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Posted: August 09, 2018

’Superman’s’ Margot Kidder’s cause of death announced

What You Need To Know: Margot Kidder

By Natalie Dreier, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

Fans now know what killed actress Margot Kidder. 

The Park County Coroner’s office ruled the “Superman” star’s death a suicide, The Associated Press reported

Kidder was found by a friend in her home in Montana in May.

Her manager, Camilla Fluxman Pines, said Kidder died peacefully in her sleep.

But Coroner Richard Wood said that Kidder, 69, “died as a result of a self-inflicted drug and alcohol overdose.” 

He said via a statement that no other information would be released.

>> Read more trending news 

Maggie McGuane, Kidder’s daughter, told the AP that she knew her mother died by suicide. 

“It’s a big relief that the truth is out there,” McGuane told the AP. “It’s important to be open and honest so there’s not a cloud of shame in dealing with this.”

Kidder was one of several recent suicides by well-known celebrities this year. Others include celebrity chief Anthony Bourdain and fashion designer Kate Spade.

Kidder was said to have struggled with metal illness for many years. The AP reported that it was made worse in 1990 after a car accident left her in debt and eventually led her to use a wheelchair for nearly two years.

She had also been diagnosed with bipolar disorder. A manic episode in 1996 left her homeless for a period of time, People magazine reported.

Kidder’s career stretched from the late 1960s through 2017, but she was most known for the four “Superman” films between 1978 and 1987, in which she portrayed Lois Lane, she also appeared in “The Amityville Horror” in 1979. Recently, she appeared on “R.L. Stine’s the Haunted Hour.”

Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images
FILE PHOTO: Actress Margot Kidder signs autographs at Comic Con International July 14, 2005 in San Diego, California. The cause of death for Kidder, who died in May, was released after being declared a suicide.


'Superman' star Margot Kidder dead at 69

Margaret Ruth "Margot" Kidder, who rose to fame for her portrayal of Lois Lane in the "Superman" film series, died Sunday, according to a Montana funeral home. She was 69.

>> Read more trending news

Kidder lived in Livingston, Montana, according to the Franzen-Davis Funeral Home & Crematory. Funeral arrangements were pending Monday.

Her cause of death was not immediately known, according to TMZ. The celebrity news site was the first to report on Kidder’s death Monday.

Kidder rose to fame in 1978 while starring in the first of a series of Superman films opposite Christopher Reeve. She appeared in three subsequent installments of the series from 1980 to 1987.

The Canadian-born actress appeared in dozens of films during her career, including 1974's "Black Christmas" and 1979's "The Amityville Horror."

Despite her success, Kidder was homeless for a brief time in the 1990s as she dealt with mental health issues. After a highly publicized breakdown in 1996, she told PEOPLE magazine that she had been diagnosed with manic depression.

“It’s very hard to convince a manic person that there is anything wrong with them,” Kidder told the magazine at the time. “You have no desire to sleep. You are full of ideas.”

Kidder was also an outspoken activist who supported liberal causes. According to The Guardian, she was an active member of the “peace movement” for years. She was arrested in 2011 during a protest in Washington of an oil pipeline, CBC News reported.

Kidder is survived by her daughter, Maggie McGuane, according to PEOPLE.

Fans and friends took to social media to mourn Kidder:

