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Tributes poured for "Superman"
www.chinaview.cn 2004-10-12 09:26:39

    LOS ANGELES, Oct. 11 (Xinhuanet) -- Tributes poured in Monday for Christopher Reeve, who starred in four "Superman" movies and made a more lasting mark fighting for the disabled after a horse-riding accident left him paralyzed.

    In Hollywood, fans who stopped by Reeve's Walk of Fame star to remember the entertainer and activist, who died Sunday of heart failure in New York at age 52, left behind candles, flowers and Superman figures.

    "His incredible courage, his refusal to surrender to this tragedy has been just inspiring to everybody," film critic Leonard Maltin told CBS News.

    Gene Hackman, who appeared with Reeve in three "Superman" movies, said Reeve better "demonstrated courage, strength and dedication to others" than any others. "The only fitting memorial is to be inspired in our own efforts by this remarkable hero," he said.

    Reeve was left paralyzed from the neck down in 1995 when he was thrown from a horse while competing in an equestrian event in Culpepper, Va. His top two cervical vertebrae were broken and he suffered other spinal injuries.

    He channeled the energy that led him to excel in physical activity into his advocacy for the physically disabled, founding the New Jersey-based Christopher Reeve Paralysis Foundation and using his star power to raise more than 40 million dollars for research.

    Politicians also mourned the death of Reeve, calling him a truehero. Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry, in a statement released while on the campaign trail in Santa Fe, New Mexico, said Reeve "was truly America's hero."

    Kerry, who called Reeve "a friend," said he was "deeply saddened to learn of his death." He had hailed Reeve's advocacy for stem cell research during last Friday's presidential debate.

    President Bush, campaigning in Colorado, said in a statement that Reeve was an example of "personal courage, optimism and ... determination."

    Bush noted that Reeve was "greatly admired by millions of Americans," but made no mention of an issue that divided the two men -- embryonic stem cell research that the actor championed and the president opposes.

    Doctor Wise Young of Rutgers University recalled that Reeve contacted him soon after the accident and showed his resolve to make a difference.

    "He is remarkable," Young said. "Within six weeks after his injury,he was already thinking about how to transform the field --what he can do to change this sentence he has been given."

    In his 1998 book, "Still Me," Reeve recalled that when he felt like giving up, he was buoyed by wife, who told him, "I want you to know that I'll be with you for the long haul. No matter what, you are still you, and I love you."

    Reeve was determined to walk again. Assisted by aides and a battery of specialized equipment, he exercised rigorously to keep his muscles toned.

    Jane Seymour, Reeves' co-star in the 1980 film "Somewhere in Time," noted how he "never gave up. He told me, 'so many of us able bodied people' are paralyzed in our own lives. He was not."

    In a speech at the Academy Awards ceremony one year after his accident, he electrified his movie colleagues and viewers around the world with a stirring plea for more films that address social problems.

    Reeve had also continued to work at his craft, receiving an Emmy nomination in 1997 for directing the HBO made-for-television movie "In the Gloaming"and returning to acting in a remake of "Rear Window" the following year. Enditem¡¡

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