Margot Kidder was more than just the actor who played Lois Lane in the Superman films in the 1970s and 1980s. She was a passionate environmental and anti-war activist, someone whose own struggle with mental illness helped bring light to the stigma, and a movie star whose most famous role was a reflection on the progress of feminism in her era.
Lois Lane was a character who brought feminism to the notoriously male-dominated world of comics. She was both a competent, ambitious journalist who sniffed out stories and challenged Clark Kent with her dry wit; but she also was in constant need of Superman’s saving.
Kidder’s widely publicized manic episode in April 1996, left so many film fans wondering how Lois Lane could go from stardom to wandering around battered and confused through Los Angeles backyards. But, Kidder bravely answered the question directly: She had untreated bipolar disorder, and a mind and a body that needed help. She disliked the term “mental illness” yet she still talked openly about her personal struggles and how she worked to overcome them.