Christopher Reeve, ‘Superman,’ Celebrates What Would Have Marked His 69th Birthday in Google Doodle

Countless actors have worn the cape as Superman over the years. One of the most enduring actors to play the Man of Steel remains the late Christopher Reeve. The Google Doodle celebrates the Christopher Reeve Superman on what would have been his 69th birthday.

Robin Williams with Christopher Reeve 'Superman,' honored in the September 25 Google Doodle
Robin Williams smooches Christopher Reeve, with Dana and Will Reeve | Richard Corkery/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images

The Christopher Reeve ‘Superman’ films

An exhaustive search to play Clark Kent/Superman came with Richard Donner’s Superman films. The director considered both Robert Redford and Burt Reynolds for the role. However, Reeve won the right to wear the cape.

In a time before special effects, every muscle on the Man of Steel had to be authentic. Reeve bulked up with a rigid exercise routine.

“He was fantastic. He was a very lovely person,” Prowse said of Reeve. “We were like brothers; we got along so well together. And during the course of the period I had him, I took him from 170 pounds when we started, and he was 212 [pounds] when he went into the suit,” His trainer, David Prowse, said via Hollywood Reporter noted in a previous interview with Heat Vision

Packing over 40 lbs of muscle for the role, the Christopher Reeve Superman made a huge splash on the Superman canon. Then, starring in three sequels, Reeve served as the Man of Steel for nearly a whole decade.

Even the next Superman actor, Brandon Routh, saw his selection partly due to his resemblance to Reeve.

September 25, 2021, would have marked Reeve’s 69th birthday

Outside of the 1978 Superman, the infamous Christopher Reeve accident saw the Man of Steel actor receive a major injury.

Reeve enjoyed equestrianism. However, an accident saw him thrown from a horse, landing on his head, paralyzing him from the neck down.

After coming to grips with his injury, Reeve then turned to activism. Serving as an advocate for people with disabilities, he proved himself a different kind of Superman.

September 25’s Google Doodle honors this aspect on what would have marked Reeve’s 69th birthday.

Google Doodles replace the search engine’s logo for a day, recognizing everything from holidays to famous birthdays and deaths. The Christopher Reeve Superman doodle recognizes his activism by portraying the actor in his wheelchair as a Superman swoop writes Google in the sky behind him.

The Christopher Reeve Superman Google Doodle is hugely appreciated by his family

Highlighting a blog post from Google, ComicBook.com reported their discussion on his activism.

“He focused on efforts to directly improve the quality of life for people with disabilities by distributing millions in individual grants through his foundation and serving on the boards of various disability organizations with this aim,” the blog post read.

The Reeve family saw the Christopher Reeve Superman Google Doodle and responded very warmly to the recognition.

“While the world first knew him for his starring role in the 1978 film Superman, it was his courage and humanity following the accident that left him paralyzed that touched so many people around the globe,” the family said.

Celebrating his life on and off the screen, Reeve took his situation and turned it for the better, improving thousands of lives through his programs and activism.

“Our dream is that his message of hope and optimism, of pushing to achieve goals considered impossible,” the Reeve family said.

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