That film was, of course, Superman the Movie starring Christopher Reeve. He was a young (and handsome) actor; fresh out of the theatre programs of Cornell and Julliard, with several Broadway plays under his belt. His only film role prior to Superman was a small part in Gray Lady Down (1978). Although he wasn't a comic book fan, he saw the Clark Kent/Superman dual role as a challenge for his acting abilities.
Reeve was the sort of man to stick with his principles. Following the success of Superman he was offered a number of action hero roles but he turned down many of them, saying that he couldn't act in a role that didn't feel right for him. He also trained regularly with horses (I was horse-mad at the time like many girls my age were), supported several causes related to the environment, and had political aspirations.
Then in 1995 came the news that during a competition, his horse refused a jump and caused him to fall headfirst on the ground. For the rest of his life Christopher Reeve would be a quadriplegic, strapped in a wheelchair and dependent on others for his very survival. But that didn't stop him. He and his wife became activists for spinal cord research and stem cell research, he wrote books, and he returned to work as an actor and director. Despite his injuries he kept on living as a true man of steel, until a severe reaction to an antibiotic killed him in 2004.
Christopher Reeve's legacy stands today as a beacon of hope to all who are struggling with physical disabilities. If we can believe that a man can fly, we can believe that one day the paralyzed can walk.
So what about you, fellow bloggers? Who do you consider an inspiration to you?