According to CNN, Margot Kidder—cinema’s first Lois Lane and genre-film icon—passed away peacefully in her sleep yesterday at 69 years of age. While an entire generation was first introduced to Kidder with Superman in 1978 and its sequels, she was an incredibly appreciated part of the horror film community as well, and became a powerful advocate of mental health over the course of her life.
Before starring in genre-defining films such as Superman, Black Christmas, and The Amityville Horror, Kidder spent her childhood in the Northwest Territories of Canada and eventually got her start on the Canadian television series Wojeck in 1969.
Lois Lane, though obviously not the title character, was as important to Superman’s success as Christopher Reeves was. The character was a tough, independent go-getter with intellect, integrity, and presence that only an actress as engaging and relatable as Kidder could’ve provided. Personally, Superman was the first superhero movie I ever saw, and I distinctly remember thinking I’d love to have a girlfriend like Lois one day.
In regards to her personal life, Kidder was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and became homeless in 1996. The weight of fame, three marriages, and preposterous medical bills became too much for her—or anyone, for that matter—to process.
“Nothing prepares anyone for that sudden thing of being world famous, it was such a shock,” she said. “It wasn’t until something I really liked or something I was very good at. I didn’t realize how good the movie was until I seen it at the premiere in Washington.”
Fortunately, Kidder’s passing was reportedly peaceful, calm, and gentle. Sadly, the world is just a tad bit gloomier now that she’s gone. We’d say she’ll be missed, but that’s already more than clear. Have a look at some of the Twitter reactions to her passing below, and realize how many creative people she herself inspired to pursue their own dreams. Rest in peace.