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Fox News
Fox News
11 Sep 2023


"Superman" is celebrating its 45th anniversary.

The iconic superhero first flew into theaters in December 1978 and has since been remade many times over the years. Based off the comic book story, the film follows Kal-El, better known as Clark Kent, played by Christopher Reeve, as he discovers the source of his superhuman power and fights to save the world from evil.

Since the release of the film, the story has been adapted into popular TV shows, including "Smallville," and the character has been played by various actors, including Dean Cain, Henry Cavill and Tyler Hoechlin.

Here is a look at the "Superman" cast then and now. 

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Christopher Reeve then and now split

Christopher Reeve played the titular character in "Superman." (Warner Brothers/DC YouTube Channel/Getty Images)

Reeve played the man of steel in "Superman," a role which earned him a BAFTA nomination for best newcomer. He later starred in "Superman II," "Deathtrap" and "Superman III."

He continued to act throughout the 1980s in films such as "The Aviator" and "Anna Karenina" before putting the red cape back for "Superman IV: The Quest for Peace." Later, he starred in "Speechless," "Black Fox" and "9" before appearing on two episodes of "Smallville."

Reeve was in a relationship with Gae Exton from 1978 to 1988, and they had two children, Matthew and Alexandra. He was then married to Dana Morosini from 1992 until his death in 2004. They have one son named William.

In 1995, Reeve suffered an accident while jumping his horse, resulting in him breaking his back, paralyzing him from the neck down and leaving him unable to breathe without a ventilator. He passed away in October 2004 at the age of 52 after going into cardiac arrest. 

Margot Kidder then and now split

Margot Kidder went on to star in "The Amityville Horror" and "Halloween 2." (Warner Brothers/DC YouTube Channel/Getty Images)

Margot Kidder had a long career in Hollywood before landing the role of Lois Lane in "Superman." She continued to work steadily in Hollywood, appearing in "The Amityville Horror," "Superman II" and "Some Kind of Hero."

After starring in "Superman III," Kidder starred in "Miss Right" and "Shell Game," before appearing in "Superman IV: The Quest for Peace." She would go on to appear as a guest in a number of shows, before starring in "Windrunner," "Phantom 2040," "Halloween 2" and "The Neighborhood." 

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Kidder was married to Thomas McGuane from 1976 to 1977, and they had one daughter, Maggie McGuane. She was then married to John Heard from 1979 to 1980 and then to Philippe de Broca from 1983 to 1984. She died by suicide at the age of 69 in May 2018.

Gene Hackman then and now split

Gene Hackman was an Academy Award winner before playing Lex Luther in "Superman." (Warner Brothers/DC YouTube Channel/Getty Images)

Gene Hackman was an Academy Award-winner and three-time nominee before starring as Lex Luther in "Superman." He would later win a second Oscar for "Unforgiven," as well as another nomination for "Mississippi Burning." Throughout his career, he received five BAFTA nominations with two wins and eight Golden Globe nominations with three wins.

He later starred in "Superman II," "Under Fire," "Uncommon Valor" and "Twice in a Lifetime" before starring in the fourth Superman film. After his fourth Oscar nomination in 1989, he starred in "Postcards from the Edge," "Company Business" and "Wyatt Earp." His final roles before retiring were in "The Royal Tenenbaums," "Behind Enemy Lines," "Runaway Jury" and "Welcome to Mooseport."

Hackman was married to Faye Maltese from 1956 to 1986, and they have three children, Christopher Allen, Elizabeth Jean, and Leslie Anne. He then married Betsy Arakawa in 1991.

Marlon Brando then and now split

Marlon Brando was already a two-time Academy Award winner before playing Jor-El in "Superman." (Getty Images)

Prior to starring as Jor-El in "Superman," Marlon Brando had already won two Academy Awards, for his role in "On the Waterfront" and "The Godfather." Along with those wins, he received six other Oscar nominations, seven BAFTA nominations, with three wins, and 10 Golden Globe nominations, with five wins.

Following the release of "Superman," he starred in "Apocalypse Now," "The Freshman," "A Dry White Season," "The Brave" and "Free Money." His final film roles were in "The Score" and "Big Bug Man." Aside from "The Godfather" trilogy, he is most well known for his roles in "The Ugly American" and "Last Tango in Paris."

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Brando was married to Anna Kashfi from 1957 to 1959, after which he was married to Movita Castaneda from 1960 to 1968. He was then married to Tarita Teriipaia from 1962 to 1972. He has 11 children.

Brando passed away in July 2004 from lung failure at the age of 80. 

Ned Beatty then and now split

Ned Beatty was nominated for an Oscar, before playing Otis in "Superman." (Warner Brothers/DC YouTube Channel/Getty Images)

Ned Beatty was an Academy Award nominated actor for his role in "Network," before starring as Otis in "Superman." He later would appear in "Friendly Fire," "Superman II" and "Touched."

