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Margot Kidder

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Basic Information

Margot Kidder

Date of Birth: 17 October 1948
Place of Birth: Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, Canada
Birth Name: Margaret Ruth Kidder
Height: 5' 6½" (1.69 m)


Margaret Ruth "Margot" Kidder (born October 17, 1948) is a Canadian-American actress, best known for playing Lois Lane in the Superman movies starring Christopher Reeve.

Early life

Kidder, one of five children, was born in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, Canada, the daughter of Jill (née Wilson), a history teacher, and Kendall Kidder, an explosives expert and mining engineer. She was born in Yellowknife because of her father's job, which required the family to live in remote locations. She has a sister, Annie, and three brothers, John, Michael and Peter. Kidder's niece, Janet Kidder, is also an actress.


In the late 1960s, Kidder was based in Toronto. She appeared in a number of TV drama series for the CBC, including guest appearances on Wojeck, Adventures in Rainbow Country, and a semi-regular role as a young reporter on McQueen. Later, she made an appearance as a barmaid in Nichols, a short-lived James Garner vehicle made for American television, and she was a guest star in a 1972 episode of the George Peppard detective series Banacek.

She appeared in a number of low-budget Canadian movies in the late 1960s (The Best Damn Fiddler from Calabogie to Kaladar being her first feature) and early 1970s before going on to star in the Brian de Palma psychological thriller Sisters (1973) and the horror film Black Christmas (1974).

A nude pictorial of Kidder, photographed by Douglas Kirkland, was published in the March 1975 issue of Playboy. The accompanying article was written by her as a condition of appearing; she said, "I don't want someone writing, 'Margot Kidder has more curves than the Pacific Coast Highway' under my picture."

Superman film series

Kidder is best known for her role as Lois Lane in the 1978 film Superman: The Movie and its sequels. She publicly disagreed with the decision of producers Alexander Salkind and Ilya Salkind to replace Richard Donner as director of 1980's Superman II. As a result, Kidder's role in 1983's Superman III consisted of less than five minutes of footage. Her role in 1987's unsuccessful Superman IV: The Quest for Peace was more substantial.

In 2004, Kidder briefly returned to the Superman franchise in two episodes of the television program Smallville, as Dr. Bridgette Crosby, an emissary of Dr. Swann (played by her Superman co-star, Christopher Reeve). (Many other actors from the Christopher Reeve Superman films have had small roles on Smallville.)

Other film and television roles

In addition to the Superman movies, Kidder has starred in The Amityville Horror, Willie & Phil, Some Kind of Hero with her Superman III co-star Richard Pryor, and The Great Waldo Pepper opposite Robert Redford. She has also made uncredited cameo appearances in Maverick and Delirious.

In 1970, Kidder co-starred as Zazel Pierce opposite Gene Wilder as Quackser Fortune in Quackser Fortune Has a Cousin in the Bronx. In 1979, she hosted season 4, episode 15 of the American sketch comedy TV show Saturday Night Live. In 1983, she produced and starred as Eliza Doolittle in a TV version of Pygmalion with Peter O'Toole.

In 1990, Kidder appeared in introductions for the Discovery Channel's "Best of the BBC" series of repackaged documentaries, among them Making of a Continent. From 1993–1996, she was the voice of the character Gaia in Captain Planet and the Planeteers.

In 2000, Kidder played Eileen Canboro in Apocalypse III: Tribulation, a Christian film dealing with Christian eschatology and the Rapture. Kidder stated afterwards that she didn't realize until she was on the set that the movie was serious.

In 2001, she played a guest role as the child-abusing mother of a serial killer in "Pique", an episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. Also in 2001, she was featured in the Family Guy episode "Mr. Saturday Knight." In a flashback of previous dinner guests, she is shown sitting down eating dinner with Lois and Peter. Lois compliments her on her performance as Lois Lane in the Superman movies. Kidder promptly screams, tears up the house and jumps through the window, a reference to her manic episode in 1996. She is shown twice more in a manic state, on the second occasion coming back because she forgot her purse.

In 2004, Kidder made an appearance on Robson Arms, a Canadian sitcom set in an apartment block in Vancouver's west end. She played a quirky neighbor of the main cast members. She also had a cameo in Rich Hall's Election Special on BBC Four. In 2006, Kidder played a guest role as Jenny Schecter's mother Sandy Ziskin on The L Word. In 2007, Kidder began appearing on the television series Brothers and Sisters, playing Emily Craft. She played Barbara Collier, Laurie Strode's therapist, in the sequel to Halloween (2007) titled, Halloween II, released in 2009. She played Sally Cima, the mother of protagonist Greg Cima, a high school football player, in the film Windrunner. She took a prominent role as an embattled guidance counselor named Dorothy Fisher in the 2008 gay-themed mystery film On the Other Hand, Death.

