among others.
- April 21, 1999: Officials at Drew University in Madison, New Jersey announced that Christopher Reeve will deliver the Commencement Address there on Saturday, May 22, 1999. The press release also says that he will receive "The Doctor of Humane Letters".
- April 30, 1999: The Audie Awards were given out in Los Angeles, California at the Regal Biltmore Hotel and Christopher Reeve was among the winners. Reeve won two Audies from The Audio Publishers Association (APA) for the audiobook of Still Me that he read. Reeve was nominated and won in the categories of "Inspirational" where the other nominees were: Old Testament: The Complete Bible read or performed by Stephanie Beacham, Theodore Bikel, Roscoe Lee Browne, Christopher Cazenove, Stephen Collins, Julie Harris, Edward Herrmann, Juliet Mills, Roger Rees, John Rubinstein, David Warner, Alfre Woodard, and Michael York; and The New Testament as Told by Max McLean read or performed by Max McLean. The other Audie Award Reeve won was in the category of "Solo Narration- Author or Authors" where the other nominees were Big Screen Drive-In Theater by Donald Davis; and Reporting Live by Lesley Stahl.
- May 1, 1999: Tom Hanks and Steven Speilberg were among those joining Christopher Reeve at a Hollywood benefit for the Christopher Reeve Paralysis Foundation. Also present was Roman Reed for whom a bill in the California legislature is named that proposes that a $15 fee be added to every speeding ticket issued in the state of California and that the $15 be put into a fund for spinal cord injury research.
- May 3, 1999: The New York Knicks played at Madison Square Garden and Christopher Reeve was in attendence along with former Knick and current presidential candidate Bill Bradley, Magic Johnson, Chris Rock , Kofi Annan, the United Nation Secretary General and, of course, Spike Lee and Penny Marshall. The Knicks won this game against the Celtics at a score of 95-88.
- May 5, 1999: At 5:00pm EDT, in the United Nations Headquarters Economic and Social Council Chamber, the President of Ireland, Mary McAleese, received the Franklin Delano Roosevelt International Disability Award for spearheading meaningful legislation aimed at allowing people with disabilities to lead an independent life. United Nations Secretary-General Fred Eckhard opened the award ceremony. Christopher Reeve participated in the ceremony as a spokesman for the World Committee on Disability along with Anna Eleanor Roosevelt, the granddaughter of Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
- May 10, 1999: Christopher Reeve will be interviewed on ZDTV News this Tuesday - Thursday, May 11 - 13, at 4pm and 11 pm EDT (1 and 8pm PDT). Reeve will discuss progress in spinal cord regeneration, give an update on breakthrough technology, and will be shown walking on a treadmill. ZDTV is Direct TV channel 273 on DSS systems. It is also carried by some cable companies around the United States.
- May 10, 1999: At a special unveiling of the Maria Fareri Children's Hopsital in Westchester Medical Center that took place in Greenwich, Connecticut, Christopher Reeve was a speaker. The new children's hospital is named after Maria Fareri, a Greenwich, Connecticut girl who died of rabies which she contracted from a bat. Her deep desire was to help children.
- May 13, 1999: Several television programs have shown Christopher Reeve participating in an experimental program which allows his legs to move under certain conditions. The theory is based on the concept that unused muscles remember their function if stimulated. It was developed by NASA to help understand how astronauts' bodies return to normal after leaving zero gravity conditions. HOWEVER, HE IS NOT WALKING. Reeve issued a statement through the Christopher Reeve Paralysis Foundation: "Recent media reports have either stated or created the impression that I am now able to walk. Unfortunately, this is not the case. I am completely paralyzed from the rib cage down. However, I am participating in a cutting-edge therapy which is part of my overall exercise program. Wearing a parachute harness and suspended by overhead cables, I stand on a treadmill. When it is put into motion, energy and memory which remain in the spinal cord allow me to step at speeds up to 4 miles per hour... I deeply appreciate the great interest that people take in my progress toward recovery. But, on behalf of all those who, like myself, are living with spinal cord injuries, I feel that it is essential to dispel any confusion."
- May 13, 1999: Y95.3 and ON-TV of Canada presented Christopher Reeve at a speaking engagement at Copps Coliseum in Hamilton, Ontario in support of Path Employment Services.
- May 13, 1999: Army Archerd reported that Christopher Reeve is speaking at Drew and William's commencement exercises and that he told him "I am honored they asked me." Reeve also reminded Archerd that he speaks "without notes--there's no place to put a piece of paper" on his wheelchair.
- May 17, 1999: A biography of Christopher Reeve will be featured on the Tuesday, May 18th edition of NewsStand: People Profiles at 8-9p.m. ET. It will be replayed on May 19 at 1 a.m. ET and on Sunday May 23 at 4 p.m. ET.
- May 22, 1999: At Drew University in Madison, New Jersey Christopher Reeve told 506 graduates to "party hard" and then do something in life with significance and a "real sense of purpose." Reeve spoke for about 25 minutes on the porch of Mead Hall to a crowd of more than 4000 gathered on the lawn. Reeve said, "There is a distinction to be made between fun and satisfaction" and encouraged students to find satisfaction. Drew University President and former New Jersey Governor Tom Kean presented Reeve with the Doctor of Humane Letters.
- May 25, 1999: An upcoming event Christopher Reeve is invited to is the Year 2000 Disability Conference hosted by President George Bush and National Organization on Disability (N.O.D.). The conference, set for February 24-26, 2000, will be held at the George Bush Presidential Library Conference Center at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas. Reeve is invited as the Vice Chairman of the N.O.D.
- May 28, 1999: The Niagara Film Festival held its gala opening with the showing of Superman with special guest Christopher Reeve. Among the other speakers on hand were Jeff East (who played young Clark Kent) and Marc McClure (Jimmy Olsen). Reeve said, "Superman was great not because it was incredibly violent or technologically advanced, but because it was the kind of movie that made people want to believe what was happening was real. There's just not enough magic in movies today, and that's what kids most need to see - magic and stories that are positive." Following his remarks, Reeve was presented with the Ara award, an equivelent to the Oscar in Canada.
- May 30, 1999: To mark the end of a fundraising campaign launched three years ago, Christopher Reeve was in Toronto to speak at the third annual Hope Ball. He told the audience that money will determine whether a cure for spinal cord injury is found in 20 to 30 years or in 3 to 5 years. Reeve said, "For people who are in a chair, for people whose bodies are out of their control, for people who can't speak or move, that's a huge, huge difference." The Spark of Life Campaign, which Reeve originated in September 1996 with wheelchair athlete Rick Hanson, has raised $22 million for research into neurological disorders. This fund raising effort has exceeded its goals. Reeve said, "A goal that was set has actually been accomplished, and that's rare... This is very much a caring society."
