Netizen 24 CAN: Superman actress Margot Kidder dead at age 69

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Superman actress Margot Kidder dead at age 69

Superman actress Margot Kidder dead at age 69Superman actress Margot Kidder, born in Yellowknife, N.W.T., has died at age 69, according to her family.

She was an advocate for mental health issues, speaking out about living with bipolar disorder

Superman actress Margot Kidder, born in Yellowknife, N.W.T., has died at age 69. (Canadian Press)

Canadian-born Superman actress Margot Kidder has died at age 69.

Best known for playing Lois Lane opposite Christopher Reeve in the Superman films of the 1970s and 1980s, she went on to become an advocate for mental health issues after speaking out about living with bipolar disorder, including an infamous breakdown on the streets of Los Angeles in 1996.

She credited a homeless man with showing compassion for her a nd saving her life during her "big, public flipout."

"We are all ... a breath away from mental illness, homelessness, all of these things we tend to so look down on," Kidder said in 2006.

"We are all one human family and we really have to take care of each other."

Annie Kidder said her sister bore similarities to the tough-as-nails journalist she played in the Superman series.

Actors Christopher Reeve, as Superman, and Margot Kidder, as Lois Lane, appear in a scene from the 1978 movie Superman. (TMS & DC Comics Inc.)

"She was kind of an indomitable person," Annie Kidder said in a phone interview on Monday.

"She was a fighter. She was determined, outspoken."

  • CBC ARCHIVES | Margot Kidder talks Superman and stardom

Annie Kidder said she does not know the cause of death at this time, and no funeral arrangements have been made.

"She was courageous about everything," said Kidder, who is based in Toronto.

"In struggling with her mental health, she was also determined that there shouldn't be a stigma around that. It was important to be open about those things. There was nothing to be ashamed of."

Political, environmental activism

Margot Kidder continued to work in TV and film despite her struggles and won a daytime Emmy in 2015 for outstanding performance in a children's or pre-school series for R.L. Stine's The Haunting Hour. She also starred in films including Black Christmas and The Amityville Horror and TV series including CTV's Robson Arms.

Though the 1970s and '80s were her most successful period, she continued to take on roles in TV and film over the decades, as well as appearing in stage productions such as The Vagina Monologues and Love, Loss and What I Wore.

Kidder (left) is handcuffed by Washington police outside the White House in 2011. She was among the environmentalists who gathered to protest against TransCanada's Keystone XL pipeline. (Keith Lane/Canadian Press)

Kidder also became a political activist in recent years and was among a group of environmentalists to be arrested outside the White House in 2011 during a protest against TransCanada's Keystone XL pipeline. She became an American citizen in 2005, she said, to avoid possible deportation for protesting the war in Iraq.

  • Margot Kidder arrested at White House oil protest

Kidder had settled in Montana to live in a "culture-free zone" away from the spotlight and close to her daughter and grandchildren.

Kidder is seen signing autographs at Comic Con in San Diego in 2005. (Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images)

Linked to Pierre Trudeau

Kidder was married and divorced three times and was also famously linked to former prime minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau. Kidder was credited with influencing Trudeau's decision to launch a global peace initiative during his final months in office, according to the 2009 biography Just Watch Me: The Life of Pierre Elliott Trudeau 1968-2000.

Kidder is seen with Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau attending a dinner in his honour at the Canadian Embassy in Washington, in 1983. (Peter Bregg/Canadian Press)

'Onscreen she was magic'

Fans and colleagues began posting tributes to K idder online in the hours after her death began making headlines.

"She was a joy to be around," wrote English actress Sarah Douglas, who co-starred alongside Kidder as supervillain Ursa in Superman and Superman II.

"We continued to have fun together over the last 40 years."

Actor and writer Kumail Nanjiani also tweeted about the actress's impact on the film industry.

"RIP Margot Kidder. One of my favourite movies of hers is the original Black Christmas. It introduced some elements that are now genre tropes and she's fantastic in it," he wrote.

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