Past News Reports - 2004
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- January 8, 2004: In a press release the cable channel Arts and Entertainment (A&E) announced that among the five movies mentioned in fast-track development for their 2004 primetime lineup the movie about Brooke Ellision to be executive produced and directed by Christopher Reeve. The press release says: "A&E is developing the miraculous true story of Brooke Ellison, a young quadriplegic who, with her mother's help, finishes high school and college and delivers the commencement speech at her Harvard graduation. Christopher Reeve is interested in directing. Based on the best-selling book, Miracles Happen, One Mother, One Daughter, One Journey by Brooke and Jean Ellison, this is an inspiring, life-affirming tale about overcoming adversity and defying the odds. Delia Fine serves as the executive producer for A&E Network and David Craig is the supervising producer. Howard Meltzer, TurtleBack Productions; Howard Braunstein and Michael Jaffe, Jaffe/Braunstein Films; and Christopher Reeve, Cambria Productions are the executive producers. The screenplay is adapted by Camille Thomasson (Luther)."
- January 13, 2004: Christopher Reeve will return to SMALLVILLE, it was announced today at the Television Critics Association Winter Press Tour. The big screen Clark Kent/Superman will reprise his role of Dr. Swann in an episode that will air on Wednesday, April 14 at (8:00-9:00 p.m. ET) on The WB. Just as he did in his first appearance on the hit drama last season, Reeve's Dr. Swann will help advance the Superman mythology. As Lionel Luthor (John Glover) closes in on Clark Kent's (Tom Welling) secret, he approaches Dr. Swann for information. Concerned for Clark's safety, Dr. Swann warns him that Lionel is getting closer to the truth. Last season, Dr. Swann came into contact with Clark and filled him in on his origins and home planet of Krypton. The episode was one of the highest-rated in the history of the hit series. Reeve, who brought the Clark Kent/Superman character to life in four "Superman" motion pictures, was paralyzed in a horseback-riding accident, and is continuing to fight to walk again. With his wife Dana, he continues his work as an advocate for paralysis research. Together, the Reeves opened The Christopher and Dana Reeve Paralysis Resource Center, the nation's first facility devoted to teaching paralyzed people to live more independently.
- January 18, 2004: In the New Jersey newspaper The Star-Ledger the article IDT gets animated: Network telecom ventures into entertainment by Jeff May went further into what the story is about for Yankee Irving, the animated movie Christopher Reeve is directing for the company. May wrote: "Somewhat lost in the hoopla was the roots of the film's story about a scrappy kid who helps the New York Yankees win the World Series during the 1930s. The tale grew out of bedtime stories IDT Chairman Howard Jonas told his nine children...Jonas invented the character "Yankee Irving," a young boy from a poor family who befriends Babe Ruth and has an unusual sidekick, a talking baseball named Screwy when his kids grew tired of the old stand-bys like Three Little Pigs. Reeve was charmed by the script that emerged from those tales. The chairman does have a lot riding on certain projects, such as Yankee Irving. In a phone interview last week Reeve agreed it could be a big hit, but isn't ready to embrace Jonas' prediction about eclipsing E.T.: "I appreciate the enthusiasm and I appreciate his dedication to making a really good film," Reeve added: "I'm really excited." Reeve said there are going to be some "household names" doing voice-overs for the film, which should help marketing. But he praised Jonas for insulating him from other pressures of a typical Hollywood film. "I know he really wants this to be good," Reeve said. "When I asked him, 'When will this film be released?' he said, 'When it's ready.' That's extraordinary."
- January 19, 2004: Christopher Reeve is featured in a Foundation for a Better Life public service campaign, most specifically on a huge billboard poster, which reads "Super man", and lists Christopher's most inspiring attribute as "Strength". "The Foundation for a Better Life creates public service campaigns to communicate the values that make a difference in our market-segments - values such as honesty, caring, optimism, hard work, and helping others. These messages, communicated utilizing television, theatres, billboards, radio, internet, etc., model the benefits of a life lived by positive values. The Foundation encourages others to step up to a higher level and then to pass on those positive values they have learned. These seemingly small examples of individuals living values-based lives may not change the world, but collectively they will make a difference. And in the process help make the world a better place for everyone. After all, developing values and then passing them on to others is The Foundation for a Better Life."
- January 29, 2004: Chilean Foreign Secretary Maria Soledad Alvear visited Christopher Reeve's home in Bedford, New York, to bestow upon him the Grand Cross of the Bernardo O'Higgins Order for his actions in behalf of human rights. This is the highest Chilean distinction given to foreigners. At the ceremony, Ms. Alvear said: "Christopher Reeve was one of those human beings who in the zenith of their careers were willing to raise their voices for human rights in Chile during some of the darkest years of our history and we've come to express our gratefulness with this distinction." In 1987, responding to an invitation from Chilean theatre author Ariel Dorfman, Reeve visited Chile to head a protest march in support of 77 Chilean actors who at the time were threatened by the military regime of General Augusto Pinochet. For this action, Reeve was honored with two important distinctions from international human rights movements, the Obie Prize in 1988 and the Annual Walter Brielh Human Rights Foundation award. Reeve said that the 1987 visit was in representation of the 37,000 members of the actors' guild which he them presided. Recalling his Chilean experience, Reeve said that seeing the Chilean situation and the bravery of the protestors it changed the whole perspective of his profession. "I never again accepted censorship. I've since done what I wanted and said what I've felt." He added that Chile is now "a prosperous country that has earned with great sacrifice its freedom and I hope I can return some day to go angling." Ms Alvear concluded: "With this simple but emotive ceremony we're ratifying our commitment with democracy, human rights and peace. We represent a country that is immensely grateful to all those who helped us overcome the horror of those years and now looks confident into the future, without forgetting its history."
- February 2, 2004: It has been announced that the second guest star appearance by Reeve in Smallville will air on the 14th April 2004 on the WB channel in the United States. The episode is titled 'Legacy' and will feature Dr. Swann (Reeve) talking to both Lionel Luthor (John Glover) and Clark Kent (Tom Welling). Smallville executive producer Al Gough said, "I think the scenes have a scope, which they didn't necessarily have last year. That was a fun way to introduce him, but now we're able to step it up a bit. And he's got a scene with Lionel [John Glover], which is great, because it's two titans circling each other."Gough added, "I think we sort of put Dr. Swann a little more firmly in our mythology, so he doesn't feel like a guy who [just drops] in every now and again. And he's certainly set up to come back in season four." Spoilers are availible at KryptonSite. Reeve fans may also be interested in Smallville: Season 2 which includes Reeve's episode 'Rossetta'. The DVD box set is due to be released in the U.S. on May 25th 2004 and includes a commentary track on 'Rossetta' and a featurette titled, 'Christopher Reeve: Man of Steel'.
