Today in history: Christopher Reeve passes away at the age of 52

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Today in History For October 10th

On this day in 2004, actor Christopher Reeve passed away from cardiac arrest.

The "Superman" legend, who died in 2004 at the age of 52, was not only an icon on the screen, but also a force in the world of spinal cord injury treatment, having suffered an injury himself back in 1995.

Reeve first rose to fame 37 years ago when he starred in the hit film, "Superman: The Movie." Yes, there had been men various men who strapped on the cape, but it was something about Reeves' magnetic, and alluring performance for which all future Supermen would be judged.

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The 1978 Superman film went to the then unknown actor, whom many see as the ultimate Superman figure. However, starring alongside the likes of Gene Hackman and Marlon Brando, it's safe to say the film was a success.

Christopher Reeve
The Superman film series was probably the most notable of the eighties, having spawned "Superman 2," "Superman III" and "Superman IV." While starring in a variety of other roles, it seemed as though Reeve couldn't shy away from the big "S" on his chest.

However, Reeve's life came to sudden halt after a horse riding accident in May of 1995. When he was riding, his horse didn't make it's mark to jump. When the horse abruptly stopped, Reeve fell off and landed on his handed, causing him to become paralyzed from the neck down.

It was this accident that would define many, but for Superman, it didn't stop him. He was confident in making the most of his life and became a spokesman for the spinal cord injuries. What better person to look up to than Superman?

It's safe to say that Christopher Reeve will always be legend, both in the sky and on the ground.

See more from Christopher Reeve in the gallery below.

21 PHOTOS
Christopher Reeve iconic images
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Today in history: Christopher Reeve passes away at the age of 52
24-year-old American actor Christopher Reeve plays the comic-book hero as he mends a broken railway track in a scene from the film 'Superman'. (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)
American film actor Christopher Reeve, in his role as comic-book hero Superman. (Photo by Central Press/Getty Images)
Christopher Reeve posing for shot; circa 1970; New York. (Photo by Art Zelin/Getty Images)
24-year-old American actor Christopher Reeve plays the hero's mild-mannered alter ego Clark Kent, in the film 'Superman'. (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - CIRCA 1978: The Actor Christopher Reeve Dressed As Superman To Promote His First Film On The Comic Book Superhero, In New York In 1978. (Photo by Keystone-France/Gamma-Keystone via Getty Images)
American actor Christoper Reeve (1952 - 2004), best known for his role as Superman, 1st December 1978. (Photo by Jones/Evening Standard/Getty Images)
Headshot of actor Christopher Reeve as Superman in a scene from the film, 'Superman,' 1978. (Photo by Warner Bros. Pictures/Getty Images)
Christopher Reeve during 'Private Benjamin' New York City Premiere at Ziegfield Theater in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)
Margot Kidder watches as Christopher Reeve pours her a glass of champagne in a scene from the film 'Superman II', 1980. (Photo by Warner Brothers/Getty Images)
1980: American actor Christopher Reeve in a Universal Pictures promotional photograph for the film 'Somewhere In Time' (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)
Gae Exton and Christopher Reeve during Photo Exhibit by John Denver at Hammer Galleries in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by Ron Galella/WireImage)
Christopher Reeve as Clark Kent in scene from the film 'Superman III', 1983. (Photo by Warner Brothers/Getty Images)
Christopher Reeve as Superman using his super human powers in scene from the film 'Superman III', 1983. (Photo by Warner Brothers/Getty Images)
Gae Exton and Christopher Reeve during Christopher Reeve and Gae Exton Sighting at Spago's - July 21, 1984 at Spago's in Hollywood, California, United States. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)
American actor Christopher Reeve (1952 - 2004), best known for his role as comicbook hero Superman, 1986. (Photo by Larry Ellis/Larry Ellis Collection/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
American actor Christopher Reeve (1952 - 2004), best known for his role as comicbook hero Superman, 1986. (Photo by Larry Ellis Collection/Getty Images)
CIRCA 1987: Actors Gene Hackman and Christopher Reeve in a scene from the Warner Bros. movie 'Superman IV: The Quest for Peace' circa 1987. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
Portrait of Christopher ReevePhoto: Frank Micelotta/Getty Images*** SPECIAL RATES APPLY ***
Christopher Reeve and Dana Reeve at the Neil Simon Theater in New York City, NY (Photo by Ron Galella/WireImage)
Actor Christopher Reeve poses in 1990. (AP Photo/Akili Ramsess)
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