Superman actress Margot Kidder dies at age 69

Actress Margot Kidder at the Superman movie reunion at the Warner Bros. museum in Burbank, California, US on May 1, 2001.
Actress Margot Kidder at the Superman movie reunion at the Warner Bros. museum in Burbank, California, US on May 1, 2001.PHOTO: REUTERS

LOS ANGELES (REUTERS) - Actress Margot Kidder, best known for playing Lois Lane in the Superman films in the 1970s and 1980s, has died at the age of 69, a funeral home in Montana said on Monday (May 14).

The Franzen-Davis Funeral Home in Livingston, Montana said on its website that Kidder passed away on Sunday (May 13) at her home in the town.

The cause of death was not immediately known.

Canadian-born Kidder also appeared in the movie The Great Waldo Pepper and the 2014 children's TV series R.L. Stine's The Haunting Hour, for which she won an Emmy award.

Kidder shot to fame playing the intrepid reporter Lois Lane in 1978's Superman, opposite Christopher Reeve. She reprised the role again in Superman II (1980), Superman III (1983) and Superman IV: The Quest for Peace (1987).

She was unable to work for two years after a serious car crash in 1990, and eventually became bankrupt. Six year later, she suffered a mental health breakdown and in a highly publicised episode, she disappeared for four days and spent time as a homeless person.

She was later diagnosed with bipolar disorder. 

After her breakdown, acting work dried up for several years, but Kidder later re-emerged with a guest starring role in TV shows like Smallville and The L Word and on stage including a 2002 Broadway production of The Vagina Monologues. 

She also was a prominent political activist, campaigning against the Gulf War, energy fracking and in support of Democrat Bernie Sanders in the 2016 US presidential election.  Kidder became an American citizen in 2005. 

She was married three times, including a six-day union in 1979 with actor John Heard.