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Past News Reports - 1996

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  • January 5, 1996: News reports said that Christopher Reeve had managed to breathe without a respirator for an hour.

    Alison, Gae and Mat

  • January 10, 1996: Christopher Reeve's two elder children announced a campaign, Push 2000, in England. Push 2000 is a project of the International Spinal Research Trust. Chris is the Patron of Push 2000 and says, "ISRT's unique research strategy and their single-minded determination to find treatments for spinal cord injury through international co-operation will make a major contribution to achieving that goal. That's why I am pleased to accept their invitation to become Patron of Push 2000. This imaginative event is a great opportunity to raise public awareness and funds, not only in the UK but internationally. For Push 2000 to succeed, we need the help of every ISRT supporter who wants to push paralysis into the past."

  • January 10, 1996: The UCI Reeve-Irvine Research Center dedicated to spinal cord research is founded. The proposed center will act as a central point of contact and information exchange for scientists from around the world who are engaged in spinal cord research. Reeve said, "I view this research effort and this program as a prototype for future research centers worldwide which will complement the existing research programs of the American Paralysis Association. The proposed Reeve-Irvine Research Center is a critical step in the strategic plan to coordinate all spinal cord research efforts."

  • January 16, 1996: Christopher Reeve left his Pound Ridge home (in Westchester county) and was admitted to Northern Westchester Medical Center for treatment of a blood pressure problem. On January 17th, Reeve released a statement saying his condition was stable and he was in no danger. "I am experiencing a condition called autonomic dysreflexia, which affects high quadriplegic like myself, caused almost always by an impaction of the colon, the lack of drainage of the bladder, or even something as simple as an ingrown toenail, or clothing or shoelaces that are too tight." The condition was diagnosed as caused by a urinary tract infection.

  • January 31, 1996: News reports said Christopher Reeve was supporting a bill by U.S. Senator James. M. Jeffords (R-Vermont) that would bar insurance companies from setting lifetime caps of less than $10 million, when most now have limits around $1 million. The Washington Post reported Reeve's expenses were $400,000 a year and his insurance's cap was $1.2 million. Dana Reeve said "When I really got into depth looking at the policy, to be honest, it was ... as horrifying to me as when Chris first had his accident."

  • February 8, 1996: News reports said Christopher Reeve had signed to write a book about his life with author Roger Rosenblatt. The book would be ready in 1998 and will be published by Random House. Reeve's book deal is supposedly worth $3 million.

  • February 12, 1996: The television show Extra had an interview with actor Robin Williams where he denied January newspaper reports that he'd agreed to pay Christopher Reeve's medical expenses.

  • February 21, 1996: Christopher Reeve appeared on the CNN show Larry King Live. Reeve reported he can now breathe without a respirator for 90 minutes, and again endorsed legislation for increasing insurance caps, and the American Paralysis Association and he is now on their board. You can call the APA for information or to make a charitable donation at 1-800-225-0292. The legislation is an amendment by Senator Jeffords to the U.S. Senate bill S1028. You can try the US Congress web site. In the House of Representatives the counterpart to S 1028 is H.R. 2893, and the counterpart to Sen. Jeffords' amendment was introduced in the House by Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-California).

  • March 10, 1996: Christopher Reeve appeared at a dedication ceremony for a new $18 million rehabilitation center at the St. Francis Health Care Centre in Ohio. This was Reeve's first public appearance outside New York. "Now we stand on the threshold of full recovery. It can happen. The scientists are ready, willing, and able. With support, they will do it," Reeve said.

  • March 14, 1996: CBS's morning news show aired a taped interview with Christopher Reeve. His comments included admiration for the athletes with disabilities who would be participating in the Paralympics as part of the 1996 Olympics.

    Chris at the Oscars

  • March 25, 1996: Christopher Reeve introduced on stage a film segment "Hollywood tackles the issues" promoting films like Platoon, at the 68th Oscar ceremony. He received a standing ovation from the audience. "When I was a kid, my friends and I went to the movies just for fun," Reeve said. "But then we saw Kubrick's Dr. Strangelove -- started us thinking about the madness of nuclear destruction. Stanley Kramer's The Defiant Ones taught us about race relations. And we began to realize that films could deal with social issues."

