Kidder’s publicist, Camilla Fluxman Pines, confirmed that the actress had passed away in her sleep at home on Sunday.
Originally hailing from Yellowknife, Canada, Margot Kidder got her start in low-budget local films and television shows, before finding her big break alongside legendary comedic actor Gene Wilder in 1970’s Quackser Fortune Has a Cousin in the Bronx. She later starred with Robert Redford in 1975’s The Great Waldo Pepper, and had a leading role in 1979’s original The Amityville Horror.
But she is best remembered for her portrayal of the independent, determined reporter Lois Lane, from Richard Donner’s Superman and its three sequels – where alongside the inimitable Christopher Reeve as Clark Kent / Superman she helped define the most iconic romance in comic book history on the big screen.
Kidder suffered with bipolar disorder for much of her adult life, and was rendered homeless in 1996 after a very public nervous breakdown. She admirably bounced back in the 2000’s, however, acting in TV shows such as Smallville and The L Word.
She was married and divorced three times, first to novelist Thomas McGuane in 1975 whom she had a child with – Maggie McGuane, in 1976. Kidder and Thomas divorced in 1977. She then married actor John Heard in 1979 for six days, before divorcing him. Finally, she married French film director Phillippe de Broac in 1983, divorcing him a year later. Following the collapse of her third marriage, Margot later went on to say she preferred the companionship of dogs.
Kidder was an impassioned activist for political issues, and was an outspoken socialist-leaning liberal who was even arrested at the White House in 2011 for protesting the construction of an oil pipeline from Alberta to Texas that would have disrupted Native American land. She was a staunch detractor of the Iraq War, and tirelessly campaigned for the environment, peace, and equal rights.
Margot Kidder leaves behind a daughter and two grandchildren. She will be sorely missed.