Dana Reeve, who fought for better treatments and possible cures for paralysis through the Christopher Reeve Foundation, named for her late actor-husband, died Monday in New York of lung cancer. She was 44.
“We are extremely saddened by the death of Dana Reeve, whose grace and courage under the most difficult of circumstances was a source of comfort and inspiration to all of us,” Kathy Lewis, president and CEO of the foundation, said in a statement.
Reeve, an actress, won worldwide admiration for her support of her husband, the one-time Hollywood “Superman” turned activist for spinal cord research after a horse-riding accident in 1996.
She served as chairwoman of the Christopher Reeve Foundation and founded the Christopher and Dana Reeve Paralysis Resource Center.
Christopher Reeve died in 2004. In August, Dana Reeve announced she had been diagnosed with lung cancer. She said she had never smoked.
She said in November that said she was able to keep her spirits up because she “had a great model. … I was married to a man who never gave up.”
She has appeared on Broadway, off-Broadway and regional stages and on the TV shows “Law & Order,” “Oz,” and “All My Children.”
She is survived by a son, two stepchildren, two sisters and her father.