Advice from a Superhero

Heard on Campus | “If you get dealt a wrong hand, you can actually make something out of it,” Christopher Reeve told an audience in Irvine Auditorium on March 30. The actor was quick to warn: “You don’t need to break your neck to learn these lessons.”

Reeve, best known for his leading role in the 1978 version of Superman and its sequels, was paralyzed after he fell from his horse during an equestrian competition in 1995. Since then he has lobbied for handicapped and disabled persons, particularly those with central-nervous-system disabilities. He also has continued his work in the arts, making his directing debut in 1997 with the acclaimed HBO movie The Gloaming and writing a best-selling autobiography, Still Me.

In his lecture, sponsored by Penn Connaissance, Reeve criticized the values of contemporary popular culture, the sensationalism of the media, and corporate scandals. He singled out such television shows as The Apprentice —“simply about Donald Trump’s greed”—and Extreme Makeover. “In the absence of good role models, he noted, “[social] change must come from within you.”

Talking about his accident, Reeve said, “It was the end of my life as I knew it, but it was an opportunity to dig deeper inside than I had in 42 years.”

—Patrick Brugh C’05

2004 The Pennsylvania Gazette
Last modified 07/01/04


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