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Courageous Dana loses lung cancer battle

March 6, 2006
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Dana Reeve, the widow of Superman star Christopher Reeve, has died of lung cancer. The actress - whose stalwart support of her paralysed husband impressed well-wishers around the world - passed away late on Monday at the age of 44.

At the Christopher Reeve Foundation, which she took over upon the death of her husband in 2004, colleagues expressed their grief. "Her grace and courage under the most difficult of circumstances was a source of comfort and inspiration to all of us," said CEO Kathy Lewis.

A non-smoker all her life, Dana was diagnosed with the disease last summer. At the time she declared: "I look to Christopher as the ultimate example of defying the odds."

After the actor broke his neck in a 1995 riding accident, the couple embarked on a high-profile campaign for people who'd suffered spinal cord injuries. At lobbying events Dana, who'd given up her career to dedicate herself to Christopher's care, became a familiar presence.

At one of her last public functions the actress attended a fundraiser for the foundation, which raised £1.1m, and attracted big-name stars such as Michael Douglas, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Paul Newman and Meryl Streep.

She leaves behind her and Christopher's 13-year-old son Will.

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Photo: ©
The actress, who had never smoked, was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2005. She is survived by her 13-year-old son Will
Photo: ©
After her husband Christopher became paralysed in a riding accident, Dana dedicated herself to his carePhoto: © AFP

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