- May 30, 1999: On cable, Lifetime did an Intimate Portrait biography on Margot Kidder and Chris was among the people talking about her during the one-hour show. Reeve said, "There were times that were a blast and times that she would drive me nuts." Pictures of Reeve and Kidder were shown from behind-the-scenes on the set of Superman.
- June 3, 1999: F. D. Reeve, Christopher's father, is one of the translators of a new anthology of Russian poetry titled: In the Grip of Strange Thoughts: Russian Poetry in a New Era, Selected and edited by J. Kates, Zephyr Press, $19.95.
- June 4, 1999: A California spinal cord research bill, that Christopher Reeve is a supporter of, cleared its first major hurdle by passing the Assembly. The Roman Reed Spinal Cord Injury Research Act, named after 24-year-old Roman Reed who broke his neck playing college football five years ago, would add an extra $5 to speeding violations. The revenue would fund research to cure paralysis. The bill, also known as AB 750, passed by a vote of 55 to 17. Earlier this year Don Reed, Roman's father, recieved a supportive letter from Christopher Reeve saying, "On behalf of the American Paralysis Association (APA) and our Board of Directors, I fully support your efforts to enact Assembly Bill 750, the Roman Reed Spinal Cord Injury Research Bill in the state of California... We commend your tireless efforts and support your organization's attempt to facilitate legislation in the California State Assembly." The bill now moves to the Senate.
- June 4, 1999: Governor George Pataki gave Christopher Reeve a four-year appointment to New York's Spinal Cord Injury Research Board. Reeve said, "Governor Pataki showed true leadership when he signed the legislation creating this board and his appointments today reflect his continued commitment to finding a cure." The board was established last year to recommend to state officials which spinal cord research projects should get money from a special state fund. Four researchers will make up the rest of the board and the positions are unpaid.
- June 6, 1999: At Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts Christopher Reeve was the principle speaker at the college's 210th commencement ceremony. He told nearly 500 graduates that higher education helps prepare for life's disappointments and tragedies. Reeve also said, "I don't fight just to get myself out of the chair, but to push science." Reeve was also one of seven people to receive honorary degrees at the ceremony. His was the Doctor of Humane Letters. [To read the complete address that Reeve gave at Williams College click here. You can also read the speech given to Reeve when he received the Doctor of Humane Letters there as well by clicking here.]
- June 26, 1999: Christopher Reeve's remake of Rear Window premiered on television in the United Kingdom. The review in Radio Times had this to say about the film and Reeve's performance: "Reeve gives a genuinely courageous performance which won him a Screen Actors Guild award, even allowing his breathing apparatus to be disconnected for the scene in which his character is attacked... Reeve's own condition adds an extra dimension as does the range of high tech equipment at his disposal. Otherwise, it's fairly faithful to the orginal's plot, with Daryl Hannah in the Grace Kelly role and Robert Forster making an impression as the skeptical detective."
- June 30, 1999: Bancroft NeuroHealth's Institute for Professional Development and Research announced that Christopher Reeve will deliver the keynote address on September 17th at its upcoming three-day conference NeuroHealth for the New Millennium: The Key to Independence at the Wyndham Franklin Plaza in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Institute will also honor Reeve, for his dedication to advocating for the rights of people with disabilities, at a dinner where actor Joe Pesci will present him with the first NeuroHealth Award. Conference participants will be given the chance to have a first-hand view of some of the world's most cutting-edge technologies related to brain rehabilitation.
- July 5, 1999: An upcoming annual dinner in Texas featuring Christopher Reeve presented by the El Paso Holocaust Museum and Study Center is scheduled for Monday, September 27 at 6:00pm at the El Paso Civic and Convention Center Grand Hall. Reeve, now as a quadriplegic, represents a segment of society that in World War II Europe was targeted for extinction. Over 70,000 of the 11 million people murdered by the Nazis were physically and mentally disabled and were considered to be "undesirables." These were the first victims of the killing campaign that had begun in January 1940 in an effort to "purify the Aryan race." A special guest appearance by Jose Feliciano on guitar is also on the schedule. Proceeds from the fundraising dinner are used to achieve the museum's goals of educating the community as to what happens when bigotry and hatred are left unchecked.
- July 8, 1999: An upcoming appearance Christopher Reeve is scheduled for is to speak in Washington, D.C. at the National Press Club Luncheon in the Ballroom on Wednesday, December 1 at 12:30p.m.
- July 15, 1999: On Tuesday, October 19th Christopher Reeve will appear at another Peter Lowe Success 1999 seminar in Des Moines, Iowa at Veterans Memorial Auditorium. Other speakers include Larry King (via satellite) and Paul Harvey.
- July 27, 1999: The Celebrity Forum Speaker Series at the Flint Center for the Performing Arts in Cupertino, California will feature Christopher Reeve at this sold out appearance on November 2nd. Film clips of his career will be shown along with his inspirational talk.
- August 2, 1999: At Tina Brown's Talk magazine inaugural party on Liberty Island in New York, Christopher Reeve arrived with his daughter Alexandra and wife Dana to celebrate the launch of the new celebrity-driven glossy. Other guests included Paul Newman, Rupert Everett, Pierce Brosnan, Robert De Niro, Kevin Bacon, Christopher Walken, Lauren Bacall, Demi Moore, Judith Light, Liam Neeson and Natasha Richardson, Matthew Broderick and Sarah Jessica Parker, Hugh Grant and Elizabeth Hurley, and Madonna. Reeve will be in the November 1999 issue.
- August 3, 1999: While Rush & Molloy reported on the Talk magazine party for the New York Daily News they talked to Christopher Reeve. Reeve told them he and Dana were dazzled by their photos, "which were completely different than anything we've ever done before. In one, we're wrapped in a blanket." The photos were taken during a photo shoot he and his family did for an upcoming issue of the magazine.
- August 4, 1999: While at the party for Talk magazine on Monday, Christopher Reeve was interviewed by Claudia Cohen for LIVE! With Regis & Kathie Lee. Alexandra Reeve, Reeve's 15 year old daughter was standing by and was the topic of the beginning of the interview. When Cohen asked Reeve what happens when a guy comes to pick up Alexandra for a date he answered, "I totally trust her judgement because she is not going to go out with boring people. She's very, very smart and makes good decisions." When asked if the ferry ride was difficult, Reeve said that it was a "piece of cake. Nothing to it." About how he would like the magazine to be Reeve said, "I'd like them to accurately report what's going on with celebrities. To know the facts straight and not to create rumors. I think this will be a class act. People want to hear about celebrities, but you got to get rid of all the rumors and get to the facts." Reeve also talked about his experience with Talk magazine, "We are going to be in the third issue of the magazine and they did a great photo shoot of all of us. I just think Tina really knows how to run a magazine. It's going to be fun. I think it adds some class to New York." Cohen answered that he also adds some class to New York.
