REVIEW: Still Me by Christopher Reeve

When I read that Christopher Reeve became completely paralyzed after he fell off a horse in 1995, I was shocked. Who wouldn’t be? After all, he was Superman. He could turn back time. He could bring Lois Lane back to life. He could freeze fire. He could fit 3 bad aliens into a thin sheet of glass.

I immediately bought his autobiography the moment it was released 3 years after his accident. What I love most about autobiographies is the insight you get of a celebrity – that behind each and every shiny star is a walking, waking human behind it.

still-me_christopher-reeveI read in “Still Me” that Superman (just like his persona) loves to joke. He loves horses.

He had 2 wives and his second one, Dana, stood by him from the moment of his injury till his very last day. That was his greatest fear – to be left alone by the one he loved. He prepared for it and he also suffered from a great deal of insecurity. He acknowledged that he is one of luckiest man on earth.

His kids are beautiful! His son, Matthew, is as handsome as him and his daughter, Al, is a real beauty. His youngest, Will, looks like a cheeky little boy.

I enjoyed reading about his early days on stage (real drama, not TV) and his endearing friendship with Robin Williams.

He was also an arts activist – he led a rally to support 77 Chilean actors, directors, and playwrights sentenced to death by the dictator Augusto Pinochet for criticizing his regime in their works. With the media coverage, their death sentences were cancelled. He’d saved their lives!

For someone who had everything going for him – looks, love, success, fatherhood – the fall must have been devastating. Thankfully, he picked up the pieces and moved on to switch roles from actor to director, speaker to writer, victim to activist…

He never stopped living – or loving. Despite his divorce, he maintained close ties with his children and this is evident from the loving relationship his new family had with each other. It’s not every day you read about kids from a first marriage getting on with mother/child from a second marriage.

I remember watching him appear on TV for the Emmy awards with my father. One of my favourite movies is “Somewhere in Time” where he co-starred with Jane Seymour, one of my parents’ favourite actresses.

I remember Hubby searching the original VCD for me as a surprise present. I still have it!

We all felt sad when Superman died in 2004. While we may know him as Superman, we’re now more aware of spinal cord injuries after what happened to him. Through his work, his life and his struggle, Christopher Reeve (baby nickname “Tophy”) showed us that he really was the Man of Steel.

Read the autobiography of “Superman”