  • March 25, 1996: CNN reported New York congresswoman Sue Kelly nominated Christopher Reeve for the 1996 National Medal of the Arts.

  • March 28, 1996: CNN reported Christopher Reeve would be doing a vocal part of King Arthur this Summer for an upcoming animated movie The Quest for Camelot for Warner Bros., and that Rysher Entertainment would still wait for him to direct a film. The Quest for Camelot also stars John Gielgud and Jane Seymour.

  • April 18, 1996: News release - Christopher Reeve will be one of the voices appearing on an adventure game CD-ROM titled 9 released this year by Tribecca Interactive.

  • April 23, 1996: The U.S. Senate approved bill S1028, but rejected the Jeffords amendment.

  • April 30, 1996: Christopher Reeve received an award from Ted Danson's American Oceans Campaign group for his environmental work.

  • May 15, 1996: Christopher Reeve lobbied for spinal research funding in Washington D.C. He believes with enough funding he could walk in seven years. Reeve met with President Clinton and Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pennsylvania) who promised to help. Reeve's appearance was sponsored by Good Housekeeping magazine which has a cover story on the Reeve family in the June issue, with a Liz Smith interview. Reeve also was interviewed briefly for the May 15th NBC evening news. Sen. Specter is Chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Labor, Health, and Human Services which decides how funding for the National Institutes of Health is spent.

  • May 24, 1996: The ABC 20/20 show repeated the Peabody award-winning September 1995 interview with the Reeve family and had a brief update. They showed the Reeve family at a New York Rangers game, and said Christopher Reeve is now chairman of the American Paralysis Association. For information on videos and transcripts call 1-800-913-3434.

  • May 27, 1996: CNN reported Christopher Reeve would direct a film to be shown on HBO. The one-hour movie titled "In the Gloaming" is scheduled to begin shooting in October.

  • June 10, 1996: Entertainment Tonight had a segment on Christopher Reeve which mentioned Reeve appearing at a weekend benefit in Puerto Rico for the American Paralysis Association. The Chicago Tribune had further publicity mentioning Reeve will narrate a special ("Without Pity") on HBO about people with severe disabilities, has been asked to direct a play for this summer's Williamstown Theatre Festival, and can now last two and a 1/2 hours without using a ventilator.

    For information on the Williamstown Theatre Festival:
    Williamstown Theatre Festival
    84 Spring St.
    Williamstown, MA 01267
    Telephone: (413)-458-3200

  • June 25, 1996: Newspapers reported that Christopher Reeve will get a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

  • June 29, 1996: Newspapers reported that the newly renovated cabaret where Christopher Reeve met his wife has been dedicated to them.

  • July 2, 1996: News reports said Christopher Reeve will appear in a CBS tv movie called 'Snakes and Ladders', probably aired next year.

  • July 12-14, 1996: The Shake-A-Leg's Wall Street Challenge Cup off Newport, RI was scheduled to occur, with Christopher Reeve as one of the celebrity participants. Shake-A-Leg is a national nonprofit organization that provides post-trauma rehabilitation and activities for individuals with spinal cord injuries and other neurological disorders. This would be the first time in the water sailing for Christopher Reeve since his 1995 accident.

    To contact Shake-A-Leg:
    200 Harrison Ave
    Newport, R.I. 02840-3781
    Telephone: (401)-849-8898

  • July 24, 1996: PBS rebroadcast the episode of In The Wild featuring Christopher Reeve, as part of the series Nature. (see 1995 News for November 27,1995)

  • July 1996: The Paul Mitchell Puerto Rico Summer Celebrity Sports Invitational television special, including an interview with Christopher Reeve, has aired for several weeks. The special shows activities at the American Paralysis Association fundraiser in Puerto Rico. On July 30th, it was aired on the cable channel MSG. The benefit is the one mentioned on the June 10th Entertainment Tonight.