- August 5, 1999: According to the August 16th issue of Newsweek magazine, Christopher Reeve returned to the Williamstown Theatre Festival in Massachusetts to attend the opening performance of As You Like It starring Gwyneth Paltrow. Other celebrities that attended included Meryl Streep, James Naughton, Wendy Wasserstein, and Paltrow's parents Blythe Danner and Bruce Paltrow. The play runs from August 4 to August 15.
- August 6, 1999: In Jeannie Williams' USA Today column, Christopher Reeve revealed that he "is casting for a movie he'll direct called Heartbreaker, produced by Nicolas Cage. 'A very eccentric romance,' Reeve calls it. 'What's nice is they asked me to go to Toronto - that would save 40% on the dollar, but it would be very difficult (he has a staff of 15 nurses and aides), so they agreed to shoot it in New York.' Reeve adds, 'Nic has been so supportive.' They knew each other just casually, having met once on a plane. 'I enjoyed acting in Rear Window, but (for me) directing is really the future. And I love it. For him to think of me was not an act of charity. There are no giveaways' in their business." The article also mentioned that the book Dana Reeve is wrapping up, made up of some of the 35,000 letters from both ordinary and famous people who wrote to Reeve after his accident, called Care Packages will be out this fall. Reeve said, "When I was first injured, those letters were a lifeline, so this book is a way of saying thank you to those people."
- August 13, 1999: Earlier in the day of this Friday the 13th, Christopher Reeve called a troubled man named Bill White whose request to die was about to be granted. White was a quadriplegic who wanted to die by being removed from a ventilator that had sustained him since he was paralyzed 32 years ago. Reeve and White discussed the situation on the phone before doctors at Strong Memorial Hospital granted White's request. The content of the conversation is unknown. White was paralyzed from the jaw down in a high school gymnastics accident in 1967 and had been among the longest-living quadriplegics in the United States.
- August 14, 1999: Das Fenster zum Hof, better known as Rear Window, starring Christopher Reeve is finally premiering on German television and can be seen through satellite (Astra). This version of the film will be syncronized in German.
- August 16, 1999: Scientists, physicians, and others, including Christopher Reeve, met for the first time as the Spinal Cord Injury Research Board to make recommendations on which research efforts should be funded with money from the state Spinal Cord Injury Trust Fund, a fund that was created last year by New York Governor George Pataki where the money will be raised from traffic violation surcharges. During a press briefing before the meeting, Reeve said creation of the board in New York was important because of the state's large number of research facilities and that "the money will be used well here." Reeve said about the importance of money in finding a cure, "Right now money makes all the difference. With proper funding we could probably move into human trials in three to five years. Without proper funding we're looking at 15 to 30." One researcher told him recently that human trials could begin in a year in a half. Reeve has said that by keeping his body fit, he could be among the first subjects to undergo new nerve-regenerating treatments. Prior to the meeting, Reeve also met with New York State Health Commissioner Antonia Novello.
- August 30, 1999: In a story on Entertainment Tonight about Denzel Washington researching to understand the life of a paraplegic for the role of Lincoln Rhyme in the upcoming movie The Bone Collector, Washington talked about meeting friend and colleague Christopher Reeve. Washington said, "Queen Latifiah went with me and was able to learn how to what they call ranging which is stretching him and stretching him and he allowed her to do all of that. And, you know, she got to find out more about what her job is, while Chris and I talked about movies." In production notes for the movie, Latifiah, who plays Rhyme's nurse Thelma, said about meeting Reeve, "I definitely left feeling inspired. Christopher has a lot of love for what he does. He understands his situation, has hope, a positive attitude, and he's able to share that with other people in the same situation, and that's important."
- September 3, 1999: According to the Chicago-Sun Times, Christopher Reeve is joining forces with ex-football players, now paraplegics, Darryl Stingley of the New England Patriots and Marc Buoniconti, who is the son of Miami football star Nick Buoniconti, to raise funds for the Alan T. Brown Foundation of New York to find a cure for paralysis.
- September 7, 1999: At the Roseland Ballroom in Manhattan, New York Christopher Reeve attended an all-star Buddy Holly tribute and rock 'n' roll contest hosted by Paul McCartney. Other celebrities invited included Neil Young, Chevy Chase, Chris Noth, and performers the Crickets with Nanci Griffith, Big Sandy & His Fly-Rite Boys and Bobby Vee & the Bees.
- September 8, 1999: The Creative Coalition (TCC) and ABSOLUT VODKA announce their partnership at a press conference and photo opportunity. Together, ABSOLUT and TCC will present the second presentation of Seconding the First, a celebration of First Amendment rights, on November 15th that will include Christopher Reeve, a founder of TCC, returning as a performer. The event will feature a 90-minute live performance revue with readings, music and multimedia presentations also by actors William Baldwin, Janeane Garofalo, Chuck D, Bebe Neuwirth, Ben Stiller and author Judy Blume as well as others to be announced. The Creative Coalition was co-founded in 1989, by Alec Baldwin, Ron Silver, Reeve, Susan Sarandon, Blair Brown and Stephen Collins, to be the premier nonprofit, nonpartisan social and political advocacy organization of the entertainment industry to educate and mobilize leaders in the arts community on issues of public importance, specifically in the areas of First Amendment rights, arts advocacy, and public education.
- September 11, 1999: In Mitchell Fink's column of the Daily News, Christopher Reeve revealed that he has been selected by CNN as one of the world's 20 most influential people. Next month he will tape a segment for the network on the millennium in which he will talk about medicine. Asked what he will do to ring in the New Year, Reeve said: "I will stay at home and go to bed early."
- September 13, 1999: During a ceremony attended by Christopher Reeve at Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation, New Jersey Governor Christie Whitman signed into law The Spinal Cord Research Act. The bill, also known as A2419, creates the New Jersey State Commission on Spinal Cord Research and establishes a research funding source and database. Reeve said, "The state of New Jersey is taking a leadership role in the fight to find a cure for paralysis caused by spinal cord injury." He added, "The money raised by state-funded initiatives will enable scientists to continue ground-breaking research that is only limited by lack of adequate funds." The bill was sponsored by Assembly Members Nicholas Felice and Anthony Impreveduto and Senators Jack Sinagra and Robert Singer. The new 11-member commission will be charged with designing and implementing a grant program for medical and scientific research projects that focus on the treatment of spinal cord injuries and diseases. Funding for grants will be generated by a $1 surcharge on all motor vehicle fines. The new law, which is expected to raise $3.2 million annually, will also set up a registry of people in New Jersey who have spinal cord injuries to aid research and share information. During the ceremony, Governor Whitman acknowledged Reeve's national efforts to make research and sharing information on spinal cord injuries a priority and also for his work the past two years on the bill's passage.
