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'Superman' actress Margot Kidder's death ruled a suicide

The Telegraph logo The Telegraph 09-08-2018 Telegraph Reporters
Margot Kidder, actress at home after recovering from a near fatal illness © getty Margot Kidder, actress at home after recovering from a near fatal illness

"Superman" actress Margot Kidder's death has been ruled a suicide, and her daughter said Wednesday it's a relief to finally have the truth out.

Kidder, who played Lois Lane opposite Christopher Reeve's Superman in her most famous role, was found by a friend in her Montana home on May 13.

At the time, Kidder's manager, Camilla Fluxman Pines, said Kidder died peacefully in her sleep.

Watch: Superman's Lois Lane, Margot Kidder, Dies at Age 69 (Provided by People)

A statement released Wednesday by Park County coroner Richard Wood said she "died as a result of a self-inflicted drug and alcohol overdose" and that no further details would be released.

© getty

Maggie McGuane, Kidder's daughter by her ex-husband Thomas McGuane, told The Associated Press in a phone interview that she knew her mother died by suicide the moment authorities took her to Kidder's home in Livingston, a small town near Yellowstone National Park.

Margot Kidder as Ruth © getty Margot Kidder as Ruth

"It's a big relief that the truth is out there," she said. "It's important to be open and honest so there's not a cloud of shame in dealing with this."

Kidder's death is one of several high-profile suicides this year that include celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain and fashion designer Kate Spade.

Cameras greet Margot Kidder and Christopher Reeve outside The News building during filming of 'Superman'. © getty Cameras greet Margot Kidder and Christopher Reeve outside The News building during filming of 'Superman'.

McGuane noted that Montana has one of the highest suicide rates in the nation and she urged people with mental illness to seek help.

"It's a very unique sort of grief and pain," McGuane said. "Knowing how many families in this state go through this, I wish that I could reach out to each one of them."

Kidder struggled with mental illness much of her life, and it was made worse by a 1990 car accident that left her in debt and led to her using a wheelchair for almost two years.

A portrait of actress Margot Kidder © getty A portrait of actress Margot Kidder

Kidder and Reeve starred in four Superman movies between 1978 and 1987. She also appeared in "The Great Waldo Pepper" with Robert Redford in 1975, Brian De Palma's "Sisters" in 1973 and "The Amityville Horror" in 1979.

She later appeared in small films and television shows until 2017, including "R.L. Stine's the Haunting Hour." She received a Daytime Emmy Award as outstanding performer in a kids' series in 2015 for that role.

Kidder, a native of Yellowknife, Canada, was a political activist who was arrested in 2011 in a Washington, DC, protest over the proposed Keystone XL pipeline from Canada's oil sands.

Related: Margot Kidder dies: Her life in photos (Provided by USA Today)

Christopher Reeve and Margot Kidder at the JFK Center for the Performing Arts, Eisenhower Theater in Washington © getty Christopher Reeve and Margot Kidder at the JFK Center for the Performing Arts, Eisenhower Theater in Washington

Her final years were troubled by conflicts with people who were down on their luck that she took into her home. Between August 2016 and her death in May, authorities were called to her house 40 times on reports of people trespassing, theft and other disturbances, according to police logs released to the AP under a public-records request.

The calls include responses by ambulances five times in seven months, including at the time of her death.

Joan Kesich, a longtime friend who found Kidder's body, said Kidder was fearless and always spoke the truth, regardless of the consequences.

"In her last months, she was herself - same kind of love, same kind of energy," Kesich said. "The challenges that she had were very public. I want what I know about her to be out there because it was glorious. She was really a blazing energy." 

Also watch: Superman actress Margot Kidder passes away

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