You've got me ... who's got you?
May 14, 2018 12:04 PM   Subscribe

Margot Kidder has died at age 69. Best known for portraying Lois Lane in the original Superman movies, she was also known for her breakdown in 1996 and struggle with bipolar. NYT obit. Celebrities react to her death. Pics through the years. Variety obit.
posted by Melismata (77 comments total) 18 users marked this as a favorite
 
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posted by Cash4Lead at 12:05 PM on May 14


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posted by Pendragon at 12:06 PM on May 14


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posted by Faint of Butt at 12:09 PM on May 14


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posted by octothorpe at 12:10 PM on May 14


Don't miss her legendary Random Roles interview with the AVClub from 2009:
The Amityville Horror (1979)—“Kathy Lutz”

MK: What a piece of shit! I couldn’t believe that anyone would take that seriously. I was laughing my whole way through it, much to the annoyance of Rod Steiger, who took the whole thing very seriously. At the time, my agent proposed sort of a “one for me, one for them” policy. That was one for them.

AVC: Yet it was a big hit, in part because it was supposedly based on a true story.

MK: It was the crazy Christians who made it a hit. They wanted people to believe in the devil and possessions and haunted houses and all that hooey.
posted by Atom Eyes at 12:14 PM on May 14 [60 favorites]


It's a testament to how good she is in Superman that the character becoming a parody of herself in Superman II is so embarrassing. And yet she still played the hell out of the role both times.
posted by Gelatin at 12:17 PM on May 14 [4 favorites]


Say hi to Chris for us.

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posted by ZeusHumms at 12:19 PM on May 14 [12 favorites]


From the SyFy ode:
We still have a long way to go before mental illness is normalized, before health issues stop being tabloid fodder or the subject of celebrity gossip. Even beyond illness, at times it feels like being a woman isn’t even normalized yet. How can we eliminate the stigma of health when we can’t even eliminate the stigma of just existing? But it is the experiences of women like Kidder, and characters like Lois Lane, that crack the walls a bit more for the rest of us so that we can openly share our stories without judgment, without being reduced to crazy, without losing our careers.

We can’t be Superman. But maybe we can be Lois—the Lois we deserve.
posted by ZeusHumms at 12:21 PM on May 14 [20 favorites]


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posted by suelac at 12:22 PM on May 14


Superman + Superman 2 have been on tv lately, so I’ve recently rewatched them and they are such lovely antidotes to the current movie iterations of the characters. Reeve and Kidder are both completely charming and the writing allows them to be so — it’s really refreshing after the boring grimdark cardboard-character reboots by Snyder.

I remember wondering recently why Kidder wasn’t a bigger star after those movies — or at least not in many more well-known movies. She was truly delightful.
posted by mrmurbles at 12:27 PM on May 14 [9 favorites]


I had no idea she was bipolar.

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posted by Thorzdad at 12:27 PM on May 14 [1 favorite]


From the AV Club interview posted above:
Superman (1978)—“Lois Lane”

MK: There you go. I’ll have that inscribed on my damn grave. I still get stopped for being Lois Lane, and I’m 60 and have two grandchildren. So it’s kind of weird.
and on Superman II:
MK: Well, that wasn’t a bit—the parts we went back and shot with Richard Lester weren’t as much fun, because we were all pissed off that Donner had been fired. You can see it in our faces, where the tension is just… [Loud, emphatic disgusted sound.] Did you see Donner’s version of Superman II? Go see it. It’s so much better. It’s breathtaking. It’s so good. We would have finished it, except for a couple of scenes. I mean, it’s a far superior movie. So them firing Donner was such a betrayal to this family we’d constructed, to the script, to the notion of how it was being filmed, which was with great love and verisimilitude. We all really believed in it. And then Richard Lester, who’s a wonderful director and a very witty, delightful, charming guy, did it all kind of tongue-in-cheek and making fun of it as he did it, because I think he was slightly embarrassed to be making—Brits! He’s a Brit, you know—to be making a movie of an American cartoon character. So it was snide. Also, the producers wanted it done cheaply and fast, so it was done cheaply and fast. Three cameras at once. So all the love kind of went out, and thus all the air out of the balloon. So we were not very happy campers. And boy, did you ever see it in our faces. And you can tell which scenes in that were shot by Donner, and which weren’t. But they just released, a couple years ago, Donner’s version, which is so superior, it’s breathtaking. Go look at it. Oh, I’m so wonderful, too. God, I was heartbreaking. I thought, “Fuck, Kidder, you could have had an Oscar nomination.” I’m so good in Donner’s version, and I’m so bad in Lester’s.