    Chris and Will at the Paralympics

  • August 15, 1996: Christopher Reeve hosted the 1996 Paralympics Opening Ceremony in Atlanta, GA. The games last 10 days with 3,500 athletes from 120 countries. "To be surrounded by people who believe in you is one of life's most precious gifts," Reeve told the crowd of 64,000. "Look around you and see how many people believe in you." [There is an official commemorative video of this event narrated by Christopher Reeve available for purchase made by the Atlanta Paralympic Organizing Committee, U.S. Olympic Committee and International Paralympic Committee called Triumph of the Human Spirit: The Story of the 1996 Paralympic Games. For more information about this video click here.]

  • Christopher Reeve was the cover story for the American Time magazine (cover dated August 26, 1996). It was on sale during the week of Monday August 19, 1996. It had a detailed 12 page article by writer Roger Rosenblatt, including news about current research on spinal injuries and reviewing Mr. Reeve's life and current status, with some photos. Roger Rosenblatt is working with Mr. Reeve on an autobiography to be published by Random House. The article is still online in Time's back-issue archive.

    The article mentions Mr. Reeve using:

    • a Quickie P300 sip-and-puff powered wheelchair

    • A StimMaster FES Ergometer to retard muscle atrophy, improve cardiovascular fitness and general fitness. For more information on the StimMaster, visit Electrologic's web site.

  • August 26, 1996: Christopher Reeve spoke at the 1996 Democratic Party national convention in Chicago, IL. His speech supported the Americans with Disabilities Act, and called for more health care scientific research.
    Read a transcript of Christopher Reeve's Speech

  • A New York Times article reported: his insurance coverage will last another three years covering his medical expenses, using a tilt table he can stand for long periods of time, he has regained some feeling in his spine and his left leg, and he can last 90 minutes without a ventilator.

  • September 4, 1996: Christopher Reeve spoke at the Spark of Life fundraiser at the Toronto Western Hospital.

  • September 15, 1996: UCI and Joan Irvine Smith awarded the first Christopher Reeve Research Medal at the Oaks Fall Classic, an annual equestrian competition held at Smith's San Juan Capistrano training farm.

  • During October 1996, HBO is showed the documentary "Without Pity: A Film About Abilities" about people with disabilities, narrated by Christopher Reeve, as part of HBO's America Undercover series. The show began showing October 8th.

  • October 18, 1996: Christopher Reeve spoke via video on October 18 at Sacramento,CA's Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce Perspectives '96 Conference.

  • October 27, 1996: Christopher Reeve received in person an award from the Courage Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota on October 27 at the 'Celebration of Courage' ceremony. In response to criticism by some disability activists that he does not promote enough funding for health care, besides research, Christopher Reeve said in a statement released by his publicist: "I have previously expressed my complete support of the Americans with Disabilities Act and will continue to do so." "It is a civil rights law that is tearing down barriers both in architecture and attitude. I also strongly believe that research is essential. I do not believe that either of these issues are mutually exclusive, and I'm sorry that there are those in the disability community who feel differently." Courage Center, one of the state's largest and best-known rehabilitation centers, decided to give Reeve its National Courage Award this year to draw more attention to its work and to the disabled. The center is celebrating the 20th anniversary of its residence program for the disabled at its Golden Valley facility, and it's using Reeve's visit for an unprecedented fund-raising opportunity by charging $150 for a banquet ticket to up to $25,000 for corporate sponsorships. Reeve also will get a $70,000 speaking fee plus expenses, picked up by corporate sponsors, including the use of a donated corporate jet to bring him from his home.

  • October 30, 1996: Equestrians saluted Christopher Reeve at the Oct. 30 opening gala of the National Horse Show in New York's Madison Square Garden. USA Today says the actor will have his wife Dana return the salute for him. The event will benefit the Reeve-Irving Research Center for spinal cord injuries. Reeve is wrapping up his directorial debut, an HBO movie about a man dying of AIDS.

  • November 21, 1996: Christopher Reeve spoke in Denver, Thursday, Nov. 21 at 3 p.m. at Currigan Hall to benefit the Jumpstart Fund of Denver Options. Denver Options is a non-profit human services organization that coordinates services for people with developmental disabilities. The JumpStart Fund was established to assist people with developmental disabilities in emergency situations. For more information, call (303) 758-1118.

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