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Margot Kidder, who played Lois Lane in the Superman movie franchise through the late 1970s and 80s, died in her Montana home on Sunday, according to TMZ. She was 69 years old. A cause of death has not yet been confirmed. Her death was confirmed to TMZ by a spokesperson at Franzen-Davis Funeral Home in Livingston, Montana, which has also posted a notice about Kidder on its Web site.
The actress made her star turn as dogged reporter Lane in the 1978 film Superman, opposite actor Christopher Reeve. She reprised the role three more times, taking a bow nearly 10 years later in Superman IV: The Quest for Peace.
Kidder’s acting career began in 1968 after she landed a few parts in a handful of TV shows. She went on to star in a pair of films from high-profile creators: Sisters, by Brian De Palma, and The Gravy Train, written by Terrence Malick (under the pseudonym David Whitney). She rose into the mainstream with the first Superman, which became one of the highest-grossing movies in history upon its release. Kidder and Reeve remained close friends for the rest of their careers.
“When you’re strapped to someone hanging from the ceiling for months and months, you get pretty darned close,” she told CBS in 2004 after Reeve’s death. “I can’t stop thinking about Christopher because he was such a huge part of my life. He was just such a great guy. . . . He was complicated, very smart, really smart, and he knew he’d done something meaningful.”
In between Superman movies, she also starred in the 1979 film The Amityville Horror, a blockbuster hit that went on to become a horror staple—though it was panned by critics at the time. Kidder had a good sense of humor about the reviews: “What a piece of shit!” she said of the film in a 2009 interview. “I couldn’t believe that anyone would take that seriously. I was laughing my whole way through it.”
In her later years, the actress turned to voice work in shows like Captain Planet and the Planeteers and Aaahh!!! Real Monsters. She earned a Daytime Emmy nomination in 2015 for her performance in the children’s series R.L. Stine’s The Haunting Hour.
Kidder also made a name for herself beyond the silver screen. She had famous beaus (De Palma, Richard Pryor, Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau) and legendary house gatherings with guests like Steven Spielberg and Martin Scorsese, and she also publicly battled with bipolar disorder, making headlines after she disappeared for four days during a particularly difficult episode in 1996. Kidder later became a mental-health advocate, speaking openly about her illness and subsequent treatment.
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