- February 15, 2004: The Observer Magazine, a supplement of the UK newspaper The Observer published a lengthy article titled 'One Step Beyond' discussing the latest developments in spinal cord research and Reeve's thoughts and progress. Reeve told journalist Jerome Groopman that, "Research should not be reckless,' he said, but it does need to be fearless. 'If you don't add courage to the equation, the scientific aspect will go to waste." On the acheivements Reeve has already made towards recovery and pushing for research funding Reeve stated, "I say to myself: "Now what's next?" I know I have a long way to go. It's much like being an astronaut. They know the drill and all the possible contingencies so well that the flight is almost anticlimactic. Neil Armstrong even calculated what he would say when he landed on the moon. They spent hours deciding what his phrase should be. They didn't want astronauts to let their emotions get the better of them." The article discusses Reeve's progress which has stunned the medical establishment, "No one is sure yet what is the exact explanation," says Reeve, and jokingly adds, "If I were a mouse, they could sacrifice me and take a look. But let's wait a few years before we contemplate something like that." Reeve expressed his frustration at scientists who lack a sense of urgency in their work, '"I want things to happen quickly. I certainly want to benefit within my lifetime. I don't want to get out of this wheelchair at the age of 75. I am 51, and am now very healthy and would like to be out of the chair very soon. I'm not willing to resign myself to being an advocate for research that will benefit people only after I'm gone. I'm not that noble." Reeve doesn't mind if he comes across as irritating or even bullying. "I have nothing to worry about with respect to their reactions. My injury taught me to throw caution to the winds in terms of what I say. It's extremely liberating, actually. Because, really, what do I have to lose? There is not much more you can do to me."' He believes that researchers should not be afraid to give experiemental therapies to humans because, "It might be upsetting to you, because it's not the way you are used to thinking. But it's not upsetting to me as a patient. Because, let's face it, nothing of any significance has ever been achieved without reasonable risk." The full article is availible to read online: One Step Beyond: Part 1, Part 2.
- March 10, 2004: Christopher Reeve is one of five winners of the 2004 Common Wealth Awards of Distnguished Service given out by the PNC Financial Services Group. This year marks the awards 25th Anniversary. PNC Bank, Delaware, trustee for the awards since their inception, will present a shared prize of $250,000 to this year's honorees at a gala ceremony at the Hotel du Pont in Wilmington on April 24. Chief Executive and President, Connie Bond Stuart stated that PNC is proud to celebrate the silver jubilee of the Common Wealth Awards by saluting yet another group of accomplished women and men stating, "The 2004 honorees are giants in the arts, science and public service. Their enduring contributions have touched all of us today and stand as a legacy to future generations."
- May 3, 2004: CNN has reported that Reeve is to start direct an A&E cable TV film in New Orleans next month. This movie marks Reeve's seconding outing as a director, having directed the HBO film In The Gloaming in 1998. The biopic is based on the book "Miracles Happen: One Mother, One Daughter, One Journey" about Brooke Ellison's achievements in her life despite being paralysed at the age of 11. Senior Vice President of A&E Programming stated, "There is an obvious personal involvement and interest in his [Reeve's]telling of the story."
- May 10, 2004: Christopher Reeve alongside Nobel Peace Prize Winner Nelson Mandela, tenor Andrea Bocelli, United Nations Secretary-General, Kofi Annan and musician, Avril Lavigne is a spokesperson for the International Olympic Committee global promotional campaign "Celebrate Humanity" for the Athens 2004 Olympic Games. The committee's President Jacques Rogge stated, "We are delighted to have such a group of esteemed individuals assist in promoting the Olympic ideals. They bring a new dimension to the campaign and remind us the Games touch every one of us regardless of our background and activity. This is what makes them universal." The campaign consists of five television and three print executions available in numerous languages for the global broadcast and print media. You can view four of the TV promos and a biography of Reeve here.
- May 17, 2004: The Christopher Reeve Paralysis Foundation (CRPF) announced today the results of its first research funding cycle for 2004. A total of $2,026,780 was awarded to 15 scientists for research on spinal cord injury paralysis. Those given grants include Israeli scientist Dr. Mike Fainzilber, Ph.D., of the Weizmann Institute in Rehovot to assist in his study on gene expression. In a press release Dr. Fainzilber said, "We were very glad to learn that CRPF decided to support this project, since we hope that once we know the full complement of these genes, researchers will find ways to bypass the system and activate them in nerves which cannot normally regenerate." CRPF's Individual Research Grants are awarded twice yearly with application deadlines in June and December of each year. For a full list of 2004 First Cycle Research Grant Recipients click here.
- May 18, 2004: The Christopher Reeve Paralysis Foundation have announced the appointment of Kathy Lewis as the new President and CEO. Chairman of the Board Christopher Reeve stated, "Kathy's superior qualities and accomplishments make her the ideal person for this position. She is passionate about our mission, having started her career as a rehabilitation therapist working hands-on with patients. Her success in management, marketing, and corporate development has been outstanding." You can read the full press release on the website.
- May 21, 2004: Today's edition of BBC News 24's Hard Talk Extra was an interview with Christopher Reeve at his home in New York. Lots of issues were covered in the 20-minute interview including some tough questions on stem cell research, religion, politics, and the war in Iraq. You can watch the full interview at the BBC News website. You will need Real Player to view it.
- May 21, 2004: On Sunday, May 23, Christopher Reeve will co-deliver the Middlebury College commencement address with his wife, alumna Dana Morosini Reeve. Dana, a member Vermont's Middlebury College class of 1984, had majored in English and took a number of theatre courses before graduating cum laude. Middlebury College President John M. McCardell, Jr. said in an interview with the Middlebury student newspaper, "I am delighted that Christopher Reeve and Dana Morosini reeve will be our commencement co-speakers. Their message will undoubtedly be uplifting, and their example is inspiring." Each of them will receive an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree. Others receiving honorary degrees at the ceremony include Meryl Streep, Kenneth Feinberg, and Paul Muldoon.
- June 1, 2004: Reuters have reported that actress Lacey Chabert has signed to star in The Brook Ellison Story directed by Reeve. Chabert will play the elder sister of the title character, who became a quadriplegic at age 11 and with determination and the support of her family went on to graduate from Harvard University. The A&E fact based drama is expected to air in the forth quarter.
- July 13, 2004: The Times-Picayune has published a brief interview with Reeve on his efforts and support for stem cell research, "Frankly, when we're having a debate about scientific research, I think everybody should be heard, every religious group, every academic group, ethicists, theologians, patients, everyone," Reeve said. "But when it comes time to make the decision, religion should not have a seat at the table. That's what the Constitution says." He also stated that he does not necessaily expect stem cell research to directly aid his own condition, "I think the problems it will do the most to help with are diabetes and Parkinson's disease, because in those cases you're asking the stem cells to become a chemical, either insulin or dopamine, rather than becoming new tissue."
Reeve also discussed his new film The Brooke Ellison Story which he is currently directing in New Orleans. Many of the 60 speaking parts for the central character of Brooke Ellison were cast locally. Vanessa Marano plays Brooke at 11, and Lacey Chabert is cast as the college-age Brooke. Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio plays her mother. Reeve told journalist Mark Schleifstein, "We're working on a modest budget, couldn't afford to shoot in New York, and didn't want to take the product out of the country. Dealing with the heat and humidity whilst shooting in New Orleans has proved a challenge, "When you have a spinal cord injury, your thermoregulatory system goes totally haywire," he said. "I go outside and I'm glad I have a T-shirt on, and come back inside and put on a sweater. It's been a difficult shoot because every day we're dodging the raindrops. I'm sitting in an air-conditioned 'Bat Cave' looking at monitors all day, and the cast is outside in this incredible heat and humidity, trying to look cool and calm. As if it's Long Island in the fall."
