Margot Kidder, who is probably best known for portraying Lois Lane opposite Christopher Reeve in the 1970s and ’80s Superman movies and starred in many other films including The Amityville Horror while struggling with mental illness, has died. She was 69. The Franzen-Davis Funeral Home in Livingston, MT, said she died Sunday but did not reveal a cause of death
Kidder appeared with many of Hollywood’s leading men during her 50-year career, including Robert Redford and James Garner, it was her role as the plucky Daily Planet reporter with a penchant for finding trouble in Superman (1978), Superman II (1980), Superman III (1983) and Superman IV(1987) that shot her to fame.
In 1996, Kidder was involved in a bizarre off-screen incident that made internationals headlines. She had been working on an autobiography when a virus infected her computer and caused her to lose three years worth of writing. After a data-retrieval company failed to restore her lost work, Kidder became manic depressive, convinced that the federal government and her then-husband/novelist Thomas McGuane were plotting to kill her.
In mid-April 1996, her family in Montana reported her missing. Kidder ended up in downtown L.A., dirty and without her purse — according to reports, she had thrown it away because she thought it held a bomb — and met a homeless man who vowed to look after her. Reports say she survived a rape attempt the next day, in which another homeless man kicked her in the stomach and also knocked caps off of her front teeth. She eventually was found by Glendale police and taken to UCLA Medical Center.
The incident made her lifelong struggle with mental illness a public affair, but she continued to work as an actress, including a six-episode role on Boston Common in 1996-97. Her most recent role was in 2017 with the indie The Neighborhood.
Funeral service information is pending.
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