- September 13, 1999: In a National Public Radio interview on WHYY 91FM Philadelphia, Christopher Reeve talked by phone from his home to Dan Gottlieb on the show Voices In The Family in a segment called Trauma and Resilience: An Interview with Christopher Reeve to promote his upcoming appearance in Philadelphia for a brain injury conference on Friday the 17th. Gottlieb spoke with Reeve about how his accident has changed his life, influenced his family relationships, and what his hopes for the future are. When Gottlieb talked about people with spinal cord injuries who have nursing care where wives are forced to be caregivers, Reeve said that his rule of thumb is to "never turn your wife into your nurse or mother because that's the start of your relationship going down hill." Reeve also said that his hip is currently dislocated, but is not the topic while eating dinner with his family. Reeve explains, "We have a rule that we don't talk about anything to do with medical issues at the dinner table. Our son Will is there and we talk about the fact that he just learned how to ride a two-wheeler by himself. We talk about the Yankees. We talk about normal life, but anything medical, you know. For example, right now I have a dislocated hip. I'm going to see a specialist in awhile, but it's pretty serious because I'm going to need the hip intact for when the cure comes, but I would not [talk about it at the dinner table]." When Gottlieb, a quadriplegic for about 20 years who is not eager to get out of "the chair" asked him about his hope that a cure is coming Reeve said, "I've only been injured, you know, for four years, I'm 46 and I tolerate being a quadriplegic, but I do not accept it."
- September 16, 1999: Actor and comedian Robin Williams appeared on BBC1's Clive Anderson Talk's Back and was asked how Christopher Reeve was doing. Robin stated that, "He's doing better. He's been working. He wrote a book, he's acting,
directing, doing everything he can. Understandably some days are better than others. He's an extraordinary person. Last time we talked I said he was on a roll. But then he always is. Right now people are going (looks worried). That's a joke for him and other people who'll go "I like that". Stephen Hawking will go (talks in a synthesised voice) "Funny joke!". He's doing better... He's wonderful... He's my friend. He's the godfather of my son." Imitating Marlon Brando Robin joked, "I must always do good things for
him. I have a male born child I must help him in any way possible." He went on to say, "He's a great friend. I wish to be the same for him. I've always tried to help him through by using humour and being there for him when he needs it. Going to benefits and just being there, not necessarily to perform at the benefit but just to be there for him." Later in the interview Robin made a reference to Christopher Reeve's appearance at the Oscars in 1996. Asked whether he'd present the Oscars Robin said no and joked that, "I will be in the dance numbers though (singing), "We're dancing! We've got war movies, people in pain. Oh, no there's a wheelchair again!"
- September 17, 1999: While in Philadelphia, Christopher Reeve visited MCP Hahnemann University for a private presentation from members of the University's Spinal Cord Injury Research Team. MCP Hahnemann University's Dr. Itzhak Fischer and colleagues explained to Reeve the team's recent research, published in the June issue of The Journal of Neuroscience that they found that the transplantation of genetically modified cells promoted regeneration of spinal cord material in mice. Reeve said, "When regeneration occurs, because the side that controls movement is normal, I should have quite a substantial recovery." Reeve visited MCP Hahnemann University at the invitation of University President Constantine Papadakis, who greeted him and hosted the presentation in the University's executive board room. The MCP Hahnemann University team is the only group in the Greater Philadelphia region studying the pathophysiology and treatment of spinal cord injuries. The researchers have been funded by the Christopher Reeve Paralysis Foundation, as well as the National Institutes of Health and the Eastern Paralyzed Veterans Association.
- September 17, 1999: At 4:00pm EDT Christopher Reeve gave the keynote address in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania kicking off Bancroft NeuroHealth's three-day conference on brain injury, NeuroHealth for the New Millennium: The Key to Independence, at the Wyndham Franklin Plaza. Reeve said, "The brain has the power to teach even disconnected nerves." He added, "And the more we learn about the brain, the more the breakthroughs will come." The conference focus was on brain injuries, known as the "silent epidemic." Such injuries occur every 15 seconds in the United States, and presently there are 5.3 million people living with a disability resulting from brain injury. At a dinner that night, actor and friend Joe Pesci presented Reeve the first ever Bancroft NeuroHealth Award. Philadelphia Mayor Ed Rendell also presented him a commemorative bowl. "We all have reserves we're not aware of," Reeve said. "Before my accident, I ran like a teenager, and I would have said that paralysis was unacceptable. And initially, when this happened, I felt intense regret and anger." He also noted that his condition has led him to find gratification in new ways. During a press conference following the award presentation, Reeve said he believed that scientists will soon be able to help those with brain injuries as well as those with paralysis to lead fuller lives. The message Reeve wants to convey to others during the conference is, "That all of us have inside of us many more resources than we know, and when we are faced with a tragedy of some kind, we should challenge ourselves to go beyond any level that we have gone before."
- September 24, 1999: Another award was given to Christopher Reeve in the category of "Biography" for his autobiography Still Me in New York's Blackbird Restaurant from Libraries U.S.A. and Ameritech at their first annual Readers' Choice Awards Luncheon. The Readers' Choice Awards were determined by library users, casting their ballot for their favorite books published in 1998 in seven categories, both fiction and non-fiction. The winning authors, were presented with a check for $1,000 and an award trophy.
- September 25, 1999: It was Christopher Reeve's 47th birthday and he celebrated it at a party in Manhattan, New York at the exclusive 925 Club at an East Side club. Other guests, with varied birthdays, included Barbara Walters, Jimmy Buffett, Russell Crowe, Danny DeVito and Rhea Perlman, Lee Grant, U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, new U.N. Ambassador Richard Holbrooke, Dennis Miller, Bette Midler, Yoko Ono, Martha Stewart, Ellen Barkin and boyfriend Ron Perelman, among others.
- September 26, 1999: At the New Jersey Shakespeare Festival, Christopher Reeve was in the audience to see his wife Dana in the musical Enter the Guardsman featuring her and Robert Cuccioli to benefit the Christopher Reeve Paralysis Foundation. The play runs from September 7 to October 3.