After appearing as a guest on TV shows, Beatty starred in "The Unholy," "Spy," "Homicide: Life on the Street," "Life" and "Where the Red Fern Grows," Most recently, he starred in "Charlie Wilson's War," "Rango," "Rampart" and "Baggage Claim."

Beatty was married to Walta Chandler from 1959 to 1968, and they had four children. He was then married to Belinda Rowley from 1971 to 1979, and they had two children. Later, he was married to Dorothy Lindsay from 1979 to 1998, and they had two children. He then married Sandra Johnson in 1999, until his death.

He passed away in June 2021 from natural causes at the age of 83.

Jackie Cooper then and now split

Jackie Cooper played Perry White in "Superman." (Getty Images)

Jackie Cooper was an Academy Award winner in 1931 for his role in "Skippy," before starring as Perry White in "Superman." He also dabbled in directing, winning two Emmy Awards for his work in the field.

He later starred in the three Superman sequels and appeared in "St. Elsewhere," "Murder, She Wrote," "Surrender" and "Capital News." He is known for his roles in "The People's Choice," "Seventeen" and "Gallant Sons."

FORMER CHILD STAR JACKIE COOPER DIES AT 88

Cooper was married to June Horne from 1944 until 1949, and they had a son, John. He was married to Hildy Parks, from 1950 until 1951, and to Barbara Rae Kraus from 1954 until her death in 2009. He and Kraus had three children; Russell, Julie and Cristina. He passed away from natural causes in May 2011 at the age of 88.

Glenn Ford then and now split

Glenn Ford's career in Hollywood spanned over 50 years. He played Pa Kent in "Superman." (Getty Images)

Glenn Ford's career spanned 50 years, and he was most known for his roles in "Gilda," "The Big Heart" and "Blackboard Jungle," but his comedies and westerns earned him three Golden Globe nominations, winning for "Pocketful of Miracles." He played Pa Kent in "Superman."

He later starred in "The Visitor," "Day of the Assassin," "Border Shootout," "Raw Nerve" and "Final Verdict."

He was married to Eleanor Powell from 1943 to 1959, and they had a son, Peter. He was then married to Kathryn Hays from 1966 to 1969, Cynthia Hayward from 1977 to 1984 and Jeanne Baus from 1993 to 1994. He suffered a series of strokes in the 1990s, leading to his death in August 2006 at the age of 90.

Jack O'Halloran then and now split

Jack O'Halloran played Non in "Superman." (Getty Images)

Jack O'Halloran played Non in "Superman." He went on to appear in "Superman II," and episodes of "Knight Rider," "Hunter" and "Diagnosis Murder."

After appearing in "The Flintstones," he took a long break from acting, returning in 2016 in "Abduct." Most recently, he appeared in "Crystal's Shadow" and "John Fox." He is also a professional boxer, with a career record of 34 wins, 21 losses and 2 draws.

O'Halloran is married to Ciara O’Leary.

Terence Stamp then and now split

Terence Stamp was nominated for an Academy Award for "Billy Bud." He played General Zod in "Superman." (Getty Images)

Terence Stamp was an Academy Award nominee for his role in "Billy Budd," before playing General Zod in "Superman." After starring in the two Superman sequels, he starred in "Chessgame," "Link" and "Wall Street."

He received critical acclaim for his role in "The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert," later starring in "The Hunger," "The Haunted Mansion," "Wanted," "Valkyrie," "Smallville" and "Big Eyes." Later, he starred in "Murder Mystery" and "Last Night in Soho."

Stamp was married to Elizabeth O'Rourke from 2002 to 2008.

Susanna York then and now split

Susannah York played Lara in "Superman." (Getty Images)

Prior to playing Lara in "Superman," Susannah York was a two-time Golden Globe nominee, a BAFTA winner and an Academy Award nominee for "They Shoot Horses, Don't They?". She went on to appear in two Superman sequels, as well as "Second Chance," "Tomorrow's a Killer" and "A Summer Story."

She continued to act steadily, appearing in "Trainer," "Loop" and "Visitors" before appearing in "Holby City" and "The Stoning." Her final projects included, "The Calling," "Missing" and "Doctors." York died at the age of 72 in 2011.

York was married to Michael Wells from 1959 to 1976, and had two children, Sasha and Orlando.

Phyllis Thaxter then and now split

Phyllis Thaxter had a long career in Hollywood before playing Ma Kent in "Superman." (Getty Images)

Phyllis Thaxter started in Hollywood in the 1940s, starring in films like "Blood on the Moon" and "Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo" before mostly taking roles as a guest on TV shows. After playing Ma Kent in "Superman," she appeared in "American Playhouse" and "Murder, She Wrote."

She was married to James T. Aubrey from 1944 to 1962, and they had two children, Skye and Jay. She was then married to Gilbert Lea from 1962 until his death in 2008.

Thaxter died in August 2012, at age 92, after a battle with Alzheimer's disease.

Lori Bashian is an entertainment production assistant for Fox News Digital.