Still Me Essay - Critical Essays

Christopher Reeve

Still Me

Christopher Reeve became interested in horseback riding while playing a cavalry officer in the film version of ANNA KARENINA (1985). He had always been enthusiastic about sports, sailing, and all outdoor activities. Characteristically, he studied riding and jumping zealously under professionals. Then on Memorial Day, 1995, his horse balked at a jump and Reeve broke the top two vertebrae on his spinal column. When he recovered consciousness he was totally paralyzed. He wanted to die. The only thing that saved him from total depression and irreversible physical decline was the love of his devoted wife Dana, who changed his outlook with three simple words: “You’re still you.”

STILL ME is packed with photographs of Reeve as a quadriplegic and with friends and relatives during happier days. The chapters dealing with his physical and psychological recovery are interwoven with his complete autobiography. From childhood he wanted to be an actor. He appeared in many New York stage productions before and after Hollywood discovered him. He was lucky enough to make a fortune playing Superman; he needed every cent to pay for the surgery, therapy, and around-the-clock nursing he still receives. He has used his celebrity status to start a second career. Despite his severe handicap, Reeve crisscrosses the nation lecturing as the leading advocate for the disabled.

A postscript states that with sensation returning along his spine, Reeves is considered a prime candidate for the first human trials in nerve regeneration, with chances for “significant recovery” from paralysis.

Sources for Further Study

Houston Chronicle. May 31, 1998, p. Z23.

Los Angeles Times Book Review. June 28, 1998, p. 10.

New Scientist. June 13, 1998, p. 44.

The New York Times Book Review. CIII, June 14, 1998, p. 20.

Publishers Weekly. CCXLV, May 4, 1998, p. 200.

WE Magazine. July, 1998, p. 81.