- September 27, 1999: At the El Paso Holocaust Museum and Study Center's annual banquet in Texas, Christopher Reeve and Jose' Feliciano appeared to represent a segment of society which, only 50 years ago in Europe, was targeted for extinction because they were handicapped. Reeve spoke of the time before his accident when he had visited paraplegics and thanked God he wasn't like them. He also said he was ashamed of how he felt and wanted the audience to understand that it can happen to any of us. Reeve also spoke about history comparing Roosevelt and Hitler. He talked about how both had inherited dispirited countries and that both lived in a time when it was not accepted to be handicapped, like when Roosevelt, a President of the United States, had to hide using a wheelchair. Reeve also took questions from the audience which included a boy asking him how he can get up everyday and face a new day. In answer to the boy Reeve smiled and said, "I made so many commitments...I have to show up!" Near the end Feliciano, who is blind, sang a bit of a song to Reeve called He'd Be A-Walkin!
- September 28, 1999: In Albany, Georgia Christopher Reeve was at a formal dinner at the civic center to help dedicate the House of Hope, a transitional home for the physically challenged. Reeve thanked the Albany Board of Realtors who, with donations from the community, built the House of Hope and gave it to Albany Advocacy Resource Center. There is a movement to take this project nationwide through the Realtor organization. "It's outstanding on its own merits," Reeve said to a hushed crowd. He added, "An idea that could have easily been discarded as less important than other issues facing the community was not forgotten, nor were the people who will be served by the House of Hope." At the dedication of the $300,000 House of Hope on Rosebriar Avenue he said he would bring national attention to the Albany project as a National Organization on Disability vice chairman. Reeve said, "I want to go back to the NOD and tell them about this and tell them we should start an initiative so places like this can be built all over the country." He also said that people with disabilities want funding for a cure or other innovations that will allow them to lead productive lives. "Those who are able-bodied," Reeve said, "can do so much by simply not looking away." The Albany Advocacy Resource Center, formerly the Albany Association for Retarded Citizens, has been working on building the home for more than five years.
- October 4, 1999: Next month Dana Reeve will be present at the Barnes & Noble bookstore on 82nd & Broadway in New York City to autograph the book that she edited, Care Packages: Letters To Christopher Reeve From Strangers and Other Friends. The date is November 4, 1999 from 7:30-8:30pm.
- October 6, 1999: On the cable channel Encore, a one-hour documentary show called The Directors featured Superman director Richard Donner in an episode titled The Films of Richard Donner and included an interview with Christopher Reeve prior to his accident. The documentary, which already aired in England in May, had a 10 minute section on Superman including picture stills and clips from the movie. The documentary also had interviews with various stars like Sylvester Stallone, Martin Landau, Jodie Foster, and others who worked with Donner and covered his career up to the 1995 movie Assassins starring Stallone. In the section about Superman Reeve candidly said about working with Donner, "We would get sometimes about two shots a day, I mean. And Donner was very, very critical. He kept the standard of the movie up very high because he would come in sometimes and he would see a shot and say, 'Nope. That's not going to be good enough. We have to go back and do it again.' So, he was tough on everybody and yet he was fun. It was kind of tough love. I'm doing this for your own good. You're not going to want to see your name on this picture unless we get it right." Donner talked about getting called by the Salkinds to direct the movie, Reeve trying on an early version of the Superman costume after getting the part, getting Superman to fly, talking with Marlon Brando who played Superman's father Jor-El in the movie and also told a funny story about Gene Hackman having a mustache that he didn't want to shave to play Lex Luthor. Reeve also talked about Donner's directing style, "I think what makes Dick Donner a unique director are two things: his desire to enable his co-workers to do their best, and a real innocence about the story so that he can look at it really from an audience's point-of-view and say, 'Tell me the story.'"
- October 7, 1999: The ten 1999 Angelus Awards finalists were welcomed by the Honorary Committee, that includes Christopher Reeve, at the finalist luncheon for finalists and media before Jack Shea, President of the Directors Guild of America, annoounced the winners. Finalist films will be screened at the Angelus Student Film Festival & Awards on November 6th at the Directors Guild of America Theater. Other members of the Honorary Committee include Gregory Peck, Lynn Redgrave, Jane Wyatt and Kevin Dobson. Joan Van Ark is Honorary chair. The Angelus Awards recognize and showcase student films of uncommon artistic caliber that explore the complexity of the human condition with creativity, compassion and respect.
- October 8, 1999: A cover story in the magazine Ladies Home Journal on Christopher and Dana Reeve hits newsstands. The article by Melina Gerosa interviews Dana about the upcoming book, Care Packages: Letters to Christopher Reeve from Strangers and Other Friends, which she edited from correspondence sent after her husband's accident. Reeve told Gerosa that their seven-year-old son, Will, has adjusted "remarkably well" to his father's condition, although she noticed that he is particularly attached to her these days. "There are still times when he has real separation anxiety, and wants me around," she explains. Reeve's 19-year-old son, Matthew, a sophomore at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, and 16-year-old daughter, Alexandra, a high school junior who lives in London with their mother, Gae Exton, visit often. A sample of letters from the book are also shown including some from Hugh Grant and Emma Thompson who were in the movie The Remains of the Day with Reeve, and also a letter from Paul McCartney, among others.
- October 8, 1999: It is announced that the First Annual "One Song, Many Voices" Worldwide Sing, which includes an introduction by Christopher Reeve, to the 1997 song written by Mark Williams and sung by Vanessa L. Williams. Previously the introduction had only been available on a limited corporate edition of the album, but now it will be available to the public on two musical documentaries videos called One Song, Many Voices: The Many Faces of Difference and Everything's Wild: Understanding the Forces for Cultural Change. Reeve said, "One Song, Many Voices by Mark Williams calls on us to come together and explore our differences, examine our attitudes and celebrate our shared humanity." One Song, Many Voices has also made a donation to the Christopher Reeve Paralysis Foundation in support of its efforts. On Tuesday, November 16th Choirs across the nation will raise their voices for racial and cultural tolerance as part of the worldwide sing. The music video by Williams with Reeve will be broadcast to more than 12 million young people on Channel One Network and the song will be aired on Westwood One and American Urban Radio networks. Just as We Are the World united people to fight hunger, One Song, Many Voices calls on everyone to celebrate their common humanity and promote cultural, racial and religious tolerance. The song was designated the official song for United Nations International Day of Tolerance, celebrated annually on November 16.
- October 28, 1999: Canoe, a Canadian newspaper, reports that Christopher Reeve was the fourth quadriplegic out of 12 that Denzel Washington talked to while preparing for the role of Lincoln Rhyme in The Bone Collector. Washington said, "Chris was the fourth quadriplegic I talked to, so by the time I visited him, I was comfortable. We talked more about movies than we did about his condition. Queen Latifah, who plays my caregiver in the movie, came with me. Chris allowed her to move him around and adjust him. That proved invaluable for her." The Bone Collector opens in movie theaters on November 5th.