Anyways:

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posted by nubs at 12:32 PM on May 14 [29 favorites]


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So good in lots of stuff but the Lois Lane by which I measure the character is all Superman media
posted by MCMikeNamara at 12:33 PM on May 14 [2 favorites]


If you haven't seen her in Black Christmas, and you're a horror buff, now would be a good time.
posted by gurple at 12:33 PM on May 14 [8 favorites]



posted by bz at 12:34 PM on May 14


She deserved a lot more time.
posted by WCityMike at 12:37 PM on May 14 [8 favorites]


MK: seriously. I was laughing my whole way through it, much to the annoyance of Rod Steiger, who took the whole thing very seriously. At the time, my agent proposed sort of a “one for me, one for them” policy. That was one for them.

And yet, given her subsequent history, it's reasonable to suspect she may have been battling unkillable demons of her own even back then.

I don't know; I found her performance in the first Superman movie ... unnerving.
posted by jamjam at 12:39 PM on May 14


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posted by Fizz at 12:39 PM on May 14


You've got me ... who's got you?

I like to think this is exactly how she went to that other place. With Chris meeting her halfway. It just makes me feel better.
posted by Fizz at 12:46 PM on May 14 [10 favorites]


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posted by not_the_water at 12:46 PM on May 14


Geoff Barrow (of Portishead fame) tweeted this picture of Kidder today. Someone I read recently pointed out how well Superman succeeds not just as a superhero movie but as a screwball comedy, too. So much of that is due to Kidder. Margot Kidder: one of the good dead ones.
posted by octobersurprise at 12:46 PM on May 14 [6 favorites]


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I remember an article in the mid80s describing how she would put money in a jar for her daughter every time she cursed and had to explain to the kid that asinine wasn't a swear word.
posted by brujita at 12:49 PM on May 14 [11 favorites]


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posted by condour75 at 12:49 PM on May 14


The Amityville Horror (1979)......It was the crazy Christians who made it a hit. They wanted people to believe in the devil and possessions and haunted houses and all that hooey.


There was also widespread interest in the paranormal in the 70's in secular culture....The Bermuda Triangle, all that stuff.
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posted by thelonius at 12:53 PM on May 14


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posted by devonia at 12:56 PM on May 14


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posted by Secret Sparrow at 12:57 PM on May 14


Such a shame. I always loved that first Superman movie. I saw it in a mall theatre in Orlando Florida during a tornado when we were visiting my grandparents in 1978.
I met Margot and her daughter (or niece, I can't remember) in the late 80's when I was volunteering at the Canadian Film Centre and they had me doing yard work for a big industry party she was at.
Her sister Annie lives down the street from me and is a tireless advocate for public education here in Ontario.
posted by chococat at 12:59 PM on May 14 [5 favorites]


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posted by HiddenInput at 1:05 PM on May 14


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posted by GenjiandProust at 1:06 PM on May 14


When I was having a v. bad time, freshly post-highschool and directionless and wrestling with a lot of untreated mental biz, her breakdown and subsequent (so soon!) Barbara Walters interview happened and I got the *take your meds* message from someone I believed and understood.