- July 16, 2004: In an article published by UK newspaper The Independent screenwriter of Spider-Man 2 and author Michael Chabon lists his Top 10 comic book movie adaptations lisiting Superman: The Movie at Number 2, beaten only by Tim Burton's Batman. Chabon wrote, "Christopher Reeve's performance was so natural. You never questioned that he was such a good guy, when he actually had the power to rule the planet if he'd wanted to."
- July 22, 2004: The Lakewood BlueClaws and Eric Taylor's Empower-ment Group have announced that Christopher Reeve will headline Empower New Jersey 2004, "A Night of Inspiration," September 29 2004 at FirstEnergy Park sponsored by Diane Turton, Realtors. Lakewood BlueClaws General Manager Geoff Brown said, "The expo and message from the event will be invaluable for people of all walks of life in Ocean and Monmouth counties. Mr. Reeve has been an inspiration to millions and we are honored to have him at FirstEnergy Park." Tickets to the event will include admission to the business expo and a seat to "A Night of Inspiration."Gates will open for the business expo and networking session at 3 p.m., followed by an inspirational evening with Reeve. The event will take place rain or shine with a portion of the proceeds benefiting the Christopher Reeve Paralysis Foundation. To purchase tickets for the event, contact the Lake-wood BlueClaws executive offices at (732) 901-7000 or visit the Website.
- July 26, 2004: The Christopher Reeve Paralysis Foundation (CRPF) commemorated the 14th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) with the release of its list of fifteen top health promotion programs that substantially improve the quality of life of people with disabilities. "The organizations included in this collection of Best of the Best Health Promotion Grants embody the spirit and objectives of what we hope local programs can do," said Dana Reeve, chair of the Quality of Life Committee and a director of the Christopher Reeve Paralysis Foundation." These programs have tangibly improved the health and quality of life for individuals living with severe disabilities and they are model programs that can be replicated in other communities." The full list can be viewed here. You will need Adobe Acrobat installed on your computer to open the document.
The CRPF is also encourging the support of futher legislation to improve the quality of life of the disabled in the United States. CRPF is supporting first-of-its kind legislation that calls for new federal funding to advance research, rehabilitation and quality of life programs that will directly benefit people with paralysis or other physical disabilities, their families and caregivers. For example, it would establish a Paralysis Clinical Trials Network and develop programs within existing state-based disability and health agencies to support and advance quality of life -- in addition to many other components. The bill is entitled the Christopher Reeve Paralysis Act (CRPA). CRPF President Kathy Lewis sates, "Data from recent surveys shows that people with disabilities are very concerned about gaps in their quality of life and their future well-being, especially when compared to people without disabilities. The CRPA is unique in that it addresses many of those concerns. If passed, we believe this new legislation will enhance the lives of many individuals living with disabilities, building on the incremental gains made since the enactment of the ADA. Our goal is to keep the progress going and close gaps as quickly as possible." You can find more information about the act here.
Also announced today was that the CRPF has awarded $779,321 in Quality of Life and Health Promotion grants to 126 nonprofit organizations nationwide as part of its 2004 first funding cycle of the Quality of Life Program. To date, this is the highest amount CRPF has awarded in one cycle and the largest number of grant recipients. Dana Reeve said, "For the first time in the history of this program, we have awarded over $775,000 in one cycle which will directly improve the quality of life for not only those living with disabilities, but their loved ones and caregivers as well. When we first launched this program, I was thrilled to be able to award 20 nonprofit organizations. I never imagined that within five years we would be able to fund over 125 groups." You can view the complete list of the 2004 First Cycle Quality of Life Grant Recipients here.
- August 6, 2004: The memorial service of Tristian B. Johnson, Christopher Reeve's step-father took place today at the Nassau Presbyterian Church, Princeton, New Jersey. Packet Online have published Johnson's obituary: "Tristam B. Johnson, 84, a lifelong Princeton resident and retired investment advisor, died July 31 at Virtua Memorial Hospital in Mount Holly. He had suffered a stroke in November 1999, and had been living at the home of his daughter, Katie Hill, and her late husband Terry in Columbus for the past two years. During this time, his life was enriched by his constant and devoted companion and care giver, Rayfield Meyers... He is survived by four children from his first marriage to the late Helen Harris Johnson, Kate E. Hill of Columbus, Tristam B. Johnson Jr. of Newfane, Vt., Thomas H. Johnson of Salt Lake City, Utah and Elizabeth H. Johnson of Williamstown, Mass.; and two sons from his marriage to Barbara L. Johnson of Princeton, Jeffrey D. Johnson of Castleton, Vt. and Kevin P. Johnson of Newtown, Mass. Also surviving are two stepsons, Christopher Reeve of Bedford, N.Y. and Benjamin Reeve of Arlington, Mass.; 19 grandchildren; five step-grandchildren; and a great-grandson."
- August 7, 2004: BBC News Online have reported that Reeve seeks more screen work, "It's something that I love to do. I want to work. All the work that I do for the [Christopher Reeve Paralysis] Foundation is not paid - I don't take any money at all - so I need to balance the foundation work with my creative work as a director and producer." You can read the full article here.
- August 10, 2004: USA Today have published a journal kept by Brooke Ellison during the week in which she went to visit the set where Christopher Reeve was directing the A&E movie based on her life. In it she talks about what it was like to see her life turned into a movie and, coincidentally, to share memories of her first real vacation since her childhood accident. You can read Ellison's journal entries here.
- August 19, 2004: The Chicago Sun-Times has reported that Christopher Reeve will attend a benefit dinner celebrating the 50th birthday of the The Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago on October 5th. Reeve will speak at the hospital's benefit dinner at the Chicago Hilton & Towers after first visiting with patients at the institute earlier that day. The gala will be co-chaired by Leslie Kennedy, Connie Coolidge and Caryn Harris. Mayor Daley will be honored for his ongoing commitment to the disabled community, and famed Irish tenor, world champion disabled athlete and physician Ronan Tynan will perform.
- August 24, 2004: Christopher Reeve is one of several figures lending their name to the celebration of 40 years of The Wilderness Act. Widely seen as America's most important conservation legislation, it established the National Wilderness Preservation System and immediately protected the first nine million acres of wild public land, including California's John Muir Wilderness, New Mexico's Gila Wilderness, Glacier Peak in Washington, Idaho's Selway-Bitterroot, and North Carolina's Shining Rock Wilderness. More than 106 million acres are in the National Wilderness Preservation System today. "Stunning ancient forests, magnificent snowcapped mountains and a kaleidoscope of red rock canyons - they're more than just places," says Christopher Reeve. "They're America's most precious natural treasures." You can view a PDF file of the press release featuring Reeve here.
- September 8, 2004: Chief theatre critic for The Advocate Ralph Hammann has written an article for i.berkshires.com, a personal recollection of 50 years of the Williamstown Theatre Festival (WTF). In the second enstallment of his three part series, Hammann recalls watching Christopher Reeve in various theatre performances in the late 1980s and 1990s. In discussing the play Death Takes A Holiday he writes, "The play had been consigned to the ranks of bad melodrama until [director, William] Hunt bravely challenged the odds and delivered a romantic fantasy that personified Death as a charming young man in search of what made people shun him. And what a cast! As Death, Christopher Reeve truly came into his own on stage as an actor. As the fey young woman who becomes his paramour, Calista Flockhart was a winsome love poem come to life. The stunning supporting cast included George Morfogen, Blythe Danner, Maria Tucci and John Franklyn-Robbins. And Hugh Landwehr's set and Arden Fingerhut's lights were pure enchantment, suggesting an Italian castle in which time stood still and the supernatural co-existed with and fertilized the natural. A supreme achievement in every respect."Hamman also notes Reeve's performance in The Guardsman: "The other standout was Ferenc Molnar's romantic comedy, "The Guardsman." As the title character, Christopher Reeve gave his best stage performance and was a master of quick wit rolling off a dexterous tongue. Reeve's expert comic timing and elegant presence were matched by the beautiful Anne Twomey, who graced Peter Harrison's rich sets under Rui Rita's complimentary lights and Michael Bloom's stylish direction." You can read the complete article here.
