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Dana Reeve
Born Dana Charles Morosini
March 17, 1961(1961-03-17)
Teaneck, New Jersey, U.S.
Died March 6, 2006 (aged 44)
New York City, New York, U.S.
Occupation Actress, singer, activist
Years active 1990–2006
Spouse(s) Christopher Reeve (1992–2004, his death)

Dana Reeve (March 17, 1961 – March 6, 2006) was an American actress, singer, and activist for disability causes. She was also the wife of actor Christopher Reeve.

Contents

Early life and family

Reeve was born Dana Charles Morosini in Teaneck, New Jersey to Charles Morosini, a cardiologist, and Helen Simpson Morosini, who died in 2005.[1]

She grew up in the town of Greenburgh, New York, where she graduated from Edgemont High School in 1979.[2] She graduated cum laude in English Literature from Middlebury College in Vermont in 1984.

She spent the junior year of her studies at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London. She later pursued additional graduate studies in acting at the California Institute of the Arts. She and her husband received honorary Doctorates of Humane Letters from Middlebury in 2004.

She married actor Christopher Reeve in Williamstown, Massachusetts in April 1992, and they had one child, William Elliot "Will" Reeve, born on June 7, 1992, whom they raised in Pound Ridge, New York.

Dana Reeve loved to ride horses. In 2005, she told Larry King: "I rode my whole life, and after Chris had his accident, I stopped riding, primarily because he loved it so much, and I think it really would have been painful for him if I was going off riding and he wasn't able to. And it didn't mean that much to me to drop."[3]

Show business career

Her many singing and acting credits included appearances on television, where she had guest roles on Law & Order: Criminal Intent, soap operas All My Children as Eva Stroupe and Loving, among others. She performed at theatres on Broadway, off-Broadway, and at numerous regional theatres. Reeve also did a long-running commercial for Tide laundry detergent that aired during the 1990s.

In 2000, she co-hosted a live daily talk show for women on the Lifetime Network with Deborah Roberts called Lifetime Live and also wrote a brief column for the defunct AccessLife.com These articles can be found at the Christopher Reeve Homepage.[4] She sang the title song on the soundtrack of the HBO drama, In the Gloaming directed by her husband. Reeve also had another cameo in her husband's movie The Brooke Ellison Story as a teacher.

She also authored the book, Care Packages: Letters to Christopher Reeve from Strangers and Other Friends.[5] In 2004, she was performing in the Broadway-bound play Brooklyn Boy at South Coast Repertory in Costa Mesa, California when she had to rush home to reach her husband's bedside after he went into cardiac arrest and a coma. In April 2005, it was also announced that she signed a seven-figure book deal[6] with Penguin Books to write about her relationship with her famous husband. It is not known how far Reeve got with writing the book before she died or even if it is still coming out at its scheduled release.

The children's book Dewey Doo-it Helps Owlie Fly Again: A Musical Storybook Inspired by Christopher Reeve was published in 2005 and included an audio to accompany the book with Mandy Patinkin reading the story as well as Reeve and Bernadette Peters singing.[7]

On February 2, 2005, eight days before the death of her mother Helen, Reeve attended President George W. Bush's State of the Union address seated in the Capitol gallery in Washington, D.C. as the guest of Congressman Jim Langevin (D-RI).[8]

Several months before her death, Reeve taped the PBS documentary The New Medicine focusing on the growing trend in medical care combining holistic and traditional treatment. The program premiered after her death, on March 29, 2006. She also worked on the computer animated movie Everyone's Hero, a project with the working title Yankee Irving when her husband was the director at the time of his death. The movie was released on September 15, 2006, and is dedicated to both her and Christopher Reeve.

Illness and death

On August 9, 2005 Reeve announced that, although she had never smoked cigarettes, she had been diagnosed with lung cancer. Reeve chose to disclose her illness after The National Enquirer announced that it planned to make the information public.

In 2005, Reeve received the "Mother of the Year Award" from the American Cancer Society for her dedication and determination in raising her son after the loss of her husband. In her final public appearances, Reeve stated that the tumor had responded to therapy and was shrinking. She appeared at Madison Square Garden on January 12, 2006, to sing in honor of New York Rangers hockey player Mark Messier, whose number was retired that evening. On the night that she died, instead of having a live performer sing the national anthem at Madison Square Garden prior to the Rangers' game, a recording of Dana Reeve singing was played.

Reeve died on March 6, 2006, eleven days before her 45th birthday[9], at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City. She is survived by her son, her father, her two sisters and her late husband's two grown children.

Episode 16 of the fifth season of Smallville is dedicated to her and the film Superman Returns is dedicated to both her and Christopher.