- October 29, 1999: In Columbia, South Carolina Christopher Reeve was in town for a few events. He was the guest speaker at the first annual dinner banquet called Life is Limitless Celebration sponsored by Limitless Sports, an organization that provides sporting opportunities for people with disabilities. The sold-out event was at the Embassy Suites and began at 6:00pm ET with a silent auction and then the dinner that included Reeve at 7:30pm ET. In a plane provided by Colonial Life, Reeve arrived at the Columbia Metropolitan Airport at about 3:00pm ET and was greeted by South Carolina's first lady, Rachel Hodges, Columbia Mayor Bob Coble and S. C. Vocational Rehabilitation commissioner Charles LaRosa. Reeve first attended an invitation-only reception on the campus of the S. C. Vocational Rehabilitation Department in West Columbia. Reeve also was presented with a key to the city from Coble, then visited with a group of wheelchair athletes who participate in games organized by Limitless Sports. Two Columbia law firms, Suggs & Kelly and John O'Leary and Associates, which helped to found Limitless Sports in 1998, presented Reeve with a $200,000 check for the Christopher Reeve Paralysis Foundation.
- October 29, 1999: In another article, this time in Ottawa Citizen, about Denzel Washington in The Bone Collector using Christopher Reeve as part of his research for the movie, Washington said that Reeve was passed over for the role of quadriplegic criminologist Lincoln Rhyme because the producers felt it would be too taxing. Washington said about Reeve, "Chris is very much alive. He still has this great passion for living. He wants to do things. He wants to get up. He's at the forefront of raising money for nerve regeneration. He's preparing himself to be the first human guinea pig. He talks about one day walking into a premiere."
- November 1, 1999: The Washington Post reports that Capital Style magazine had a story about Christopher Reeve campaigning for the re-election of Republican Vermont Senator James M. Jeffords by doing a series of pro-Jeffords television spots praising his efforts on health care and medical research. Reeve is grateful to Jeffords for getting funding for spinal cord research.
- November 1, 1999: To promote Care Packages: Letters To Christopher Reeve From Strangers and Other Friends Christopher and Dana Reeve were interviewed by Stone Philips for Dateline NBC. Several letters from the book were read by Philips. Reeve said that the closer scientists come to a cure, the more their egos and financial reward contaminate the process. He said, "Now we're down to the ugly part, unfortunately, which is patents, money, who gets the credit, who gets the Nobel Prize? You know, who's going to profit from it? There's a lot of stuff."
- November 1, 1999: Mitchell Fink reported in his Daily Dish column in the New York Daily News that Christopher and Dana Reeve attended a party at the Rainbow Room on Thursday, October 28th for the movie The Bone Collector. The couple saw the movie the night before and came to the party as a show of support. Reeve told Fink that he is now able to accompany his dog to the end of his driveway and watch as his morning paper is retrived. Reeve said, "It's just me and the dog." He also told Fink that he has also taken his wheelchair "off-roading. I've even gone to places where we pick apples." About The Bone Collector Reeve said, "I'm happy that there's a disabled character who carries a movie." About the visit Denzel Washington and Queen Latifah made at their Westchester home, Dana had no idea that they were coming or that Latifah's real first name is also Dana when she extended her hand while introducing herself. Reeve said, "But I knew. We spent four or five hours together. I hope I was a help."
- November 3, 1999: While in San Jose, California for the Foothill/De Anza College Celebrity Forum, Christopher Reeve said, "I wake up every morning shocked that I'm still unable to move." For two hours everyone morning from 6:00-8:00am he allows himself the "what ifs" about being disabled and then goes on to another day of battling for the rights of the disabled. He also said, "There is so much more inside of us than we know."
- November 3, 1999: While Dana Reeve promoted her book she did a Barnes & Noble live chat from 7:00pm et to 8:00pm et. She was joined by two helpers of the Christopher Reeve Homepage as well as her son Will and his nanny Kristen. She talked candidly from their home "office" about life after Reeve's accident and the letters she chose for her book, while her husband was on a plane between San Jose, California and their home returning from giving a speech. Mrs. Reeve said when asked how she keeps her spirits up and keeps focused and balanced, "I am lucky that I tend to be a positive person by nature and, while I am also deeply rooted in reality, I find I can almost always find a way to remain so. I find doing things for others keeps my spirits up to some degree, but no one can do that all the time. Time spent with my very amusing seven-year-old helps a lot, as does singing." When asked if a letter provoked her to seek out and meet the sender in person Mrs. Reeve said, "I did contact quite a few people by phone, and both Chris and I have met people who have needed some inspiration to get through an ordeal, but believe it or not, I am actually a very private person and would normally not seek someone out." Someone asked how as a caregiver, wife and friend to Christopher she continues to help him and keep from losing herself in the circumstances, as she answered with advice, "it is so important as a caregiver not to become so enmeshed in the role that you lose yourself. It's neither good for you nor your loved one. I make sure I pursue my own interests and career, and Chris encourages me to do so." When a member of the crew here at the Christopher Reeve Homepage asked what her feelings are towards a proposed Superman movie with Nicolas Cage playing Superman, Mrs. Reeve said, "The movie Heartbreaker is for Nicolas Cage's production company, Saturn Films, but he is not in it. It starts shooting in New York in the spring. As far as Nic playing "Superman" -- sure, why not. Although I don't think it's happening." When another member of the Christopher Reeve Homepage asked her about her hope to be in a musical and mentioned this website Mrs. Reeve answered without acknowledging this website, "I actually just appeared in a musical in your own state at the NJ Shakespeare Festival in Madison. It was called Enter the Guardsman, and I starred with Robert Cucciolli (from Jekyl and Hyde. The festival has great stuff, so keep looking."
- November 3, 1999: The New York Rangers announced that the entire 1999-2000 Rangers club and Christopher Reeve will team up in an all-star night of hockey to benefit the NYR SKATE and the Christopher Reeve Paralysis Foundations. The Rangers will host SuperSkate 2000, the second annual charity hockey event, featuring the FedEx NHL SuperSkills competition and celebrity hockey game on Saturday, December 11th, including Jason Priestley, Scott Wolf, and Denis Leary, at Madison Square Garden at 7:00 PM. In the Inuagural event last season, $100,000 was raised for the two charitable foundations.