- September 10, 2004: Christopher Reeve is on the cover, and is interviewed in the latest US edition of Reader's Digest magazine. Reeve revealed that he has fought three potentially life threatning infections this year, "The most recent was a blood infection caused by an abrasion on my left hip that I probably picked up one day when I was on the exercise bike. It seemed benign but developed into strep. Then a lot of major organs shut down. We're trying to figure out what's going on. Before that one, I got a severe infection in New Orleans just a few days before shooting the movie [The Brooke Ellison Story]. I was frustrated: "This is not fair; come on. Let's not fall apart. I've come too far." So sometimes I get jealous of people who take their ability to move for granted." Asked how he does not get scared Reeve said: "It's a proven fact that you can control panic by applying rational processes. In all my days of flying and sailing and riding, every now and again I got myself into a jam. On Christmas Day in 1985 I was flying over the Green Mountains in Vermont. Thick clouds, snowing. And the warning light went on. I looked out and saw oil all over the wing. I knew I had to shut down that engine and fly to Boston on the other. You're hoping it doesn't develop a problem too. But the chance of a multi-engine failure is very, very remote. Literally, you use your brain to stop panic. I've had a lot of training in that area from my life before the injury." When asked about his optimisim regarding his condition and whether he will walk again he said, "Hope, to me, must be based -- now knowing as much as I do -- on a projection derived from solid data. But, yes, there's been a change in my state of mind, because in May of next year it will be ten years [since the accident], and I doubt if by that time there's going to be a procedure suitable for me. At 52, knowing that a safe trial for me may still be years away has changed my perspective. I didn't think it would take this long." He revealed that the hardest part for him is, "Watching the slow progress of [spinal cord] research in this [U.S.A.] country... I've lasted more than nine years, so I can wait a little longer. I also realize that a lot of people are watching me, to see what I'm going to do. I want to make sure I'm making a smart choice. I'm not at a point of desperation where I'd say, "Just somebody fix me, anywhere." Reeve also talked about the new movie he has directed, The Brooke Ellison story, due to be broadcast on October 25 on A&E: "It is a remarkable story of somebody with a severe disability who's determined not to be left back. I felt that if I could find one compelling story about a family coping with a spinal cord injury and creating a new life in spite of it, I wanted to do that one film -- and then go off and make a comedy, and not feel guilty! I hope it will do more than all the speeches I've given to raise awareness about spinal cord injury and disability in general." You can read the full interview plus exclusive outakes available only online at rd.com.
- September 13, 2004: The daily half hour tv programme Body+Health of CanWest Media, Canada have annouced the launch of the show's fourth season which is to include an interview with Christopher Reeve. For show times click here.
- October 10, 2004: Christopher Reeve Dies! It is with great sadness that we report that Christopher Reeve has died.
According to sources close to the actor, he died suddenly on Sunday. News of his death is just being reported publicly. His family will make an announcement today (Monday) at the earliest.
Reports are that he died while in coma after going into Cardiac Arrest on Sunday, October 10th.
Reeve was being treated at Northern Westchester Hospital for a pressure wound that he developed, a common complication for people with paralysis.
In the past week, the wound had become severely infected, resulting in a serious systemic infection.
"On behalf of my entire family, I want to thank Northern Westchester Hospital for the excellent care they provided to my husband," Dana Reeve, his widow, said in a statement.
"I also want to thank his personal staff of nurses and aides, as well as the millions of fans from around the world who have supported and loved my husband over the years."
September 25, 1952 - October 10, 2004
- September 14, 2004: The Christopher & Dana Reeve Paralysis Resource Center (PRC) have announced a new outreach campaign focused on people with paralysis in minority communities in the United States. The Minority Communities Outreach Campaign is a new public awareness initiative of the Christopher & Dana Reeve Paralysis Resource Center (PRC), a program of the Christopher Reeve Paralysis Foundation, formed through a cooperative agreement with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This campaign aims to increase awareness of, and access to, the PRC and its services among the Hispanic, African-American, Asian-American/Pacific Islander and Native American communities in the United States, and to promote informed health care decisions and active and independent living among these minority groups, thus positively impacting their quality of life. The PRC has released its Paralysis Resource Guide in Spanish to coincide with Hispanic Heritage Month.
- October 11, 2004: The Williamstown Theatre Fesitval Organisation have released the following press release mourning the loss of Trustee and 'Family' Memember Reeve: "The Williamstown Theatre Festival is devastated by the untimely loss of Christopher Reeve. Chris first came to Williamstown, Massachusetts at the age of 15 to be a member of our Apprentice company, a training program for young actors. In subsequent years, he was a regular member of our professional company, and later met his wife, then Dana Morosini, at the Festival's late-night cabaret. Each summer Chris was in Williamstown he lent his inimitable sparkle and infinite passion to the roles he played on stage as well as to the softball team. More recently, for the past nine years Chris was an invaluable member of the board of trustees, lending his compassion and wisdom toward the furtherance of the organization. Chris was always giving back to the Festival, as a performer, board member, and also in recent talks to students at the Festival, where he was a source of inspiration to always pursue your dream. The town and the Festival are forever changed because of his contributions and his generous and wise spirit. Our warmest thoughts and deepest affections go to Dana, Will, Matthew, and Alexandra." Photos of Christopher Reeve in selected Williamstown Theatre Festival productions can be viewed here.
- October 11, 2004: AFP in L.A. published this from Robin Williams...
"The world has lost a tremendous activist and artist and an inspiration for people worldwide. I have lost a great friend," said Robin Williams, the comic actor.
Fans started heading for Reeve's star on the Hollywood Walk of fame within hours of the announcement of the actor's death on Sunday from heart failure. Reeve was 52.
The two had been close friends since sharing rooms when drama students at The Julliard School in New York City three decades ago.
Williams was one of the few who could joke about Reeves tragic injuries in public. "Bid 5,000 dollars and see him move his leg!" Williams once said at a fundraising event in 2002 for Reeve's foundation for the paralysed.
- October 11, 2004: We received the following email from Ilya Salkind (Executive Producer on "Superman: The Movie") regarding Chris' passing...
Some rare human beings transcend our greatest dreams of wanting to be strong and bring freedom, goodness, and justice to the world. Christopher Reeve was one of them. He made our dreams a reality. In a fantasy world, Superman is the best incarnation of our finest qualities. In the real world, Christopher Reeve was a true super man who will forever inspire us to strive to attain those qualities.
- October 11, 2004: BBC News have published an article/interview with Susannah York, who played Lara (Superman's Kryptonian mother) in the Superman films with Christopher Reeve. Here's an excerpt from the article...
I am very sad at Christopher's death because he set such an extraordinary example over the last nine years, showing courage and tenacity in finding a new way of life.
Read the entire article at the BBC News website.