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posted by Ennis Tennyone at 1:08 PM on May 14 [17 favorites]


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posted by haiku warrior at 1:10 PM on May 14


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posted by mochapickle at 1:13 PM on May 14


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posted by lazaruslong at 1:28 PM on May 14


Just last year, Mrs. Mosley and I went to a showing of "Superman" at the local indie theater that featured a Q&A with Kidder afterwords. Such an awesome lady. I'd like to think she and Carrie Fisher are palling around right now, maybe hosting some afterlife version of "The View".
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI at 1:34 PM on May 14 [19 favorites]


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posted by Splunge at 1:36 PM on May 14


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posted by popcassady at 1:39 PM on May 14 [1 favorite]


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posted by nicebookrack at 1:45 PM on May 14 [1 favorite]


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posted by faceplantingcheetah at 1:46 PM on May 14


@TomTaylorMade
Most will be sharing pictures of Margot Kidder as Lois Lane. Instead, I thought I'd share this. #MargotKidder, handcuffed and smiling, being arrested at the White House for peacefully sitting against the potential environmental destruction of the Keystone pipeline.
posted by popcassady at 1:55 PM on May 14 [32 favorites]


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posted by XMLicious at 2:11 PM on May 14


she was related to a good friend of mine, so I've heard stories over the years, pretty much all over the top.

One of my faves that I've never seen reported anywhere is the time she busted Charlton Heston's nose. I guess she was up for the female lead in one of those dodgy sci-fi epics the great orator was known for in the 1970s, and the final step was actually meeting him, seeing if they had chemistry. I guess they didn't. He said something chauvinist and disparaging. She pounded him.

She didn't get the role.



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posted by philip-random at 2:23 PM on May 14 [27 favorites]


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posted by dlugoczaj at 2:32 PM on May 14


In The Reincarnation of Peter Proud she plays the "Old Wife" who is supposed to be in her 50s. In real life she was 27, the same as the love interest, Jennifer O'Neill. The age gap was even worse in 1975 than it is now.
posted by olopua at 2:36 PM on May 14 [1 favorite]


She was the cover of the WET magazine "Food" issue, May, 1979.
posted by Rash at 2:41 PM on May 14


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posted by mikelieman at 2:46 PM on May 14


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posted by pjmoy at 3:02 PM on May 14


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posted by Silverstone at 3:07 PM on May 14


The flying sequence, aka "Can You Read My Mind?" from Superman. When I think of Margot Kidder, this is the first thing that comes to mind. Way back before all the "Comics aren't just for kids any more" articles, this was one of the more genuinely grown-up superhero moments, and it doesn't seem the least bit corny nearly forty years later.

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posted by Halloween Jack at 3:14 PM on May 14 [4 favorites]


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posted by dbiedny at 3:32 PM on May 14


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I agree with her on The Donner Cut. While I'll always have a soft spot for the theatrical release that she never had given that it's what I grew up with, the original vision was sooo much better. More better than the original Payback was relative to what eventually hit theaters.

Also, I have an undying love for her because she was willing to do Under A Killing Moon, which is a fun game despite the nearly cookie cutter pulp story. She and everyone else hit just the right balance of earnestness and self awareness that it worked very well.
posted by wierdo at 3:36 PM on May 14 [2 favorites]


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posted by Faintdreams at 3:41 PM on May 14


During the 1998 Democratic Convention, I served her a turkey club on whole wheat. She said I was a darling.

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posted by donpardo at 3:59 PM on May 14 [18 favorites]


One of those few actors who was always totally present in a role; she was always 100% real no matter what kind of nonsense was going on. I remember being so sad that she'd lost her way, or perhaps more accurately that other people simply let her wander off. 69 is a pretty good run overall, but I think a lot of those years could have been more fulfilling for her if she'd had access to better care.
posted by seanmpuckett at 3:59 PM on May 14 [1 favorite]


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posted by lapolla at 4:10 PM on May 14


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posted by camyram at 4:22 PM on May 14


Damn. Going to listen to the soft rock version of “Can You Read My Mind” tonight. (it exists)

“You’ve got me? Who’s got you?”

