Born in New York in 1952, Reeve attended the Juilliard School and graduated from Cornell in 1974. He made his Broadway debut in 1976, opposite Katharine Hepburn in A Matter of Gravity, later appearing in Lanford Wilson's Fifth of July and in a 1985 production of The Marriage of Figaro. Off-Broadway, he was seen in My Life, The Winter's Tale, and Love Letters. But it is for his film and TV work that Reeve became famous: In addition to playing the Man of Steel in four Superman movies from 1978 to 1987, he starred in such features as Somewhere in Time, Deathtrap, Noises Off, The Remains of the Day, and Village of the Damned. He also appeared in many made-for-television movies.
His life took a tragic turn in 1995, when he broke his neck in a horseback riding accident and was paralyzed from the neck down. Confined to a wheelchair, Reeve became a vociferous advocate for many causes related to his disability, including spinal cord and stem-cell research. His autobiography, Still Me (1999), was a bestseller; his second book, Nothing is Impossible: Reflections on a New Life, was published in 2002.
Reeve is survived by his wife Dana, their son, two children from a previous relationship, his mother, his father, and his brother.