His focus on stem cell research, on getting himself better as an example for other people, was very inspirational.
I think we have lost a very brave and courageous and dedicated individual.
Christopher and I saw a lot of each other on the Superman set, and we'd have lunch together and saw each other socially.
He was very like how he comes across on film - very strong, very brave, very forthright and very generous-spirited.
He was earnest and dedicated to making Superman so that he would not disappoint children or adults who had grown up with the Superman comics.
Christopher really wanted to personify and become the character of Superman and I think he did that wonderfully.
- October 11, 2004: The Christopher Reeve Paralysis Foundation has set up a page where you can email in your condolences to Dana Reeve and family. While you're there you can also make a monetary donation to the Foundation.
- October 12, 2004: Metropolis Illinois, the home of Superman, is planning a Candle light vigil in memory of Christopher Reeve. The candle light vigil will be held on Wednesday evening at 7.00pm at Superman Square in front of the Superman statue. If you cannot attend, the organizers have asked that instead of sending flowers that you make a donation to the Christopher Reeve Paralysis Foundation.
- October 12, 2004: E! Online is reporting that while Christopher Reeve is gone, like the enduring spirit of the actor himself, his work will live on.
"Yankee Irving", a computer-animated film that Reeve was directing at the time of his death, is set to continue production, according to its producer.
The film centers on a poor, baseball-playing boy who becomes acquainted with Babe Ruth during the Depression and goes on to deliver a game-winning hit for the Yankees.
Over the past year and a half, Reeve helmed the project from his home office in Pound Ridge, New York, via a videoconferencing system which had been set up by the film's producer, IDT Entertainment.
The company said Reeve had put in enough work on "Yankee Liberty" that production could continue without compromising his direction.
"The story is basically Chris' vision," IDT CFO Stephen Brown told the Newark Star-Ledger. "The bulk of what he was doing as a director is fairly complete."
Read more on this report at Yahoo! News.
- October 12, 2004: TV Guide reports that the producers of "Smallville" are preparing a tribute to Christopher Reeve. The dedication will air at the top of Wednesday's episode (8pm/ET), confirmed a network spokesman, who declined to provide further details.
As "Smallville" fans know, Christopher Reeve had a recurring role as Dr Virgil Swann in the series.
- October 12, 2004: Christopher Reeve died Sunday after developing a serious bloodstream infection from a bedsore, a common problem for paralyzed people. He went into cardiac arrest Saturday at his home in Pound Ridge, N.Y., then fell into a coma, dying the next day in hospital. His wife, Dana, and other family members were with him.
Tributes have been pouring in from all corners of the world. Here are a few from Christopher's friends and colleagues...
Noel Neill (the original Lois Lane, who made a cameo appearance in Superman: The Movie as Lois Lanes mother) emailed the Superman Homepage with this about Christopher Reeve, "I first met Chris Reeve while he and Margot Kidder were shooting a scene for the first Superman film. I had already completed my train cameo in the same film in Canada earlier, but I was passing though London on a trip and was invited onto the set to watch them work. After knowing that my co-star George Reeves had fallen while working with wires, I was surprised to see that they were using wires with Chris, too. Later in the day Chris, Margot and I lunched and both were so nice and so respectful of the work that we had done with the serials and the tv show. I would not see Chris again until 1994, the year before his riding accident. Success had not changed him at all. He was still the nice, sweet and pleasant person I had first met. I do believe that the world was a better place with him, and we're now a little less secure without him. I'll miss him."
Bob Holiday, the actor who played Superman in the 1966 Broadway Musical, also emailed the Superman Homepage with these comments, "My heart dropped to "shallow" and "stunned" as I opened my browser and saw the photographs of Christopher Reeve. I am still in remorse. The two photographs portrayed by the media will be etched in my mind and soul as long as I live. To me, Christopher Reeve was "The Strongest Man In the World". To me Christopher Reeve has gone up, up, and away and will always be a "Super Man" and role model to all of humanity. May God Bless you Christopher Reeve for all the Super Strength you have shared with us."
Actor Jack O'Halloran (who played the Kryptonian villain "Non" in Superman: The Movie and Superman II) contacted the Superman Homepage with the following message, "Anyone who walks thru the tunnel and sees the light. And I am sure Chris did this when his accident occurred. And unless you have been on death's doorstep and truly at the mercy of whomever runs this life span. You never know the feeling of spiritual washing that happens when life comes back to your brain. Amazing the first thing you wonder is why have you been given this second chance. What really comes into your mind is that you are here for a reason. And you begin the search as to what that reason really is. This brings on a humility so real you never question it you just go with the flow. The moment of suicide always presents itself but only for a moment for some. Chris was left in a situation that allowed him to directly help a lot of people in his situation and certain things that surround his particular problem. So when speaking of his own fight which was very visible. Chris reached inside a lot of similar and not so bad as he. And he instilled tremendous strength of conviction and courage. And for this reason Christopher Reeve was truly a real life Superman."
Actor Gene Hackman, who played Superman's archrival Lex Luthor, said, "No one better demonstrated courage, strength and dedication to others than Chris accomplished in these past hard years."
Actress Mary Tyler Moore, who suffers from diabetes and advocates for stem cell research, said: "Christopher Reeve has long held my admiration for his work on spinal cord injury research and for his tireless efforts on behalf of stem cell research."
Jane Seymour, his co-star in the 1980 film "Somewhere in Time," said, "He never gave up. He told me, 'so many of us able-bodied people' are paralyzed in our own lives. He was not."
Margot Kidder, who played Lois Lane to Reeve's Superman, was devastated. "I am so sad," she told USA TODAY. "I'm just heartbroken. He was doing so well. He grew into such a glorious example of triumph over everything."
Jeph Loeb, comic book writer and Supervising Producer on "Smallville" emailed the Superman Homepage with these comments, "He was a hero in every sense of the word. It is one thing to play Superman as an actor, entirely another to actually pull it off in real life. We were incredibly lucky to have him part of the Smallville legacy and those shows he acted in will leave an indelible mark. Simply put... he'll be missed."
The last word goes to comic book writer and Superman fan Mark Millar, who emailed the Superman Homepage with these comments...
"It always seems insincere when someone writes about an actor they've never met and says they're affected a little by their death. That said, it's impossible for someone who does what we do or reads what we read NOT to be affected in some way by this morning's news.
I grew up knowing that Reeve was born on September 25th, his brother was a doctor, he was 6'4, he did a broadway play with Katharine Hepburn shortly before being cast as Superman, had a beard briefly in the early eighties, wanted to play Superman blond in Superman 5, was an Anglophile and a Democrat. As a kid, I'd rented everything from Monsignor to Gray Lady Down (where Reeve's bit-part was simply counting backwards from ten) just because I'd heard Reeve was in these flicks. We were FANS, inspired (of course), by the fact that Reeve had brought Superman to life in what was and always will be my all-time favourite movie.
Hearing that he'd died this morning, my first thoughts were that it wasn't true. The weird thing was that it sounded unbelievable because he planned to walk again and, somewhere deep down, you always felt like Superman doesn't get beaten. This wasn't part of the script. The fact that he's lived nine years after what would have been, to anyone else, a fatal accident shows how much spirit the guy had and how passionate he was about getting his life back. I just hope something positive can come of this and he continues to be a beacon for the stem-cell work he advocated so much when he was alive.
