Birth Name: Christopher D’Olier Reeve
Date of Birth: September 25, 1952
Place of Birth: New York City, New York, U.S.
Date of Death: October 10, 2004
Place of Death: Mount Kisco, New York, U.S.
Ethnicity: English, small amounts of Irish, Welsh, Scottish, Scots-Irish/Northern Irish, and German, remote French
Christopher Reeve was an American actor, writer, director, producer, and activist. He is known for playing Superman in four films starring the character, from 1978 to 1987. He also featured in the films Gray Lady Down, Somewhere in Time, Deathtrap, Monsignor, The Bostonians, The Aviator (1985), Street Smart, Switching Channels, Noises Off, Morning Glory (1993), The Remains of the Day, Speechless, and John Carpenter’s Village of the Damned; in the made-for-tv movies Anna Karenina (1985), The Great Escape II: The Untold Story, The Sea Wolf (1993), Black Fox, Above Suspicion (1995), and Rear Window (1998); and on the show Smallville. He directed the made-for-tv movie In the Gloaming and co-directed the animated film Everyone’s Hero. He was an activist for the environment, human rights, artistic expression, and spinal injury research.
Christopher was the son of Barbara Pitney (Lamb), a journalist, and F. D. Reeve (Franklin D’Olier Reeve), a teacher, novelist, poet, and scholar. He was from a prominent family, with many notable antecedents and relatives. He was descended from two U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justices, as a great-grandson of Mahlon Pitney and a four times great-grandson of Henry Baldwin. Christopher was raised in Princeton, New Jersey. He was married to actress, singer, and activist Dana Reeve, until his death. He was paralyzed after a 1995 accident. Christopher and his wife co-founded the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation, seeking treatments for paralysis and better health coverage for people with disabilities. He had two children, including British producer, director, screenwriter, and activist Matthew Reeve, with his former partner Gae Exton; and a son with Dana. His nephew by marriage is actor James Morosini.
Much of Christopher’s ancestry was English, and his family tree includes American-born forebears as far back as the 1600s, including the children of Mayflower passengers. One of Christopher’s paternal great-great-grandfathers, William D’Olier, was from Ireland, and Christopher also had some other Irish, as well as Welsh, Scottish, Scots-Irish/Northern Irish, and German, ancestry elsewhere in his background.
Christopher’s paternal grandfather was Richard Henry Reeve (the son of Augustus Henry Reeve and Margaretta/Margareta Willis Baldwin). Christopher’s grandfather Richard was born in New Jersey, and was the CEO of insurance company Prudential Financial. Augustus was the son of Richard Henry Reeve and Sarah Wyatt Carpenter. Margaretta was the daughter of Henry Baldwin III and Katherine Irving “Kate” Dayton. Henry’s grandfathers were Henry Baldwin, who was a Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Pennsylvania, from March 4, 1817 to May 8, 1822, and an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, from January 18, 1830 to April 21, 1844; and William Dickson, who was a Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Tennessee, from March 4, 1801 to March 3, 1807, and after whom Dickson County, Tennessee, is named.
Christopher’s paternal grandmother was Anne Conrad D’Olier (the daughter of Franklin Woolman D’Olier and Helen Roberts Kitchen). Anne was born in New Jersey. Christopher’s great-grandfather Franklin was a prominent businessperson, and the first national commander of veterans’ organization the American Legion. Franklin was the son of William D’Olier, who was born in Ireland, and of Annie Kay Woolman. Helen was the daughter of Theodore Kitchen, a banker and railroad executive, and of Mary Bingham Roberts.
Christopher’s maternal grandfather was Horace Rand Lamb (the son of Bert Israel Lamb and Harriet “Hattie” Davis). Horace was born in Ohio. Bert was the son of Charles Christian Lamb and Elizabeth Annette Russell/Mann. Harriet was the daughter of Ira Thomas Davis and Eunice Ann Woolsey.
Christopher’s maternal grandmother was Beatrice Louise Pitney (the daughter of Mahlon Pitney and Florence Theodora Shelton). Beatrice was born in Morristown, Morris, New Jersey. Christopher’s great-grandfather Mahlon was an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, from March 13, 1912 to December 31, 1922, and, as a member of the Republican Party, was a Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from New Jersey, from March 4, 1895 to January 10, 1899. Mahlon was the son of Henry Cooper Pitney and Sarah Louise/Louisa Halsted. Christopher’s great-grandmother Florence was the daughter of William Henry Shelton and Charlotte Johns Kirtland.
Genealogy of Christopher Reeve (focusing on his mother’s side) – http://www.wikitree.com
Christopher’s maternal grandmother, Beatrice Louise Pitney, on the 1920 U.S. Census – https://www.familysearch.org