Christopher Reeve was a father to two sons and a daughter before his death in 2004
Christopher Reeve was not only Superman on screen, but also to his three children: Matthew, Alexandra and William.
The Superman actor welcomed his first two kids, Matthew Reeve, 44, and Alexandra Reeve Givens, 40, with his former partner Gae Exton. He later married Dana Reeve in 1992 and the pair welcomed their son, William "Will" Reeve, 31, the same year.
Christopher died on Oct. 10, 2004, nine years after a horseriding accident that left him paralyzed from the neck down. On Father’s Day in 2021, his youngest son honored his memory with a sweet letter posted on Good Morning America.
"In our short time together, my dad gave me everything: his love and attention, his values and passions," Will wrote. "When he died, I was certain my purpose in life was to be him, to seamlessly carry on his legacy, to leave no separation between where Christopher Reeve ended and where Will Reeve began.”
He continued, "Like many missing the main character every third Sunday in June, I never feel fully whole on Father's Day. But I find peace and strength in the fact that the greatest gift I can give my dad is to keep him in my heart while I follow it wherever it leads me."
In January 2024, Super/Man: The Christopher Reeve Story, a documentary looking back on Christopher's life, including his marriage and getting cast as Superman, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and all three of his children were in attendance.
From following in their father’s footsteps to starting families of their own, here’s everything to know about Christopher Reeve’s children.
Matthew Reeve, 44
Christopher’s first son, Matthew, was born on Dec. 20, 1979, in London. At the time, Christopher was filming Somewhere in Time with Jane Seymour — whom he was secretly seeing, she revealed in 2022 per Entertainment Weekly — when his ex-girlfriend Exton called him to tell him she was pregnant. Christopher then returned to Exton to help raise Matthew.
Matthew grew up to work in the film industry like his dad, listing himself as a writer, director and producer in his X bio. After graduating from Brown University in 2002, Matthew narrated Christopher Reeve: Hope in Motion which was nominated for an Emmy.
Per his IMDb, he has since written on Providence, The Land That Never Was and nine episodes of Agent Hamilton.
Alongside his two siblings, Matthew also sits on the board of directors for the Christoper & Dana Reeve Foundation, which was founded by the actor and his wife before their death and is dedicated to finding a cure for spinal cord injuries. In 2009, he ran the New York City marathon in an effort to raise money for the cause, per the New York Times.
At the premiere of Super/Man: The Christopher Reeve Story, Matthew reflected with PEOPLE on a special moment in his dad’s life when he made a surprise appearance at the 1996 Academy Awards — his first public appearance since his accident — and received a minutes-long standing ovation.
“I remember I was in London, it was a school night and we stayed up until three or four in the morning to watch it. And it was absolutely incredible,” he said.
He continued, “And what sticks with me most was after that incredible warm welcome and that very long ovation that he received, his introduction — he followed it up with a wonderful speech about how cinema and movies are at their best when they not only entertain, but they inform and educate and address issues.”
Alexandra Reeve Givens, 40
Four years after welcoming Matthew, Exton gave birth to Alexandra, Christopher’s first and only daughter, on Nov. 25, 1983, in London.
Now an adult, Alexandra didn’t follow her family into the film industry but rather pivoted into a career in politics and law. After graduating from Yale University and getting her law degree from Columbia University, Alexandra worked as the chief counsel on technology and consumer protection for the United States Senate, per her LinkedIn.
She currently works as the president and CEO of the Center for Democracy & Technology where she “leads a diverse team that is putting democracy and individual rights at the center of the digital revolution," according to her bio on the Center for a New American Security's website.
Alexandra joined her siblings at the premiere of Super/Man: The Christopher Reeve Story at Sundance, where she was proud to speak on the movie and how it showed both the Hollywood actor and activist sides of her dad.
“He was dedicated to his craft, of course, before the accident, but also after being able to return to acting and directing and showing that a disability wouldn’t hold him back,” she said during the panel at Sundance, per Deadline. “So that legacy of what it is to care about your career and keep moving even after overwhelming obstacles is one key part of it.”
She continued, “But the other part is his life as an advocate. He was an activist again before the injury. And then after the injury, of course, he became known around the world for his advocacy, for medical research and for disability rights.”
Like her siblings, Alexandra is passionate about continuing her dad’s legacy with the Christoper & Dana Reeve Foundation and told The Hollywood Reporter that she was “proud” of how far the foundation had come since her father’s passing.
“That really has been a beautiful, ongoing story. That the investments in medical research have paid off, that the advocacy for the rights of people with disabilities not to have caps on insurance paid off,” she told the outlet. “Dad didn’t get to see all that pay off, but we get to see it now…and that makes us incredibly proud.”
Alexandra is married to her husband, Garren Givens, and together they share a son, Christopher Russel Reeve Givens, who was born on June 13, 2015. He was named after Alexandra’s father, a representative for the family told PEOPLE at the time.
Will Reeve, 31
The actor's youngest child was born to Christopher and Dana on June 7, 1992. He was just 3 years old when his father experienced his life-changing accident, and was 12 years old when he died.
The day before he died, Christopher went to Will’s baseball game and then went home to watch more of the sport on TV. A love for athletics was something they shared – and part of what inspired Will to go into a career in sports media.
"We shared a very deep bond in general, but sports was definitely a major component of our family bond," Will told PEOPLE in 2015 after landing a job at ESPN’s SportsCenter. "If it involved a ball or a stick or a racket or a bat or a puck, we were either watching it or playing it or talking about it together."
Will moved in with a family friend after his mom died in 2006 and eventually attended Middlebury College. He went on to become a broadcast journalist, currently working as an ABC News correspondent.
In May 2023, he covered a story on a man who was able to walk again after a life-changing surgery helped him recover from paralysis from the waist down. For Will, the story was a personal one as a board director on his father’s foundation.
"My dad was Christopher Reeve. He suffered a spinal cord injury in 1995. He dedicated the final nine years of his life to fighting for a cure for paralysis," Will said during a segment on Good Morning America. "For many reasons, I wish he were here today, to see how far the research has come…If I can be a proud son for a moment, you can draw a straight line from his advocacy to developments like today."
Will often reflects on his relationship with his deceased parents, telling PEOPLE in November 2021 that he would be thinking of them as he ran his second New York City marathon.
"They would say that they're proud of me and that they love me and they wouldn't need to be at the finish line of the marathon for me to know that and feel that every day, because I feel that pride and love from them all the time," he said as he reflected on how his parents would react to his impressive run. "And I felt that when they were alive and I've felt that since they've passed away. And to me, my parents have been gone for each nearly two decades now, but I feel them all the time."
Will was also at the premiere of Super/Man: The Christopher Reeve Story, sharing with The Hollywood Reporter that he was proud of how the movie portrayed his father. He added that he encouraged the directors and producers to lean into all aspects of Christopher, even any negative, to show the full picture of the man he was.
During the panel, he said now that the 20th anniversary of his father’s death was coming up, he felt it was the “right time” to share his family’s story alongside Matthew and Alexandra.
"We knew we wanted, if we were ever going to do this, it had to be the right time and the right team and that we were going to give over our archive, our home movies, sit for some raw and vulnerable interviews, and then place all of our trust and faith in the team that had assembled around us and see what they came back with,” Will said.
"And the end result here is remarkable, so our trust has certainly been rewarded," he added.
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