From Wikipedia: Christopher D’Olier Reeve (September 25, 1952 – October 10, 2004) was an American actor, writer and director. He was best known for playing DC comic book superhero Superman, beginning with the acclaimed Superman (1978), for which he won a BAFTA Award.
Reeve appeared in other critically acclaimed films such as The Bostonians (1984), Street Smart (1987) and The Remains of the Day (1993). He received a Screen Actors Guild Award and a Golden Globe Award nomination for his performance in the television remake of Rear Window (1998).
On May 27, 1995, Reeve was left quadriplegic after being thrown from a horse during an equestrian competition in Culpeper, Virginia. He used a wheelchair and needed a portable ventilator to breathe for the rest of his life. He lobbied on behalf of people with spinal cord injuries and for human embryonic stem cell research, founding the Christopher Reeve Foundation and co-founding the Reeve-Irvine Research Center.