The timing of his death is also odd when we're just a few months from principal photography on a new Superman movie. With George Reeves dying prematurely long before the 1978 outing, it's almost like the world only has room for one Superman at a time. With Dick Donner on board as an exec for the new feature, at least we know who this picture should and will be dedicated to."
- October 12, 2004: The Reeve Family commemorated Christopher's death in a small ceremony at the family's New York home today. The ceremony, held at 3 p.m. today, was officiated by a Unitarian Universalist Minister. One hundred family members and close friends attended the service.
"The Reeve family is deeply grateful for the outpouring of support shown to them," said Wesley Combs, spokesperson for the Reeve family. "It is clear that Christopher Reeve has touched the hearts of millions of people around the world and that is the legacy he leaves behind. That is a great comfort to the family at this difficult time," added Combs.
Plans for a larger memorial service are being arranged but are not yet finalized. The family intends to have a decision about the nature of that memorial by early next week. Until that time, the family asks that their privacy be respected.
On Saturday, Oct. 9, Reeve fell into a coma after going into cardiac arrest while at home. Reeve was being treated for an infection caused by a pressure wound. In the past week, the infection had become systemic, which contributed to his heart failure. He died at 5:30 p.m. on Sunday at Northern Westchester Hospital in New York.
As Dana Reeve stated in a release that went out early Monday morning, "On behalf of my entire family, I want to thank Northern Westchester Hospital for the excellent care they provided to my husband. I also want to thank his personal staff of nurses and aides, as well as the millions of fans from around the world who have supported and loved my husband over the years."
For those who care to do so, the family has requested that donations rather than flowers be made in his honor to the Christopher Reeve Paralysis Foundation. Cards may be sent to the family in care of the Foundation at 500 Morris Avenue, Springfield, NJ 07081.
An additional announcement will be issued once the decision on a memorial is finalized.
- October 12, 2004: The death of Christopher Reeve was the front page headline story for many of the UK's major newspapers. Leading figures from UK scientific research groups have expressed their gratitude for Reeve's efforts on their behalf in his work as an activist in favour of stem cell research. Below is a brief summary of some of the many tributes to Reeve as reported by the UK newspaper press...
Several newspapers have also reported that there is an unaired BBC/TWI documentary - due to be screened by the BBC next week or next month depending on which paper you read! As soon as an airdate is confirmed it will be published on the Homepage.
- The Times:
"Christopher Reeve has done an amazing job promoting responsible stem cell research." - Stephen Minger, Kings College London.
"His brave determination to see the benefits of stem cell research reach patient care was an inspiration to everyone in our field." - Director of Cambridge Stem Cell Institute, Professor Roger Pedersen.
- The Guardian:
"He's been given a lot of credit for raising money and publicity, but one thing that isn't said a lot is how much he motivated scientists. He raised the ambition of the research enterprise by using the word "cure" as opposed to "rehabilitation" or "restoring some function". When he asked me a few weeks after his injury whether there was any therapy that could help, I said yes, he immediately asked how long, and I said seven years. He said, "Well let's make that a goal." So he went to the media and told them, "If we fail, we tried." I think that was his attitude." - Dr Wise Young, Rutgers University, NY.
"Reeve bought attention and funding to an often ignored condition. He also showed you can live your life and that it isn't the end of everything important. He believed we needed to look to the future, but also to support people here and now." - Paul Smith, Executive Director of the Spinal Injuries Association.
"His invaluable contribution has raised awareness of this issue in a way that no one within the medical or scientific communities could ever have hoped to achieve." - Lord May of Oxford, President of the Royal Society.
- The Daily Telegraph:
"I am just heartbroken and so sad. I just don't know what to say right now. He grew into such a glorious example of triumph over everything." - Actress Margot Kidder (Reeve's co-star as Lois Lane in the four Superman movies)
"He put up with a lot. I am glad he is free of all those tubes." - Barbara Johnson (Reeve's mother)
"I think he grew to personify a heroic struggle against disability. We all kind of believed that we would one day see him walk again. Instead we saw him die really very young." - Film director Michael Winner
"Chris and I used to have lunch and talk, and I grew to admire him enormously. I just saw somebody so dedicated to what he was doing. He had such a love of the Superman comics and a sense of duty and responsibility to make our adventures as real and as marvellous as they had been for the readers. He spent an enormous amount of time keeping fit, and being right on his part. He was a very focused man, and earnest, which wonderfully suited the Clark Kent side of his character. He had a real twinkle about him. He was very generous and spirited - and you also felt that he had a strong moral purpose, which one saw in his later life. I think that he truly believed he would walk again - and who knows, he might have, if it had not been for the enormous strain on his heart." - Actress Susannah York (played Superman's Kryptonian mother in the Superman movies).
"We are extremely saddened because the world lost not only an excellent actor, but also one of the leading figures who encouraged debate on the subject of embryonic stem cell research. We will miss his contribution." - Dr. Miodrag Stojkovic, Newcastle University
- The Independent:
"One of the most intense individuals I've ever met in my life. If you had a spinal cord injury like his there was not much that could be done, but he's changed all that. He's demonstrated that there are things that can be done." - Dr. John McDonald, Washington University, St. Louis.
- The Scotsman:
"He always said he was working for himself and was convinced that there would be a cure, but I think probably deep in his mind he knew his efforts would be far more likely to pay off for others than for himself." - Chief Executive of the UK Medical Research Council, Professor Colin Blakemore.
"He had great skill as a screen actor and was the archetypal movie star." - Film director Michael Winner. "He will be remembered for his incredible bravery. He had these injuries, but refused to feel sorry for himself." - Matt Muellar, editor for Total Film magazine.
"He was an inspiration to all of us and gave hope to millions of Americans who are counting on the cures that science can provide." - John Kerry, Democratic Party candidate.
"In terms of funding, he has made a big impact. He was such a public figure." - John Cavanagh, Head of Research for the UK charity Spinal Research.
"He was a very real contender for a hero figure, because of his courage and generosity of spirit." - Actress Susannah York.
- Daily Mail:
"Christopher Reeve was known to all of us for his campaigning and for his courage. It is absolutely wrong to raise false expectations about the speed with which medical research progresses, but it takes people like Reeve with their commitment and their certainty that they will be cured to carry it forward." - Chief Executive of the UK Medical Research Council, Professor Colin Blakemore.
- The Sun:
"More than anything he taught me the use of two words - cure and hope. We will have a cure, that will be his legacy." - Dr. Wise Young, Rutgers University, NY.
- Daily Mirror:
"We have lost a man who was truly America's hero - Christopher Reeve. Teresa and I were privileged to have known him as a friend and were deeply saddened to learn of his death." - John Kerry Democratic candidate.
"He was the human voice that changed attitudes. It's one thing for scientists to say, 'We know we can do this' but Christopher put all this into a real life perspective." - Chief Executive of the UK Medical Research Council, Professor Colin Blakemore.
