Actress Margot Kidder’s death has been ruled a suicide. The actress, who shot to stardom as Lois Lane opposite Christopher Reeve in the Superman movies beginning with the original in 1978 through 1987’s Superman IV: The Quest for Peace.
Following her May 13 death, Kidder’s manager, Camilla Fluxman Pines, said that she died peacefully at home in her sleep. However, a statement released Wednesday by Park County coroner Richard Wood said the 69-year-old Kidder “died as a result of a self-inflicted drug and alcohol overdose.” He also said that no further details would be released.
In a phone interview with the Associated Press, Kidder’s daughter Maggie McGuane said that she knew her mother died by suicide the moment authorities took her to Kidder’s home in Livingston, Montana. She said,
It’s a big relief that the truth is out there. It’s important to be open and honest so there’s not a cloud of shame in dealing with this.
Kidder struggled with mental illness for much of her life. Things became worse following a 1990 car accident that left her in debt and using a wheelchair for almost two years. Because of her own experiences, she was also an advocate for mental health and particularly supported orthomolecular medicine. In April 1996, she experienced a very public manic episode after a computer virus caused her to lose three years’ worth of drafts of her autobiography. She went missing for four days before being discovered in a Los Angeles homeowners’ backyard.
Kidder is survived by her daughter, Maggie and her two children.