Christopher Reeve's Son Inherited His 'Superman' Dad's Chiseled Good Looks

Oct 22, 2021 by apost team

It's not unusual to find kids that are the spitting image of one of their parents. It's fairly common, especially in the limelight of Hollywood celebrities. Some of the most well-known lookalikes of their parents are Reese Witherspoon's daughter, Ava Philippe, who looks like her mother's mirror image, and Chrissy Teigen's daughter, Luna, who is a clone of how her daddy looked when he was a baby. We love seeing these resemblances, especially ones that show us that genes can be magical. 

This magical genetic link is also seen between the esteemed late Christopher Reeve and his son William Reeve. The enigmatic Christoper is best remembered for his iconic role as Superman in the titular 1978 movie Superman. Christopher's chiseled looks and incredible acting led him to continue this role in the three sequels that followed. 

His success in the Superman franchise gave him a great leg up in the movie industry, but the actor concentrated on taking on roles that were complex and meaningful instead of cashing in his fame for every movie that came his way.

After appearing in more critically acclaimed movies through the 80s and 90s, Christopher's acting career was abruptly cut short after a tragic accident during an equestrian competition. This accident left a 42-year-old Christopher a quadriplegic for the rest of his life. 

However, through the support of his wife and family, Christopher returned to creative pursuits in his life and started a foundation that helped others with similar injuries and funded agencies that could find a cure for paralysis. His life, though successful, was filled with difficulties and challenges that he overcome time and again. 

Christopher Reeve (1978), (Hulton-Deutsch/Hulton-Deutsch Collection/Corbis/Getty Images)

Christopher Reeve was born in New York City to parents F.D Reeve and Barbera Pitney Reeve. He grew up in Princeton, New Jersey, where he discovered his passion for acting and theater when he was just 9 years old after he was cast in an amateur version of the operetta "The Yeomen of the Guard" at his school, the Princeton Country Day School. This interest became stronger when he was 15 years old after he spent a summer as an apprentice at Williamstown Theatre Festival.

He was quite sure he wanted to pursue acting right after he graduated high school and planned to live in New York City to find a career in theater, but under the insistence of his mother, applied to college. He attended Cornell University where he joined the theater department and immersed himself in everything it had to offer. In fact, Christopher was "discovered" in his freshman year when he received a letter from the high-powered New York City agent who Stark Hesseltine, who at the time represented actors such as Richard ChamberlainMichael Douglas, and Susan Sarandon.

However, both Hesseltine and his parents encouraged him to continue with his college education instead of giving into acting full time. He was able to audition for several projects but could only choose to work on the ones that ran during his summer break. In his third year of college, Cristopher took a 3-month leave of absence and traveled to Glasgow, where he saw many theatrical performances that inspired and taught him about acting, as well as Paris, where he completely immersed himself into the culture.

Christopher Reeve (1986), (Peter Carrette Archive/Getty Images)

After he returned to the United States, Christopher chose to focus solely on acting and planned to attend Juilliard in New York City rather than stay in Cornell. He auditioned for Juilliard's acting program, which was extremely competitive with over 2,000 students vying for the 20 seats that were offered for freshmen. Christopher and Robin Williams were the only ones selected to be in the Juilliard Advanced Program. Both Williams and Christopher developed a close friendship during their time together. 

After finding moderate success with theater and a stint on the soap opera Love of Life, Christopher was told to audition for an upcoming big-budget film Superman. He easily bagged this role and it went on to become his most iconic portrayal throughout his career. He even won the BAFTA award for Most Promising Male Newcomer for this performance. His portrayal of Superman was so well received he went on to make three sequels: Superman II in 1980, Superman III in 1983, and Superman IV: The Quest for Peace in 1987. He also appeared in other films including The Remains of the Day and The Bostonians.

His role as Superman was, in many ways, the catalyst that set his career path ablaze with the success that followed him until the end of his life. "Well, the decision to play Superman was probably the most courageous career decision that I made because, at that time in 1976, the idea of a Superman film was laughable to many people," he told Starlog magazine in 1987 as per Comics Bulletin

Christopher Reeve (1991), (Jim Smeal/Ron Galella Collection/Getty Images)

"So the challenge was to turn around their expectations. I remember feeling that the odds were very much against trying to pull off that first movie. But I also believed that by working together, we would be able to make a character out of this, and make it romantic rather than macho—make it funny rather than pompous or one-dimensional. People were really thinking it would be a joke. I think that converting the people who laughed at the idea was quite an achievement. I was doing well in theatre at the time, so to go into films as Superman was a pretty bold choice," he added

While his success with his role as Superman remained with him throughout his life, it also pushed Christopher to redefine himself and get out of the shadow that came with the immense success. "Right after Superman opened it was difficult for me to accept the hero worship that came at me. And I immediately made choices of material that, in a way, gave everybody the finger.

My actions were meant to tell the public, 'Don’t look up to me. Don’t think of me as a hero,'" Christopher told Interview Magazine in 1986. 

He continued, saying, "It was almost necessary for me at the time to play characters who were gay, crippled, psychotic, neurotic, killers, whatever...That is what was going on in my head at the time. I have to admit that I was a particularly ungraceful and unsympathetic person at the time." 