- October 12, 2004: Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN) condemned Senator John Edwards (D-NC), the Democrat vice presidential candidate for suggesting yesterday, while stumping in Newton, Iowa, that people such as Christopher Reeve would "walk again" if the Kerry/Edwards ticket wins in November. The controversy surrounds the following Edwards remark: "Christopher Reeve just passed away, and America just lost a great champion for this cause, somebody who was a powerful voice for the need to do stem cell research and change the lives of people like him, who have gone through a tragedy...Well, if we do the work that we can do in this country, the work that we will do when John Kerry is president, people like Christopher Reeve are going to walk, get up out of that wheelchair and walk again." Frist, who is a physician, called Edwards' remark "crass" and "shameful," and said it gave false hope that new treatments were imminent. Edwards campaign spokesman Mark Kornblau hit back, "Yes, breakthrough research often takes time, but that's never been a reason to not even try -- until George Bush." Frist, who was a heart surgeon before coming to the Senate, responded Tuesday in a conference call with reporters arranged by the Bush-Cheney campaign. "I find it opportunistic to use the death of someone like Christopher Reeve -- I think it is shameful -- in order to mislead the American people," Frist said. "We should be offering people hope, but neither physicians, scientists, public servants or trial lawyers like John Edwards should be offering hype... It is cruel to people who have disabilities and chronic diseases, and, on top of that, it's dishonest. It's giving false hope to people, and I can tell you as a physician who's treated scores of thousands of patients that you don't give them false hope." Kornblau, Edwards' spokesman, said, "What's crass is George Bush standing in the way of promising stem cell research." Kerry mentioned Reeve by name in Friday's presidential debate while criticizing Bush's stem cell policy. The president and his supporters note that his administration is the first to offer any federal funding for embryonic stem cell research, accusing Democrats of trying to create the impression that Bush has banned the practice. Criticizing Edwards' comment linking the lifting of Bush's policy to medical breakthroughs, Frist said research related to spinal cord injuries does not involve embryonic stem cells but rather adult stem cells, "where the president has absolutely no restrictions, no limitations and there are about 140 treatments...Stem cell research is promising," Frist said. "The president vigorously promotes adult and embryonic stem cell research, but he does it with an ethical and moral framework."
- October 14, 2004: News Agency AFP have reported that the cremation of Reeve's body has taken place. The New York Post reported that Dana Reeve was planning to scatter the ashes herself. "That's the plan, although exactly where they will be scattered hasn't been determined yet," Frank Hall, the minister who led a memorial service for the late actor, told the Post. The newspaper also said Dana was planning a large commemorative event at the Juilliard performing arts school in Manhattan, which her husband had attended as a student.
One of the leading UK film magazine's Empire has set up a tribute website page to Christopher Reeve celebrating his definitive momments in portraying Superman.
- October 15, 2004: BBC1 will air a documentary on October 20th titled Christopher Reeve: Keeping Hope In Motion at 10:35pm - 11:35pm. Here is the description: "Documentary following Christopher Reeve's continuing battle to overcome the paralysis he suffered in a riding accident in 1995. After defying expectations by regaining sensation all over his body and movement in his fingers and legs, he then undergoes a revolutionary new operation to get him off the ventilator and allow him to breathe unaided again."
- October 15, 2004: The regional UK newspaper Bucks Free Press has published an article in which friends and pilots of Booker Gliding Club paid tribute to Reeve. Reeve learnt to fly gliders at the club whilst filming the Superman movies in England. The friendship struck up between Reeve and Glyn Read who introduced Reeve to the club at Wycombe Air Park led to Reeve acting as Best Man for Read's wedding. Read told the newspaper, "He [Reeve] was a great friend and an inspiration. He never allowed his paralysis to wear him down and he never gave up the dream of walking again. It was a real shock when I heard he had died." During his time at the club Read and Reeve co-owned a glider together, "He was very fond of Booker [Gliding Club]. When he was over in England after his accident one of the first things he asked me was how was the gliding club. it was a big part of his life when he was in England. Chris Rollings was chief flying instructor at the club when Reeve flew there. He said: "He was a very charming fellow and a very competent glider flyer. We all had to keep quiet about him attending the club as he was not meant to do dangerous activities while he was filming." Flying instructor Roy Highfield also paid tribute to Reeve stating, "What he tried to do after the accident showed the sheer gut of the man. It showed what a real hero the man was."
- October 17, 2004: UK newspaper The Observer have published an article written by Ariel Dorfman remembering the time in 1987 when Reeve helped show solidarity with 77 actors threatened by Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet's death squads. Dorfman writes, "The most interesting act of courage by Chris in Chile was his decision to learn from the trip, open up to what it meant to resist terror on a daily level, what transpires when ordinary men and woman announce to the world that they will not be intimidated, that they will not let the tyrant have the last word. Upon his return, he would tell me, when we ultimately got to meet face to face, that this voyage had changed his life. He wanted to make a feature film that might transmit to the world what happens when a famous actor - as innocent as Chris had been when he flew to Santiago - visits a country to rescue imperilled colleagues and discovers instead that the one who really needs rescuing, needs to be awoken to the real world in which most humans live and die is the visitor himself." You can read the complete article here.
- October 18, 2004: The CRPFhave announced that the planned fundraising event for the foundation "A Magical Evening" scheduled for November will still go ahead. Kathy Lewis, President and CEO of CRPF said, "It is with the blessing of Christopher's wife, Dana Reeve, that we are moving forward with the gala, and do so in his honor," said Lewis. "On behalf of the Board of Directors and staff of CRPF, we are fueled more than ever to continue his pursuit, his legacy and his dream by carrying on the mission of the Foundation. Christopher's strength and determination brought spinal cord injury awareness and paralysis research to the forefront of the nation's attention. We pledge to use that model of heroism to continue his mission. His memory will serve as inspiration for the work of the Christopher Reeve Paralysis Foundation - especially this upcoming gala - and we will continue in his honor to be steadfast in our goal of finding treatments and cures for paralysis." You can read the full press release here.
- October 19, 2004: A private memorial service to commemorate the life of Christopher Reeve. The invitation only service will take place at 2:00 p.m. on October 29th at The Julliard School in New York City. Approximately 900 hundred guests are expected to attend and invitations will be sent this week directly to family, friends and people affiliated with Mr. Reeve's Foundation. The CRPF have also published an open letter by Dana Reeve in which she reveals the activities Reeve carried out on what was to be his final day before passing away. Dana writes, "Christopher was a genuinely great man. To the world he has been described as a true Superman. To me he was a loving husband, partner, confidant; a sweet gift brought into my life. To his children Matthew, Alexandra, and Will he was Daddy -- funny, smart, warm, wise, firm, decisive, courageous, and encouraging. We all loved him deeply and miss him terribly." You can read the complete letter on the CRPF website. Wise Young, a friend of the Reeve family and one of the world's foremost experts in spinal cord injury, made extensive notes during the memorial service and shared them on his CareCure website.
