Actor Margot Kidder died on Sunday at the age of 69 from unspecified causes. The star of popular ‘70s horror films like Black Christmas and The Amityville Horror, she is best known for her iconic role as Lois Lane in the Superman film series of the 1970s and ‘80s alongside Superman star Christopher Reeve, where she defined the role of the Daily Planet’s ace reporter for a generation.
One of the most popular and bankable female stars for nearly two decades, Kidder struggled with bipolar disorder and homelessness after a public breakdown in 1996. In 2006, after 10 years without a depressive or manic episode, she urged people to have more empathy for those struggling with mental illness. “We are all, each and every one of you in this place, a breath away from mental illness, homelessness, all of these things we tend to so look down on... We are all one human family and we really have to take care of each other.”
Kidder was also an outspoken political activist for anti-war and environmental causes, speaking out against the Iraq War and even getting arrested in 2011 during a protest of the Keystone XL pipeline in Washington, DC. Although born in Canada, she became a US citizen in 2005 in order to vote in American elections and avoid potential deportation for her participation in protests.
Her later career focused on independent films, though she also performed in The Vagina Monologues on Broadway, guest-starred on Smallville and The L Word, starred in Rob Zombie’s Halloween II and won an Emmy (Outstanding Performer in Children’s Programming) in 2015. She died at her home in Livingston, Montana and is survived by her daughter, Maggie McGuane.