- November 5, 1999: Canoe had another more detailed story about Denzel Washington meeting Christopher Reeve while researching The Bone Collector. Washington told the paper that "out of the 12 people I talked to, everyone said that, at one point, they considered suicide." He explained that Reeve also talked about it, "I spent time with Christopher Reeve and he talked about it too." At first while doing the interviews he was too series, then by the time he got up to Reeve, Washington was just talking. Reeve gave Washington understanding about painful seizures some quadriplegics experience when he asked him what it feels like, since he had one or two early on. Reeve told Washington, "You know the feeling you get when you drink a cold ice drink too fast and you get that pain in the roof of your mouth? Multiply that by 50." Reeve also told him, "If you had that, I would understand why he would want to check out because you don't know at any moment if it will just kill you or make you a vegetable. It's God's cruel joke."
- November 5, 1999: For the first time since his accident, Christopher Reeve was on Larry King Live live and took questions from callers. His wife Dana was also with him in CNN's New York studios. King read some letters published in the book Care Packages: Letters To Christopher Reeve From Strangers and Other Friends, as well as talked about an article TIME magazine had in their November 8th issue about Reeve titled Will Christopher Reeve Walk Again? by Jeffrey Kluger. King also caught up with the couple by talking about Reeve in Rear Window, their children, progress towards a cure for paralysis, as well as the movie Reeve is going to direct in the Spring called Heartbreaker. When King asked him how he is doing and if he gets better Reeve answered, "Yes, I've had some recovery over time. I have sensation all the way down my spine now, and I'm able to breathe on my own off the hose for up to about 45 minutes at a time, which is great. And I'm able to use my diaphragm, which I'm not supposed to be able to do. Plus, I have no muscle atrophy, and my bone density is what it is before the accident."
- November 7, 1999: CNN/TIME had a special episode called Visions 21: Questions for the Next Century where Christopher Reeve was interviewed at Kessler Institute For Rehabilitation in West Orange, New Jersey while he was there for the signing of a New Jersey bill into law. During the piece, Reeve said "There's anger. There's jealousy. Sometimes when I just see somebody get up and walk down the hall, I get resentful." Wise Young and Evan Synder were among the scientists interviewed. Reeve also said, "There's an intersection between politics, the media and celebrities. They all feed off each other. So I've always felt it was my responsibility to use that position intelligently." When asked what he has in mind to see when he is on his feet in a few years Reeve answered, "My greatest desire, actually, is to go sailing again, to be somewhere off the coast of Maine, which used to be one of my favorite haunts. And then I probably would like to take my wife and family and disappear on the Greek islands and not be found for quite a while."
- November 8, 1999: Established author and friend of this homepage, Walter Oleksy, has an upcoming biography about Christopher Reeve that is very well-written and accurate, due out in January on Lucent Books as part of their People In The News series. This series of books is intended for children in grades 4 through 12. Two helpers on this homepage had the pleasure of assisting Oleksy with the book. Oleksy recently commented about his book to Amazon.com saying, "I did extensive research and got the most accurate and up-to-date information on Christopher Reeve and also corrected inaccuracies in books other than Still Me. I think Reeve is a terrific, brave person and a wonderful role model." [Walt's book is available for purchase through his publisher, Lucent Books, by clicking here.]
- November 9, 1999: For the last Peter Lowe seminar of the year, Christopher Reeve was in North Carolina at the Raleigh Entertainment & Sports Arena. He was joined by speakers that included General Colin Powell and Larry King.
- November 12, 1999: BBC Ceefax reported the release of Care Packages: Letters to Christopher Reeve from Strangers and other Friends. Titled "Reeve Publishes Letters From Stars" the report said: "Katherine Hepburn, Emma Thompson, and Fraiser's David Hyde Pearce are among 400,000 who wrote to Christopher Reeve after he was paralysed in 1995. Hepburn simply said, "My golly, what a mess". Pierce told Reeve, "Every one of your friends, colleagues and fans is breathing right along with you." Their letters are included in a new book, Care Packages by former Superman star Christopher Reeve and his wife Dana. A total of 20% of the book's proceeds will go towards spinal cord research."
- November 12, 1999: It is announced that Christopher Reeve and his youngest son Will will make a guest appearance on Sesame Street to promote literacy and teach children about people with disabilities by joining Big Bird and Zoe for a visit to the library. The episode will be aired sometime during the show's 31st season on PBS which begins on January 3rd. [A clip of this appearance is available on RealVideo by clicking here.]
- November 17, 1999: Denzel Washington, Paul Newman, Joanne Woodward, Billy Baldwin and Hector Elizondo joined friends Christopher and Dana Reeve in raising critical funds for the Christopher Reeve Paralysis Foundation (CRPF). A Magical Evening, CRPF's annual black tie gala held at the Waldorf-Astoria last night, brought in $1.8 million, the highest amount ever raised by CRPF in one evening. Mitchell Stoller, Chief Executive Officer of CRPF said: "We not only hit our goal, but surpassed our expectations. This was truly a magical evening.'' Ann Godoff, President, Publisher and Editor-in-Chief, Random House Trade Group, was honored for her humanitarianism and dedication to the work of CRPF. Random House published Christopher Reeve's autobiography Still Me and Dana Reeve's recent release, Care Packages: Letters to Christopher Reeve from Strangers and Other Friends, donating a portion of the sales to CRPF. In addition, Dr. Serge Rossignol, Director of the Center for Research in Neurological Sciences at the Univerite de Montreal, and Dr. V. Reggie Edgerton of the Brain Research Institute at the University of California Los Angeles, received the Christopher Reeve Research Medal for Spinal Cord Repair. The medal is awarded annually by the Reeve-Irvine Research Center at the University of California Irvine College of Medicine to individuals who have made recent critical contributions to promoting repair of the damaged spinal cord and recovery of function.
- November 22, 1999: Christopher Reeve featured in BBC1's Hollywood Greats documentary on actress and feminist icon Katherine Hepburn. Chris described her as, "An individual who really causes us to fall in love with her." On the subject of her fashion of wearing "boyish" clothes Chris said, "She really didn't care what anybody thought about her. That's rare because a lot of people in Hollywood spend every waking momment worrying about whether they're being liked or whether they look right. They hope to run into somebody that can help them in their career, whatever. She didn't care about any of that." Christopher also talked of his experience of working with Hepburn in theatre: "I auditioned for a play she was doing, called A Matter of Gravity. So I first met her at the audition. She was sitting way out in the dark and I remember trying to get a hold of the situation. I was very nervous. So I called out: "Miss Hepburn I'm sure you would like to hear greetings from my grandmother, she went to school with you at Bryn Mawr." And out of the darkness came, "Oh Bea, I never could stand her!" I thought either I disappear, or, ... I had to take a minute to regroup, it was quite a shock. She actually gave me the part right there at the audition."
