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Margot Kidder: How Superman Fame Changed Her Life

Margot Kidder: How Superman Fame Changed Her Life

Actress Margot Kidder in the promo photo of her film "Gaily, Gaily" | Wikimedia Commons/United Artists

Margot Kidder, the Canadian actress best known for playing the iconic role of Lois Lane in the "Superman" franchise during the 1970s and 1980s, died in her sleep at the age of 69.

Kidder started her acting career in a Canadian film titled "The Best Damn Fiddler from Calabogie to Kaladar" in 1968, but she became a household named when she got the lead role opposite Christopher Reeve's Clark Kent/Superman in 1978's "Superman: The Movie."

Speaking with Vulture Hound in 2016, the actress admitted that she did everything that she can to be cast in the film. But instead of aiming to get it for the fame that will surely come with it, Kidder has a different reason why she wanted to be Lois Lane.

"I really wanted the part. It was frightening as all auditions are. I had my first audition then I flew from Montana, where I lived, to London to do a screen test. I went 'I gotta get this movie because your marriage [with American novelist Thomas McGuane] is really bad but you don't have the strength to get out. But if you get a big movie you can get out' so there was that motivation," the actress stated during that time.

She also recalled that she began her quest to get the role by making sure the producers know that she was really in love with Superman even if she thought that Reeve was the "skinniest dorkiest guy you could imagine."

While bringing the legendary Daily Planet journalist who became romantically involved with Superman and the apple of the eye of the superhero's alter ego from the comic books to the big screen gave her box office and critical recognition, her career suffered a downward path in her succeeding films.

Things turned worse when she was involved in a highly publicized nervous breakdown in 1996. During that time, the actress, who was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, went into a manic state and disappeared for four days with her teeth deliberately knocked out. She was placed in psychiatric care to address her mental health problems.

After her mental breakdown, she tried to put her life back together gradually by accepting bit roles. It includes the part in the "Superman" spinoff TV series titled "Smallville" as well as a guest-starring role in the lesbian drama "The L Word."

She also became a public speaker and activist in the recent years. She used her mental health struggles to talk about one of her advocacies and was known as an avid supporter of liberal and Democratic causes.

The actress also admitted in a 2005 interview with The Guardian that she used to be uncomfortable with the fame the "Superman" brought her in the past. However, she opted to look at it in a more positive light over the years.

"It was exciting, but for a while being typecast as Lois made my vanity and narcissism scream," Kidder stated in the interview. "Hadn't people seen my other work? But now my grandkids watch it, and think I was Superman's friend, so that's a thrill," the actress went on to say.


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