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
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¡¡