It isn't easy always being pigeonholed into one single role, and Christopher took it upon himself to show his audience that he was more than a superman when it came to his acting.

Christopher Reeve (1998), (Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection/Getty Images)

However, no one could have foreseen the accident that would completely turn Christopher and his family's life upside down. On May 27, 1995, Christopher was involved in an equestrian accident that broke his neck, leaving him paralyzed from the neck down. He also couldn't breathe without a ventilator for the rest of his life. This accident left him in deep shock and intense grief for a long time. However, he emerged from it more determined to use his power to make a difference. 

In an interview with Ability Magazine, Christopher said, "Who knows why an accident happens? The key is what do you do afterwards.

There is a period of shock and then grieving with confusion and loss. After that, you have two choices. One is to stare out the window and gradually disintegrate. And the other is to mobilize and use all your resources, whatever they may be, to do something positive. That is the road I have taken. It comes naturally to me. I am a competitive person and right now I am competing against decay. I don’t want osteoporosis or muscle atrophy or depression to beat me"

After his accident, he immersed himself in activism and began the Christopher Reeve Foundation, later renamed as the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation, which helped others who were afflicted with paralysis due to spinal cord injury and other neurological disorders. Christopher passed away in 2004, at the young age of 52 from an infection that spread from a bedsore, according to 'People.' His wife, Dana, headed the foundation until her untimely death in 2006 due to lung cancer at the age of 44.

Dana Reeve, Christopher Reeve (1998), (Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection/Getty Images)

This left their son, Will, without parents. Willam Reeve is the youngest son of Christopher. Christopher had three children in total: a son Matthew Reeve, and daughter, Alexandra Reeve with Gae Exton, and William with actress Dana Morosini

Will has stayed out of the Hollywood spotlight, choosing not to follow in his father's footsteps. In recent years, he has been working on his education and starting to build a career in the sports news arena. Recently, however, he made a public appearance that brought him back into the spotlight, and people noticed how much Will resembles his Dad, sharing many of his famous good looks. Will and Christopher aren't twins, but there's no denying their similarities, especially that chiseled jawline.

On November 16, 2017, Will made an appearance at the annual fundraising gala for the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation. Dressed to kill, Will looked much like his dad. He posed on the red carpet along with Matthew and Alexandra, his older half-siblings.

“I think his legacy is never going to go away and think that is a responsibility that I feel, to carry his and my mother’s legacy on for the rest of my life and hopefully beyond that,” Will told 'People' about his work with the foundation. “I think that the foundation is one way, one tangible way, that his legacy and my mom’s legacy will always live on. And I think the way that I, and my siblings, live our lives is another way. And I think that his impact is felt by the millions of lives that he touched.”

Will Reeve, Christopher Reeve, Dana Reeve (2001), (Theo Wargo/WireImage/Getty Images)

Even though Will had two famous parents, he reiterates that he had a normal upbringing. About his parents, he told People, "They were the people who told me to turn off the TV, to eat my broccoli, to go to bed.” He was only 3 years old when Christopher had his accident, but stated that his role as a father came first before anything else. 

"The fact that he was paralyzed did present its own set of challenges because we couldn’t be spontaneous," Will said. "That could be difficult, but my parents did such a good job of staying true to their values that I never felt deprived of a normal childhood, even though my experiences, at face value, were inherently different from other children my age."

Will and his father shared a love of sports. It was a major part of their lives, whether they were playing it, watching it, or talking about it. "We shared a very deep bond in general, but sports was definitely a major component of our family bond," Will said. In fact, Christopher watched one of Will's hockey games on the day he passed away. 

After both Dana and Christopher passed away, People reports that Will went to live with a childhood friend. Even though Will had two older half-siblings, Dana wanted their son to remain in the community in which he had grown up and she made arrangements for him to stay there after she passed away. Even though Will lost both of his parents within 17 months of each other, he keeps their memory alive by continuing the the work with their foundation even today. 

Will Reeve (2009), (Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for The Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation)

Will's career pays tribute to the bond he and his father shared around sports. He attended Middlebury College, eventually interning at Good Morning America reports People, where he ended up working as a production assistant before graduation. Will eventually landed a job on ESPN's SportsCenter after graduation and joined them in 2014 as a contributor. 

Along with his half-siblings, Will continues to honor their father's memory and legacy by simply "living life." 

"We try to celebrate him and my mom everyday in the way we live our lives, the choices we make and the people we associate with. We were raised well, and we were raised correctly, in my opinion, and I think my dad – our dad – would trust us to make the right decisions and to pursue our passions and to stand up for what we believe in, certainly tonight. This is a cause we believe in with every fiber of our being."

The foundation also continues to try and find a cure for spinal cord injuries and provide care for patients who are affected by paralysis. "I understand how important their story is to so many people, and, of course, it’s important to me and my family," added Will. 

"My dad was obsessed with finding a cure for spinal cord injury so that he might walk again; he truly believed that he would. That is what sustained him," Will said in 2016. However, for Will, like so many other kids, he has one aim: "I hope I make my parents proud. I try to do that every day and like to think they would be," he added. 

What do you think about the resemblance between Christopher Reeve and his son? Let us know your thoughts, and be sure to share this story with your friends to show them how amazing genetics can be sometimes! 

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