Canadian Actress Margot Kidder passed away this past Sunday at her home in Montana. She was 69 years old. She had a long career, spanning almost 50 years, beginning with television series including Mod Squad. Kidder was probably best known, however, for playing Lois Lane in the original Superman movies with the late Christopher Reeve in the 70s and 80s. For generations of fans, she IS Lois Lane. I know, personally, when I picture Lois Lane, I think of her (and/or Teri Hatcher).
But Margot Kidder Was More Than Just Lois Lane
The reality is, however, that Margot Kidder was famous for things other than just Superman movies. She also had very long and very public struggles with addiction and mental illness; She was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. The most public incident regarding her mental health was in 1996. She had a complete breakdown. She disappeared for days. Police later found her hiding in some bushes. What sets Margot Kidder apart, though, is how she recovered from that incident.
In the months and years after her breakdown, she became an advocate and activist for mental health awareness. She was open about her struggles and what she called the pattern of her life. She accepted her battle with bipolar disorder as one that she must wage, that it was a part of her and she chose to be open and honest about it. With the possible exception of the late Carrie Fisher, Margot Kidder was probably the first major celebrity to talk about issues like mental illness and addiction in a public way. It’s also important to point out that she bounced back from her 1996 incident, acting in both television and movies up until just a few years ago.
People talk somewhat more openly about mental illness and addiction now, in 2018. However, there’s still plenty of stigmatization. I remember how Carrie Fisher’s death in 2016 ignited conversations about the topics. It’s good that we’re talking, though. And hopefully we keep talking. If it weren’t for advocates like Carrie Fisher and Margot Kidder, we wouldn’t be talking nearly as much. I hope people remember Margot Kidder’s advocacy just as much as they remember her as Lois Lane. She was a super woman.
Is Margot Kidder your favorite Lois Lane? Do you remember her for more than the Superman films? Let us know in the comments!