Livingston, Montana, USA: Superman actress Margot Kidder’s death has been ruled a suicide, and her daughter said Wednesday it’s a relief to finally have the truth out.
Kidder, who played Lois Lane opposite Christopher Reeve’s Superman in her most famous role, was found by a friend in her Montana home on May 13.
At the time, Kidder’s manager, Camilla Fluxman Pines, said Kidder died peacefully in her sleep.
A statement released Wednesday by Park County coroner Richard Wood said she “died as a result of a self-inflicted drug and alcohol overdose” and that no further details would be released.
Maggie McGuane, Kidder’s daughter by her ex-husband Thomas McGuane, told AP that she knew her mother died by suicide the moment authorities took her to Kidder’s home in Livingston, a small town near Yellowstone National Park.
“It’s a big relief that the truth is out there,” she said. “It’s important to be open and honest so there’s not a cloud of shame in dealing with this.”
Kidder’s death is one of several high-profile suicides this year that include celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain and fashion designer Kate Spade.
McGuane noted that Montana has one of the highest suicide rates in the nation and she urged people with mental illness to seek help.
“It’s a very unique sort of grief and pain,” McGuane said. “Knowing how many families in this state go through this, I wish that I could reach out to each one of them.”
Kidder struggled with mental illness much of her life, and it was made worse by a 1990 car accident that left her in debt and led to her using a wheelchair for almost two years.
Kidder and Reeve starred in four Superman movies between 1978 and 1987. She also appeared in The Great Waldo Pepper with Robert Redford in 1975, Brian De Palma’s Sisters in 1973 and The Amityville Horror in 1979.
She later appeared in small films and television shows until 2017, including R.L. Stine’s the Haunting Hour. She received a Daytime Emmy Award as outstanding performer in a kids’ series in 2015 for that role.
Kidder, a native of Yellowknife, was also a political activist who was arrested in 2011 in a Washington, D.C., protest over the proposed Keystone XL pipeline.
Her final years were troubled by conflicts with people who were down on their luck that she took into her home. Between August 2016 and her death in May, authorities were called to her house 40 times on reports of people trespassing, theft and other disturbances, according to police logs released to the AP under a public-records request.
The calls include responses by ambulances five times in seven months, including at the time of her death.
Joan Kesich, a longtime friend who found Kidder’s body, said Kidder was fearless and always spoke the truth, regardless of the consequences.
“In her last months, she was herself — same kind of love, same kind of energy,” Kesich said. “The challenges that she had were very public. I want what I know about her to be out there because it was glorious. She was really a blazing energy.”
EARLIER : Margot Kidder, Superman’s Lois Lane, Dies At 69
Margot Kidder, best known for playing Lois Lane opposite Christopher Reeve in Superman movie franchise, has died at her home in Montana at 69, the Franzen-Davis Funeral Home in Livingston where she lived announced today. A cause of death has not yet been publicly released for Margot Kidder
“The actress and activist passed away on Sun., May 13, 2018 at her home,” the funeral home said.
Margaret Ruth Kidder was born in Canada and honed her acting skills on TV shows such as McQueen, Nichols, Banacek and Mod Squad before becoming a movie star.
Her acting career spanned decades, from TV series in the late 1960s to seven films in the past five years.
After landing a lead role in Brian de Palma’s Sisters in 1972, Kidder’s film career took off. It hit the stratosphere six years later, when she appeared as Lois Lane in the launching of the Superman film franchise. She went on to appear in three sequels over the next nine years.
Famous for her smoky voice and for portraying smart, indomitable characters, Kidder also struggled with addiction and bipolar disorder for much of her life. She suffered from a famous breakdown in 1996, when she disappeared for several days. When police found her in Glendale, Calif., she was hiding in the bushes behind a house.
After Kidder recovered from that incident, she became an advocate for mental health awareness.
Kidder went to take dozens of other acting jobs, from recurring roles on TV’s Boston Common in 1997 to 2009’s Halloween II.
For decades, Kidder had lived in a log cabin near Livingston. In addition to promoting mental health issues, she spoke publicly as an anti-war and environmental activist.