Filmography

References

  1. ^ New York Times (2005-02-15). "Paid Notice: Deaths MOROSINI, HELEN SIMPSON". Press release. http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9804E3DA123AF936A25751C0A9639C8B63. 
  2. ^ Aiello, Tony (2006-03-07). "Dana Reeve's Death Hits Home In Westchester: Remembered As Ultimate Role Model For Youths". WCBS-TV New York. http://wcbstv.com/topstories/local_story_066170127.html. 
  3. ^ CNN.com (2005-02-22). "CNN LARRY KING LIVE Interview With Christopher Reeve's Widow, Dana". Press release. http://cnnstudentnews.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0502/22/lkl.01.html. 
  4. ^ Reeve, Dana (2000). "AccessLife.com Column". Christopher Reeve Homepage. http://www.chrisreevehomepage.com/accesslife-danareeve.html. 
  5. ^ Reeve, Dana (1999). "Care Packages : Letters to Christopher Reeve from Strangers and Other Friends". Amazon.com. http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0375500766. 
  6. ^ My USTINET News (2005-04-04). "Reeve's Widow To Write About Married Life". Press release. http://news.usti.net/home/news/cn/?/living.movies/2/wed/ab/Uus-reeve.RzxH_FA4.html. 
  7. ^ Wenger, Brahm (2005). "Dewey Doo-it Helps Owlie Fly Again: A Musical Storybook Inspired by Christopher Reeve". Amazon.com. http://www.amazon.com/Dewey-Doo-Helps-Owlie-Again/dp/0974514314. 
  8. ^ Langevin (2005-02-01). "DANA REEVE TO ATTEND STATE OF THE UNION AS LANGEVIN'S GUEST: Langevin Invites Widow of Christopher Reeve, Staunch Advocate of Stem Cell Research, to Attend Presidential Address". Press release. http://www.house.gov/apps/list/press/ri02_langevin/pr020105danareeve.html. 
  9. ^ Morosini, MD, Deborah (sister of Reeve) (Summer, 2007). "A Hole in the World: Dana Reeve's death revealed the other face of lung cancer.". CURE (Cancer Updates, Research and Education). http://www.curetoday.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/article.show/id/2/article_id/284. 

External links

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Quotes

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Dana Reeve (17 March 19616 March 2006), born Dana Morosini, was an American actress, singer, and social activist and wife of Christopher Reeve.

Sourced

  • We have become accustomed to living our life with joy amidst pain and challenges
    • Access Hollywood Interview (May 2005)
  • You have to celebrate the gifts because life is so hard and I think once you realize life's gonna be hard, the good stuff really comes forward.
    • Access Hollywood Interview (May 2005)

Middlebury College Address (2004)

Commencement Address, Middlebury College
 (23 May 2004)
  • It’s amazing how clean your room can get when you have an assignment due. I considered the possibility of just telling a bunch of jokes and leaving the inspiring to my husband, because he’s very good at that. But, I’m not going to do that.
  • My job here today, our job, is to tell you the one thing you can count on. The one thing I can guarantee you can expect in life is that you will experience the thoroughly unexpected.
  • John Lennon wrote a line that I’m sure has been used in many commencement addresses. “Life is what happens to you while you’re making other plans.” ... There is really no way of knowing where your life’s journey will take you. I never would have predicted the fabric of my life would have evolved into the rich, complex design I enjoy and am challenged by daily. My work, the achievements for which I am receiving such a great honor here today, my purpose in life, have been born out of a set of unplanned circumstances, in large part, but not completely, circumstances beyond my control. I never anticipated being a caregiver for my spouse at the age of 34. I don’t think I ever dreamt I would help run a foundation that raises money for biomedical research and people with disabilities.
  • I was trained as an actress, but as much as I love that work when I can get it, it is not my acting work for which I’m generally known. It is not my chosen career path that ultimately defines me, but rather an unfamiliar, unexpected path that has presented itself. To quote another group from my youth, “what a long, strange trip it’s been,” and I won’t have it any other way.
    Life continues to surprise and delight me, even when I think I know what I want from it. I knew I wanted to be a mother, for example, but, and I’m sure your parents can relate to this, I had no idea how much fun I would have nor how much I would learn about life and myself from my child and stepchildren.
  • There will be many choices before you, some of which you’ll welcome and celebrate, and then there will be some over which you will anguish. Some choices will choose you. How you face these choices, these turns in the road, with what kind of attitude, more than the choices themselves, is what will define the context of your life.
  • Be brave. Be open-minded. Be kind. Be forgiving. Be generous. Be optimistic. Be grateful for the many unexpected lessons you will learn. Find the joy inside the hardship. It’s there. I assure you. And, too, be open to inspiration from unlikely sources.
  • A Buddhist saying, which I think captures perfectly the idea that life is a series of opportunities arising out of unforeseen circumstances: Unceasing change turns the wheel of life, and so reality is shown in all its many forms.
    Now for those of you who have stayed up all night in advance of today’s activities, it may take a while for the deep wisdom of that idea to fully resonate, but once it creeps into your consciousness, and, as you continue your life’s journey from this day forth, I think the remarkable truth of this statement will surprise and amaze you and possibly even serve as a source of comfort at some point.
  • I know that you’ve heard this before ad nauseam, but twenty years do go by at lightning speed, and that is my first pearl of wisdom. And, now, the others in this pocket pack of precepts to live by...
    Take care of yourself and be caring with others. Nurture a sense of gratitude, and be grateful for a sense of humor. Be sure to thank your parents and mentors for all they’ve given you, but give love to your future children and mentees freely without any expectation of thanks in return. Look for ways to let your light shine, but don’t be afraid occasionally to be in the dark. Strive to make your behavior above reproach, but be careful not to cast judgment on others whose behavior may reflect a different form of reality. The more you give, the richer you will become. Let your life be enhanced by the company you keep.

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