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Margot Kidder, Superman’s iconic Lois Lane, dies at 69

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She brought fizz and fight to a romantic character

Margot Kidder in Superman 2
Warner Bros.

Margot Kidder, best known for her portrayal of Lois Lane in the Superman movies of the 1970s and ‘80s, died yesterday. Her cause of death has not been released. She was 69.

She’ll be best remembered for her no-nonsense portrayal of the fearless reporter who forges a romantic relationship with Superman, played by Christopher Reeve. But she was a hard-working actor, who found roles throughout her life, despite struggling with illness.

Kidder’s Lois Lane managed to meld the tough smarts of a New York investigative journalist, alongside the romantic ingenue of a woman, confronted with a dashing, alien superhero. Her comic relationship with Superman alter-ego Clark Kent helped establish Superman and Superman 2 as some of the most popular action-movies of the era.

Some of her best scenes include her romantic flight with Superman, over New York City, and her bad-ass confrontation with evil alien invader Ursa (Sarah Douglas). In a tweet today, Douglas wrote of her sadness about Kidder’s passing. “We continued to have fun together over the last 40 years and she was a joy to be around.”

Kidder was born in northern Canada in 1948, playing minor roles in various productions, starting in the late-1960s. She worked with Brian de Palma in cult hit Sisters (1973) and played a terrorized sorority student in the 1974 slasher Black Christmas. In 1975, she took a role as Robert Redford’s girlfriend in the barnstorming comedy, The Great Waldo Pepper.

It was Superman (1978) that brought her global recognition. The next year, she starred in The Amityville Horror, a major success at the height of a horror boom. After Superman 2, she appeared in the next two, inferior movies, with her character taking a minor role in the stories.

She continued to find work as her fame declined, even after highly publicized mental illness problems in the mid-1990s. Kidder was heavily involved in progressive political issues. She passed away at her home in Livingston, Montana.