Everybody knows Lois Lane: Superman’s love, kickass journalist. She’s a humanitarian, an activist, and an icon. Portraying her character is no easy task. Today, we are paying our respects to one of the best Lois Lanes in history, Margot Kidder. With that, we also mourn the loss of another legend. The final blow? To lose her the same way we lost Anthony Bourdain, Kate Spade and many more. Indeed, regret does come last and boy, does it make one’s heart bleed.
Superman’s Lois Lane
Margot Kidder set the bar high. Her portrayal of Lois Lane in the Superman movies, alongside Christopher Reeve, ensured her rise to fame. Her rise to fame is a product of her hard work. She’s a legend herself, going back to the industry after taking a break from acting. Kidder’s Lois Lane is liberated, witty and pragmatic. A specific idea by the directors that she just does so naturally. She conveys the general American concept so well. She embodies the pretty, pert and perky, intelligent and ambitious-without-being-pushy Lois Lane. It’s no surprise she got the role, even with other actresses auditioning for it.
Margot Kidder, Behind the Character
She’s more than just a pretty face, not a vase nor a fake. Margot Kidder is human. She lived, she loved, she struggled. With amazing feats in fighting for democratic and liberal causes, she also advocated for mental health. She was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder. In addition to that, she also suffered partial paralysis after a car accident. A publicized 1996 manic episode was triggered by the loss of an autobiography she was working on at that time due to a computer virus.
Her life was never an easy one.
Rather than give up on life, Margot Kidder lived with it to the fullest extent.
Death by Suicide
On May 13, 2018, Margot Kidder was found unresponsive in her house in Montana by a friend. Her manager, Camilla Fluxman Pines, said she died peacefully in her sleep. Park County Coroner Richard Wood proved otherwise.
“Margot Kidder died as a result of a self-inflicted drug and alcohol overdose.”
No other details were given nor will further detail be released.
Her daughter Maggie McGuane told the Associated Press that she knew the reason for her mother’s death the moment the authorities took her to Kidder’s home, located in Livingston.
“It’s a very unique sort of grief and pain…Knowing how many families in this state go through this, I wish that I could reach out to each one of them.”
McGuane also acknowledged the high rates of suicide in Montana and like her mother before, urged others who suffer from a mental illness to seek help.
Final Years and Legacy
Kidder’s final years were riddled with hardship. For one, her house was constantly robbed, trespassed and disturbed. That is between August 2016 to the year of her death. With these repeated issues, it is troubling that the authorities could not put a halt to it. The calls, released under a public-records request by the Associated Press, also includes five ambulance responses in seven months.
A longtime friend and the unfortunate soul who found Kidder’s body, Joan Kesich tells us of a woman, one we all knew and will always love.
“In her last months, she was herself — same kind of love, same kind of energy. The challenges that she had were very public. I want what I know about her to be out there because it was glorious. She was really a blazing energy.”
Fearless and spoke the truth no matter the consequence, those are Kesich’s words on Kidder.
Margot Kidder died of suicide. In a time wherein suicide is a problem, mental health must be prioritized. To honor the warriors, to save its sufferers, and to save our failing society. Let us not define Kidder’s death by suicide as her giving up. Celebrate her life, look back on her iconic roles with a smile and appreciate everything she has done in all of her years.
Goodbye, Lois Lane. May you rest in peace, free of the illness that plagued you for many years. Thank you for giving us more than just a character. A pure soul, a good person. RIP Margot Kidder.
Note: To those suffering from a mental illness, or experiencing symptoms: seek help. Why? Because YOU MATTER.