Sad day in Smallville, boys and girls. The former Man of Steel has died.
Christopher Reeve was THE Superman for all four movies made between the late 70's and mid-80's. He inherited the role originally made famous by George Reeves (no relation) in the 1950's TV show, and previously by Kirk Alyn from the 1940's movie serials.
And yes, he was known for a variety of other roles and movies, but he was always considered to be Superman, even when he was paralyzed after a riding accident. Even when he was confined to a wheelchair and fighting for his life, he still spoke out for cause he believed in. He even continued to act and direct, performing on stage as the lead role in Alfred Hitchcock's "Rear Window", and serving as a mysterious mentor to a pre-Superman Clark Kent in the WB series "Smallville". Bringing Reeve and actor Tom Welling together along with the original John Williams theme music was probably the best two episodes of Smallville that the folks at Warner Brothers ever did, and it is a pity that they will not be able to continue with that.
On a more personal note, Superman was always my favorite cartoon character, and Reeve portrayed the role perfectly, to a level that even those that preceeded and followed him could not match. This commentator was shocked when the character died in the comic books (Superman #75), and just as shocked today to know that the actor who exemplified the character has now died. He will be missed.