- November 25, 1999: An article titled "Girl who supported Superman gets £4m" was published in The Times. Gemma Quinn, aged 15 paralysed from the neck down in a car accident in 1992 was awarded £3.9 million - a "structured settlement" providing regular payment as long as she needs it. The report stated, "Gemma hit the headlines in 1995 when it emerged she had written a letter of hope to Reeve after he was paralysed in a show jumping accident. The actor was inspired by Gemma's bravery and the two have become firm friends." Gemma has already raised £100,000 for spinal cord research. With the help of Liverpool and England football (soccer) star Jamie Redknapp, Gemma has helped launch a new appeal with the aim of raising enough cash for the International Spinal Research Trust to find a cure for paralysis by the time she is 21 (2006). You can find more information about Gemma's appeal by clicking here.
- December 1, 1999: C-SPAN 2 broadcast live a speech Christopher Reeve gave before the National Press Club luncheon on the topic of Spinal Cord Injuries. Dana Reeve and the president of the Christopher Reeve Paralysis Foundation were among Reeve's personal guests at the event sitting with acclaimed journalists from the National Press Club. During his speech Reeve said: "We live in a time when the words 'impossible' and 'unsolvable' are not in the vocabulary of the scientific community and this makes it all the more difficult to understand why both the government and the private sector are not doing more to relieve the human suffering that can afflict anyone in an instant. And why does the average citizen who is stricken with a catastrophic illness or disability still have to fight their HMO's and their insurance companies for even the most basic necessities... Now it is time for America to take care of its own." During a Q & A session after the speech Reeve said: "To put it very, very simply the future of the cure for spinal cord injury, as well as Parkinsons, Alzheimers, and stroke is going to be stem cells, which are completely undifferentiated cells and when placed in an environment they seem to have an intrinsic knowledge of what to do." Reeve said that he is currently involved in casting and pre-production for a movie called "Heartbreaker" which he plans to direct in the Spring. He describes it as "a light, warm, romantic comedy set in New York." That evening Reeve was given the America's Role Model 2000 Award by the Ohlinger Foundation during a ceremony at the Kennedy Center. (Reeve's entire speech before the National Press Club is available on RealPlayer video).
- December 11, 1999: At Madison Square Garden, celebrities including Matthew Modine, Rick Moranis and Scott Wolf, laced up and took to the ice for a benefit for the Christopher Reeve Paralysis Foundation and NYR Skate. At a press conference for SuperSkate 2000, Reeve said, "I think all these movie stars really would've rather been hockey players anyway, you know. So it's a fantasy night for, you know, actors getting to be hockey players. You know it's really cool that people made such an effort." Dana Reeve concluded the pre-game excitement by singing the National Anthem and soon the game was underway. The White team was coached by Jeff Beukeboom and Susan Sarandon. The Blue team prevailed in overtime with goals from Cuba Gooding Jr. and Boomer Esiason. Gooding Jr. was named MVP of the event and the crowd erupted with joy as Reeve came onto the ice with the celebrities and Rangers players and spoke words of encouragement.
- December 14, 1999: Christopher Reeve is scheduled to visit Kentucky governor Paul Patton and state lawmakers during a visit to that state on February 3, 2000. The purpose of the visit is to show support for a Kentucky trust fund that dedicates fines for seat-belt violations and a $12.50 surcharge on speeding tickets to research on head and spinal cord injuries. The fund takes in about $3 million per year which is divided between the University of Kentucky and University of Louisville.
- December 24, 1999: Christopher Reeve appeared on NBC Nightly News for a segment titled "Greatest Moments of the Century." He said: "If it hadn't been for all the technological advances of the twentieth century, as a seriously disabled person - which I never expected to be - I would really be in bad shape. I'm a survivor because of surgical advances and equipment that first allowed me to stay alive and then develop some quality of life. But I'm grateful for the technology that's filtered down to help disabled people lead more productive lives.
- December 25, 1999: As part of a special campaign about talking to children and caring about how they feel, Johnson & Johnson is airing a series of four unusual and inspirational announcements across the country during the holiday season featuring Toni Morrison, Randy Newman, Ray Romano, and Christopher Reeve. Reeve directed the production of all four commercials and appears in one titled How to talk to your kids about faith. Reeve appears seated in his wheelchair against a plain white background and says: "I became famous playing Superman - a man who could fly. Now I can't move or even breathe on my own. But after my accident when I knew I would live, I learned an important lesson: My disability need not be disabling. I could still pursue my career as an actor and director. So tell your kids not to become discouraged in the face of adversity. Tell them that - with faith - their bad days are just good days in disguise. You don't need any special eloquence to talk to your kids. Just the act of talking to them can be a spiritual experience. The right words will come. So tell them to have faith." The commercials end with the Johnson & Johnson logo and female voice saying: "Just like you, we care about how your kids feel."
- December 29, 1999: Christopher Reeve was interviewed as part of BBC1's science program Tommorow's World: 2000 and Beyond which predicted developments expected to occur in the next century. When asked if he believed he would walk again Chris said: "Absolutley, yes." On the subject of recovery he said: "The day that I say goodbye to that ventilator I mean that will be tremendous, and that;s what's going to happen. The recovery won't be like lighting up a Christmas tree. It'll be incremental but it'll spread." The program highlighted that: "His faith is based on remarkable research across the world which has seen paralysed rats walking again." Dr. Barth Green of the Miami Project stated that: "Probably our major emphasis is transplantation and regeneration. That's taking people in wheelchairs and moving them out of wheelchairs." The program made its prediction for a cure to paralysis stating that: "The Miami Project have regenerated part of a rat's spinal cord by transplanting in special cells. With other techniques about to go to human trials some paralysed people could be cured by 2020." A longer web version of the interview featured some more interesting comments. Christopher revealed that due to the recovery of his diaphragm he's able to go ninety minutes or more off the ventilator. He stated that the most promising discovery for a cure is that of stem cells: "This is the most promising and also the most hopeful because it's the least invasive... It's a discovery that's only about a year and a half old, but it really showed tremendous progress." He also revealed his frustration with the medical community's reluctance to start human trials: "Where we're stuck is to have the courage to be brave and try it on people. And also the money to conduct these human trials would be very, very expensive. So with my foundation I'm personally on a crusade to raise three hundred million dollars..." Asked if he believes he will be walking within five to ten years he stated: "No, at the present levels of spending and with the reluctance to move into human trials you could be looking at another fifteen to twenty years in a chair. And that's something that really angers me. It's something that I find unacceptable.... I'm talking personally. I'm saying I find it unacceptable. If other people can tolerate twenty years in a wheelchair more power to them, but I am angry because if the money was spent and there is the money availible, the scientist know enough now to conduct human trials but are afraid to do so. You know that is something that is hard to live with." (Video clips and the longer web text interview can both be reached by clicking here).
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