, the widow of Christopher Reeve
and herself a noted actress, has passed away at the age of 44 after losing her battle with lung cancer. Reeve, who was not a smoker, died late Monday at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Medical Center in White Plains, NY.
Reeve, who was born in New York as Dana Morosini, succeeded her husband as the head of the chair of the Christopher Reeve
Foundation. She had given up some of her own acting career after her husband's injury in a riding accident to raise awareness of spinal cord injuries, as well as to raise funds for medical research. The two married in 1992; Dana Reeve
was working at the Williamstown Theatre Festival at the time she met the Superman
star. Christopher Reeve
died on October 10th, 2004.
After graduating cum laude from Middlebury College and earning an M.F.A. in acting at the California Institute of the Arts, Reeve made a name for herself as a respected stage actress; she appeared on Broaday in More to Love,
as well as in numerous off-Broadway plays and regionally at the Yale Repertory Theater, Joseph Papp's Public Theatre, Manhattan Theatre Club, Ensemble Studio Theatre, the New Jersey Shakespeare Festival and the Williamstown Theatre Festival (where her husband had frequently performed). She also served on the boards of the latter two theatres. Roger Rees
, the current artistic director of the Williamstown Theatre Festival said of Reeve: "Giving tirelessly and joyously to a life in art, Dana Reeve
way through our Festival from lowly apprentice to international star.
Her life is everything we at the Williamstown Theatre Festival believe
in. Dana met her husband, Christopher, at the Festival. From
Williamstown they went on to be loved by everyone, in and out of the
business. Whenever she was needed, Dana was always there for
Williamstown. We mourn her loss, of course, but let us celebrate, too,
this vibrant, optimistic, beautiful and thrillingly talented actress."
Reeve also created a role in Donald Marguiles' Brooklyn Boy
at the South Coast Rep but gave up her chance to do the play on Broadway in order to spend time with her dying husband.
Her many TV credits included "Law and Order," "All My Children," "Loving," "Feds," and co-hosting Lifetime Television's "Lifetime Live." She also starred in the HBO films "Above Suspicion" and, "Somebody Had to Be Benny." Also successful as a singer, she can be heard singing the title song on the soundtrack of the Cable Ace Award-winning HBO drama "In the Gloaming," which was directed by Christopher Reeve
In addition to chairing the Christopher Reeve
Foundation, Dana Reeve
founded the Christopher and Dana Reeve
Paralysis Resource Center. She volunteered for The American Paralysis Foundation and The Reeve-Irvine Center for Spinal Cord Research, and also served on the boards of Word T.E.A.M. Sports and The National Family Caregivers Association. Reeve was also involved with the environmental organization Renew America.
The Reeves had one son together--Will--while Dana Reeve
became the stepmother of Matthew and Alexandra.
Reeve is survived by her son and stepchildren as well as her father, Dr. Charles Morosini, sisters Deborah
Morosini and Adrienne Morosini Heilman; the family has requested privacy. While plans for a funeral have not yet been announced, donations in Reeve's memory can be made to the
Foundation (636 Morris Turnpike, Short Hills, New
Jersey 07078), which is also online at www.ChristopherReeve.org
.Photo Supplied by Retna Ltd.