Photos: Notable deaths 2018

Keith Srakocic/AP

Photos: Notable deaths 2018

  Ken Berry of 'F Troop,' 'Mama's Family' dead at 85, reports say
  Stephen Hillenburg, creator of 'SpongeBob SquarePants,' dead at 57
  Bernardo Bertolucci, 'Last Tango in Paris' director, dead at 77
  Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen has died at 65 from cancer
  Pro golfer Bruce Lietzke dies of brain cancer
  Actress Pamela Gidley, of ‘Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me,’ dead at 52
  Fashion designer Kate Spade dies
  Burning Man co-founder Larry Harvey dies 
  Musician Charles Neville of The Neville Brothers dead at 79
  ‘Full Metal Jacket’ actor R. Lee Ermey dead at 74
  ‘M*A*S*H’ actor David Ogden Stiers dead at 75
  'Mini-Me' actor Verne Troyer dead at 49
  Country music personality Hazel Smith has died at the age of 83
  Stephen Hawking dead at 76: Celebrities, public figures, scientists pay tribute
  Renowned physicist and professor Stephen Hawking dead at 76
  Tower Records founder Russ Solomon dies drinking whiskey, complaining about Oscars
  Former NBA player Rasual Butler, wife killed in car crash
  Moody Blues co-founder Ray Thomas dead at 76
  Blues, R&B singer Denise LaSalle dead at 78
  Motorhead guitarist Fast Eddie Clarke dead at 67
  Legendary sportscaster Keith Jackson dead at 89
  Cranberries singer Dolores O’Riordan dead at 46
  ‘Oh Happy Day’ singer Edwin Hawkins dead at 74
  Jim Rodford, bassist for The Kinks, dead at 76
  John Coleman, The Weather Channel founder, dead at 83
  Colts linebacker Edwin Jackson killed by drunk driver, police say
  Elizabeth Sung, ‘Joy Luck Club,’ ‘Young and the Restless’ star, dies
  Matt ‘Guitar’ Murphy, Blues Brothers guitarist, dead at 88
  'Pawn Stars' patriarch Richard Harrison, known as 'Old Man,' dead at 77
  Former WWE star Matt Cappotelli dies of cancer at 38
  Charlotte Rae, ‘Diff’rent Strokes,’ ‘Facts of Life’ house mother, dead at 92
  Aretha Franklin dies at 76
  'Sweet Home Alabama' co-writer and Lynyrd Skynyrd guitarist Ed King dies at 68
  Robin Leach, 'Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous’ host and celebrity columnist, dead at 76
  Actor Bill Daily of 'I Dream of Jeannie' dies at at 91
  Rapper Mac Miller dead at 26
  Former Jaguars lineman Vince Manuwai dead at 38
  Comic book legend and Marvel co-creator Stan Lee dead at 95

What is bipolar disorder; what are the symptoms; where to get help

While it is a disorder that affects an estimated 2 percent of the world’s population, bipolar disorder is one of the most difficult diseases for those who don’t suffer from it to understand.

Marked by soaring highs and crushing lows, the disorder causes sometimes wild spikes in energy and activity levels, making it difficult to carry out everyday activities. 

The disorder is so widespread, that World Bipolar Day, a day set aside to raise awareness of the disorder and erase the stigmatism of mental illness, is observed in September. The observance falls on the anniversary of the birth of Vincent Van Gogh. It is believed the famous painter suffered from the disorder.

Here’s a look at bipolar disorder, the symptoms and where you can get help.

What is it?

Bipolar disorder is a psychological disorder characterized by “manic” episodes, either preceding or following a time of a major  depression. Manic episodes are defined as experiencing a period of at least 1 week where you have “an elevated, expansive or unusually irritable mood, as well as notably persistent goal-directed activity,” according to

What are the types of bipolar disorder?

WebMD describes the types of bipolar disorders this way:  

Bipolar I

A person affected by bipolar I disorder has had at least one manic episode in his or her life. A manic episode is a period of abnormally elevated mood, accompanied by abnormal behavior that disrupts life.

Bipolar II

Bipolar II is similar to bipolar I disorder, with moods cycling between high and low over time. However, in bipolar II disorder, the "up" moods never reach full-on mania.

Rapid Cycling

In rapid cycling, a person with bipolar disorder experiences four or more episodes of mania or depression in one year. About 10 percent to 20 percent of people with bipolar disorder have rapid cycling.

Mixed Bipolar

In most forms of bipolar disorder, moods alternate between elevated and depressed over time. But with mixed bipolar disorder, a person experiences both mania and depression simultaneously or in rapid sequence.


Cyclothymia (cyclothymic disorder) is a relatively mild mood disorder. People with cyclothymic disorder have milder symptoms than in full-blown bipolar disorder.

What are the symptoms?

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, here are the symptoms of bipolar disorder.  

The depression phase

Symptoms of a depressive episode may include:

• No interest in activities you once enjoyed

• Loss of energy

• Difficulty sleeping—either sleeping too much or not at all

• Changes in appetite—eating too much or too little

• Difficulty concentrating, remembering, or making decisions

• Thoughts of death or suicide

The manic phase

Symptoms of a manic episode may include:

• Feelings of euphoria, abnormal excitement, or elevated mood

• Talking very rapidly or excessively

• Needing less sleep than normal, yet still having plenty of energy

• Feeling agitated, irritable, hyper, or easily distracted

• Engaging in risky behavior such as lavish spending, impulsive sexual encounters, or ill-advised business decision

What resources are available?

Click here for a link to resources for patients via the International Society for Bipolar Disorders.

When to get emergency help

Suicidal thoughts and behavior are common among people with bipolar disorder. If you think you may hurt yourself and need help, call 911, or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (800-273-8255) to reach a trained counselor. 

Use that same number and press 1 to reach the Veterans Crisis Line. 


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