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posted by RobotVoodooPower at 4:29 PM on May 14


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posted by kinnakeet at 5:04 PM on May 14


I'd like to think she and Carrie Fisher are palling around right now, maybe hosting some afterlife version of "The View".

I would watch this show so much.

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posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 5:07 PM on May 14 [8 favorites]


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posted by SonInLawOfSam at 5:28 PM on May 14


You've got me ... who's got you?

I like to think this is exactly how she went to that other place. With Chris meeting her halfway. It just makes me feel better.


Instant head canon, thank you.

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posted by Celsius1414 at 5:36 PM on May 14 [1 favorite]


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posted by valkane at 6:01 PM on May 14


Junior year my high school got to watch Superman as the special assembly movie at the end of the year. Because of the "How big are you?" line, when we were seniors we got to watch The Apple Dumpling Gang as the special assembly movie at the end of the year.
posted by lagomorphius at 6:02 PM on May 14 [1 favorite]


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posted by runcifex at 6:29 PM on May 14


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posted by drezdn at 6:36 PM on May 14


She brought depth and nuance to a role that could have been very cheesy.

Rest in peace.
posted by tantrumthecat at 6:46 PM on May 14


You've got me ... who's got you?

I like to think this is exactly how she went to that other place. With Chris meeting her halfway. It just makes me feel better.

Celsius1414: Instant head canon, thank you.

I think I'd call this heart canon instead.
posted by tzikeh at 7:00 PM on May 14 [5 favorites]


Also, to see just how right she was for Lois Lane, check out these screen tests for the role: Anne Archer, Lesley Ann Warren, Debra Raffin, Margot Kidder, Stockard Channing, and Susan Blakely.
posted by tzikeh at 7:02 PM on May 14 [3 favorites]


Noel Neill is a nostalgic favorite, and Teri Hatcher had her moments occasionally, but Margot Kidder was the definitive screen portrayal of Lois Lane.

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posted by Nat "King" Cole Porter Wagoner at 7:18 PM on May 14 [3 favorites]


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posted by Ignorantsavage at 7:23 PM on May 14


The Amityville Horror (1979)—“Kathy Lutz”

MK: What a piece of shit


Just a footnote that this movie kicked off a remarkably resilient if largely unnoticed franchise. October last year saw the seventeenth Amityville movie, also the final release from the Weinstein Company: Amityville: The Awakening Total domestic box office gross: $742.00

If you have grasped the figures “seventeenth” and “seven hundred and forty-two” you have read correctly.

Anyway, Kidder was a delight in everything I ever saw her in, and had a tremendously winning chemistry with Chris Reeve. The Superman movies were the first time that a studio put real money and talent into a funnybook movie and while the quality dropped off the way many seventies franchises seemed to (consider the arc of the Jaws movies), I think without that gamble, we would not have had an overstuffed Infinity War recently. I wish I had seen her in more.

Safe home, MK.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 7:41 PM on May 14 [5 favorites]


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posted by dannyboybell at 8:43 PM on May 14


Amityville: The Awakening was, literally, in 10 theaters for 2 days and had, at time of release, been available for free on Google Play for two weeks. As much as that box office take is terrible, it's higher than I would have expected.
posted by hanov3r at 9:14 AM on May 15


Bit of a coincidence, Richard Donner was on the episode of 'Gilbert Gottfried's Amazing Colossal Podcast' that dropped yesterday. He did not mention Margot Kidder much, but did speak about 'Superman' and Christopher Reeve.
posted by evilelf at 10:45 AM on May 15


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posted by zaelic at 4:35 AM on May 16


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posted by hap_hazard at 10:20 AM on May 16


Why Superman star Margot Kidder was a real-life hero. The Lois Lane star, who died on Sunday aged 69, opened up on her struggles with mental health to our reporter in an interview in 2016.
posted by popcassady at 3:31 PM on May 17


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