Sad news out of Montana this morning with word that Margot Kidder, best known as Lois Lane in the Superman films from 1978-1987, passed away on Sunday, according to various outlets including The Hollywood Reporter. The circumstances of her death are unknown at this time.
The Canadian-born actor arrived in Los Angeles in the 1970s during a hey-day of director-led features like The French Connection and The Godfather. Kidder would first make an impression in one of these auteur films: Brian De Palma’s 1973 film Sisters. Films like Black Christmas and The Great Waldo Pepper followed, but she would soon go on to become the definitive Lois Lane to a generation of fans in 1978’s Superman. Asked about her approach to the role in a 2001 making-of documentary, she said Lois was a no-nonsense woman who could boss anyone around except Superman. She would “fall to pieces” around him; an impulse she recognized from her own life.
After the Superman series ended, Kidder continued to work as actor, but her troubles with bipolar disorder left wandering Los Angeles in a manic state in 1996. The well-publicized incident found her taken into custody after being found in the backyard of an area home. After she recovered, she became a tireless crusader for those suffering from similar afflictions.
She also became a fixture on the convention circuit; offering wonderfully ribald anecdotes in panels and being a true gem in autograph sessions.
Though she would return to the Superman fold in a number of Smallville guest appearances — finishing up business for Christopher Reeve’s Dr. Swann after both the actor and character passed away — she will always be remembered as the great Lois Lane of the 1970s and 80s.
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