- October 19, 2004: The UK edition of Hello! magazine, issue 839 has an 'exclusive' tribute from Reeve's long-time friend and actor Robin Williams. According to the article Williams was convinced Reeve would recover from his latest bout of illness, "He'll be ok, he'll pull through, he's so powerful and he's kicked this before, he'll kick it again. But then the next day they called me and said, 'Terrible news, he didn't make it.' I was just in shock. I just couldn't believe that he'd gone. I was in deep deep shock. It's such a tragic loss because he was such a gentle man, but always such a powerful man too and for me it's so weird to realise he's gone now, because I never knew he was living on borrowed time. Many people told me, you know that he lived a lot longer than they thought possible and I said I never knew he was on the clock - other than the clock we're all on. There was a part of him that just seemed so indestructable. I had no idea just how bad it was. I was totally surprised. I knew he'd had a couple of bad bouts recently. But he came through it. He'd been fighting these awful infections for a long time." Williams also talked about Reeve's immediate family stating: "Dana's human, and she was obviously deeply shocked that he passed away. But she's also strong and she's dealing with it. And the kids, they're all powerful, good people, but it's hard on them all. They all miss him terribly." On Reeve's tireless campaigning for greater funding for spinal cord research Williams commented that, "I remember him going from the most physical human being I'd seen in my life to being this Buddha. This very still yet very powerful human being who went on to speak to Congress, and then all over the world about spinal cord injuries. But typically it wasn't just for himself - it was on behalf of hundreds of thousands of others all suffering from similar injuries." Wiliams also shared his views on the controversial issue of stem cell research - one of the issues being highlighted in the current Presidential election campaigns. Williams told the magazine, "The potential is vast with stem cells. Is there a Pandora's Box? As always with medicine, yes. But to deny it totally is almost criminal in my mind. And when he was mentioned by name in the recent presidential debate, that was a huge deal. It meant that the issue was finally at the forefront of a major political election, the most important one. And that would never have happened for a long time without Chris. He made that all possible." The article is accompanied by pictures of Christopher and Dana taken several years ago. The website lists US stockist for those interested in purchasing the magazine.
- October 21, 2004: Dana Reeve joined Presidential candidate John Kerry on stage in Ohio to give a speech in support of Kerry and funding for stem cell research. Dana told the audience, "My inclination would be to remain private for a good long while. But I came here today in support of John Kerry because this is so important. This is what Chris wanted. Although our family feels Chris's loss so keenly right now, today is the right moment to transform our grief itno hope. Chris is the beacon guiding me." You can read the full speech here.
- October 22, 2004: Proponents of 'Yes on Proposition 71', the California Stem Cell Research and Cures Initiative, today announced the launch of a new television ad featuring Christopher Reeve that calls on voters to support the initiative. "Christopher Reeve strongly supported Proposition 71. His family and his foundation wanted the people of California to see this recently recorded message," said Kathy Lewis, president and CEO for the Christopher Reeve Paralysis Foundation. "Prop 71 offers hope to millions of Americans living with debilitating and chronic conditions. We applaud California's leadership to advance this important avenue of research." In the television ad, Reeve states, "My foundation supports cutting edge research. And we are proud ... proud supporters of Prop 71. Stem cells have already cured paralysis in animals. Stem cells are the future of medicine. Please support Prop 71. And, stand up for those that can't. Thank you." More information on the 'Yes on Proposition 71' campaign and the advert featuring Reeve can be viewed on their website.
- November 3, 2004: The Christopher Reeve Paralysis Foundation provided closure to the vacancy of Christopher Reeve's chairmanship by replacing him with his widow. According to their press release the board of directors unanimously elected Dana Reeve as their new chairperson. The new chairwoman said: "I am honored to assume this role, working alongside the outstanding staff of the Foundation and our dedicated volunteers... Together we will continue to fulfill Christopher's vision of funding research that will lead to effective treatments and cures for paralysis. I can think of no greater source of inspiration, no truer guide on this course than Chris himself. His impact on people living with disabilities, his fight for increases in funding and attention paid to biomedical research -- these accomplishments will be his legacy. It is now my job to continue this legacy. As Chair of the Foundation, my priority will be to make Christopher's dream a reality." As chairperson, Dana Reeve will preside over the Board of Directors and advance the Foundation's mission of funding research and improving the quality of life of people living with disabilities. The role is assumed immediately.
- November 10, 2004: The CRPF have announced that this year's 'Magical Evening' fundraising gala is to be hosted by actress Minnie Driver. The event takes place November 18th at the New York Marriott Marquis in Manhattan. Actor William H. Macy will be a Special Presenter. Dr. John W. Rowe, chairman and CEO of Aetna, will receive the CRPF Visionary Leadership Award in recognition of his professional achievements, civic contributions and leadership support of the Christopher Reeve Paralysis Foundation. Actress Glenn Close will receive the Human Spirit Award in recognition of her generosity of spirit with which she has shared her fame and good will. The funds raised at the gala will be used to develop treatments and cures for paralysis caused by spinal cord injury and other central nervous system disorders; as well as to improve the quality of life for people living with disabilities via the Quality of Life programs from the CRPF. To purchase tickets for the event call the Benefit Office at (212) 627-1000.
- November 16, 2004: In her first interview since the death of her husband, Dana Reeve told the American Associated Press that, "There's just a huge void in our home life. With grief, you know, the only way to get through it is through it." Dana said it helps to remember her husbands attitude to dealing with difficult times, "It was always his intention to keep life going even after adversity. That was the spirit he lived by." Dana spoke of the memorial tribute service that took place at Julliard last month stating that she got choked up during her speech and it was her and Chris's son Will that set the tone, "He actually, quite honestly, set the tone for the afternoon because he was very loving, very funny, very poised. I looked at him and I thought, 'How is he doing this?' He's 12, but the genes run strong. He was just channeling Chris or something." Dana described the tribute service stating, "Chris was very present with us. Many, many people have described it as just a life-changing experience." Dana also revealed that whilst she had stepped down from performing in the New York run of the play Brooklyn Boy she intends to continue to act as well as carry out work on behalf of the Christopher Reeve Paralysis Foundation. "That is a wonderful play; I was sorry to leave. But TV and movie schedules are always easier than a theater schedule, if you have a family. It's eight times a week, and I'd be performing when Will was home." Of her husband's work in campaigning on behalf of spinal cord research she said, "I may be biased, but if you talk to anyone in the scientific community, he changed the course of medical research for the better, both in terms of physical therapy on people with spinal cord injuries and on the focus placed on biomedical research. I guarantee you that stem cell research would not have been on the ballot this year without Chris' work." Californians voted Nov. 2 voted to spend $3 billion on stem cell research." Christopher's personal legacy however is one as, "A father, a strong figure who was always part of our lives. The way to honor him is to live the way he lived, and that was to be uncompromising."
- December 25, 2004: A 14 year old quadriplegic boy has been given the late Christopher Reeve's speically modified van by Reeve's remaining family. Tyler Howard of Charlestown, USA developed quadriplegia following a virus he contracted when he was four years old. In a letter to the Howard Dana Reeve wrote, "I hope the van brings you great joy and freedom as it did for Chris." Until the donation of the van Howard was only go to school and doctor appointments. The van will allow Howard to travel around with his wheelchair and other medical equipment. "I'm free, I'm free. I can go where I want" Howard said. He was chosen to receive Reeve's van from thousands of potential recipients.
- December 27, 2004: The New York Post has published an article about how Christopher Reeve inspired Cody Unser, a wheelchair user, and daughter of race car champion Al Unser Jr. Cody from Albuquerque, N.M. contracted transverse myelitis in 1999 which left her paralysed from the waist down. She met Reeve at a fund-raiser for spinal-cord injuries. "When we began talking, we shared stories about our frustrations. I said to him I had always wanted to fly like Superman. And he told me, 'Well, Cody, we both fly, just in a different way.' He inspired me. I realized that at least I have my arms - he couldn't even use a finger." Inspired by Reeve's courage Cody learned to scuba dive and helps others do the same through her non-profit organization, the First Step Foundation.
- December 28, 2004: Yahoo! search engine has published its Top Buzz Searches for 2004. The top "Mover" for October 2004 was Christopher Reeve as fans worldwide mourned his death that month. Read the full 2004 search engine statisitcs analysis.
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