Other appearances

In 1994, Kidder played the bartender at the Broken Skull Tavern in Under a Killing Moon, an IBM PC adventure game.

She has also done extensive stage work, including The Vagina Monologues.

Personal life

In the past, Kidder dated former Canadian prime minister Pierre Trudeau and director Brian DePalma. She has been married and divorced three times: American novelist Thomas McGuane, with whom she had her only child, daughter Maggie (born October 28, 1976); actor John Heard and to French film director Philippe de Broca. None of the marriages lasted longer than a year. Since her divorce from De Broca, she has said that she prefers the companionship of her dogs. She has two grandchildren, Mazie and Charlie Kirn, from her daughter's marriage to the novelist Walter Kirn.

Kidder actively supported Jesse Jackson's bid for the Democratic nomination in 1984.

In the early 1990s, during the first Gulf War, Kidder was branded a "Baghdad Betty" by some in the media and subjected to abuse for remarks she had made that questioned the war.

As of November 2009, Kidder was the Montana State Coordinator for Progressive Democrats of America. The organization's website carried her article "Ax Max", in which Max Baucus, Montana's moderate Democratic Senator, was the target of criticism.

Kidder was involved in a serious car crash in 1990, after which she was unable to work for two years, causing her serious financial problems.

Kidder has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, which led to a widely-publicized manic episode in 1996; she was found in undergrowth by Los Angeles police in a distressed state with bashed in teeth and was later placed in psychiatric care. Kidder refers to her condition as "my monsters".


Kidder became a United States citizen on August 17, 2005, in Butte, Montana; she lives in nearby Livingston. She said the reason for her decision to become an American citizen is to participate in the voting process, to continue her protests against US intervention in Iraq, and at the same time to be free of worries about being deported.


  • Was in a serious car crash in 1990 and couldn't work for two years. She went bankrupt.
  • Dated Pierre Trudeau.
  • Daughter, Maggie, with first husband (b. 1976).
  • Found by police in a distressed state, hiding in someone's garden claiming she'd been stalked and attacked. Had apparently cut her hair off with a razor blade. Placed in psychiatric care. Police said there was nothing to support her story. [24 April 1996]
  • Best known as Superman's favorite person, Lois Lane. Her much publicized behavior in 1996 was due to manic depression. She was living in a state of paranoia, convinced that her first husband was trying to kill her. Kidder soon lived as one of the homeless. She narrowly escaped being raped, and wandered about the streets of Los Angeles (barely recognizable after cutting her hair off and removing some of her dental work) before hiding underneath a family's porch that was located near the studio where Superman (1978) was filmed. Fortunately, her life is back on track after having faced the "demons" of her condition.
  • On Aug 25, 2002, she suffered a broken pelvis near Belfast, Maine, when her GMC Yukon hit a raised pavement and rolled over several times. She had just come from hosting the 15-Minute Festival, a series of original plays staged at the National Theatre Workshop of the Handicapped. She was on her way to Montreal at the time of the accident. Kidder's friend, David Stuckey, said that the actress won't require surgery but will remain for several days at Waldo County General Hospital in Belfast. Stuckey said Kidder was in a lot of pain. "But she's in good spirits," he said. "She's OK."
  • Aunt of actress Janet Kidder. They both appeared in the same episode ("Walk on By") as Nikita's mother Roberta, young and old, in the TV series "La Femme Nikita" (1997).
  • Margot is of French-Canadian heritage.
  • Along with Christopher Reeve, Jackie Cooper, and Marc McClure, she is one of only four actors to appear in the first four Superman films: Superman (1978), Superman II (1980), Superman III (1983), and Superman IV: The Quest for Peace (1987).
  • Went to 11 schools in 12 years.
  • Shared a beach house in California with actress Jennifer Salt in the 1970s.
  • Although born in Yellowknife, the road that is named Lois Lane in Yellowknife is actually named after a long time Yellowknife resident Lois Little and not after her character in the movies.
  • After living in the US for 34 years, she became a US citizen so she can vote against George W. Bush as part of her protest against the war in Iraq. [August 2005]
  • Actively supported Jesse Jackson's presidential campaign in 1984.
  • Posed nude for the 1975 March issue of Playboy.