Dana Reeve

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Dana Reeve
Reeve in 1999
Dana Charles Morosini

(1961-03-17)March 17, 1961
DiedMarch 6, 2006(2006-03-06) (aged 44)
EducationMiddlebury College (1984)
Royal Academy of Dramatic Art
California Institute of the Arts
  • Actress
  • author
  • singer
  • activist
Years active1990–2006
(m. 1992; died 2004)

Dana Charles Reeve (née Morosini; March 17, 1961 – March 6, 2006) was an American actress, singer, and disability activist. She was the wife of actor Christopher Reeve and mother of television reporter and anchor Will Reeve.

Early life and family[edit]

Reeve was born in Teaneck, New Jersey, to Charles Morosini (died 2018[1]), a cardiologist, and Helen Simpson Morosini (died 2005).[2] She was of Italian descent.[3]

She grew up in the town of Greenburgh, New York, where she graduated from Edgemont High School in 1979.[4]

She graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa in English Literature from Middlebury College in Vermont in 1984. In 2004 she and husband, Christopher Reeve, received honorary Doctorates of Humane Letters from Middlebury.[5]

She spent the junior year of her studies at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London. In 1984, she pursued additional graduate studies in acting at the California Institute of the Arts in Valencia, California.[citation needed]

She married actor Christopher Reeve in Williamstown, Massachusetts, on April 11, 1992,[6] and they had a son, William Elliot "Will" Reeve, born on June 7, 1992.[7] Will now reports for ABC News.[8]

Reeve loved to ride horses. In 2005, she told Larry King: "I rode my whole life, and after Chris had his accident, I stopped riding, primarily because he loved it so much, and I think it really would have been painful for him if I was going off riding and he wasn't able to. And it didn't mean that much to me to drop."[9]

Show business career[edit]

Her many singing and acting credits included appearances on television, where she had guest roles on Dick Wolf's Law & Order, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, soap operas All My Children as Eva Stroupe and Loving, among others. She performed at theatres on Broadway, off-Broadway, and at numerous regional theatres.

In 2000, she co-hosted a live daily talk show for women on the Lifetime Network with Deborah Roberts called Lifetime Live and also wrote a brief column for the defunct AccessLife.com These articles can be found at the Christopher Reeve Homepage.[10] She sang the title song on the soundtrack of the HBO drama In the Gloaming, directed by her husband. Reeve also had another cameo in her husband's movie The Brooke Ellison Story as a teacher.[citation needed]

She authored the book Care Packages: Letters to Christopher Reeve from Strangers and Other Friends. In 2004, she was performing in the Broadway-bound play Brooklyn Boy at South Coast Repertory in Costa Mesa, California, when she had to rush home to reach her husband's bedside after he went into cardiac arrest and a coma. In April 2005, it was also announced that she signed a seven-figure book deal[11] with Penguin Books to write about her relationship with her famous husband. It is not known how far Reeve got with writing the book before she died; the book was never published.[citation needed]

The children's book Dewey Doo-it Helps Owlie Fly Again: A Musical Storybook Inspired by Christopher Reeve was published in 2005 and included an audio to accompany the book with Mandy Patinkin reading the story as well as Reeve and Bernadette Peters singing.[citation needed]

On February 2, 2005, eight days before the death of her mother Helen, Reeve attended President George W. Bush's State of the Union address seated in the Capitol gallery in Washington, D.C., as the guest of Congressman Jim Langevin (D-RI).[12]

Several months before her death, Reeve taped the PBS documentary The New Medicine focusing on the growing trend in medical care combining holistic and traditional treatment. The program premiered after her death, on March 29, 2006. She also worked on the computer-animated movie Everyone's Hero, a project with the working title Yankee Irving when her husband was the director at the time of his death. The film was released on September 15, 2006, and is dedicated to both her and Christopher Reeve.[citation needed]

Illness and death[edit]

In August 2005, ten months after the death of her husband,[13] Reeve announced that she had been diagnosed with lung cancer.[14] She had never smoked tobacco,[14] the primary risk factor for lung cancers, but in her early career often sang in smoky bars and hotel lobbies.[15]

In 2005, Reeve received the "Mother of the Year Award" from the American Cancer Society for her dedication and determination in raising her son after the loss of her husband. In her final public appearances, Reeve stated that the tumor had responded to therapy and was shrinking. She appeared at Madison Square Garden on January 12, 2006, and sang the Carole King song "Now and Forever" in honor of New York Rangers hockey player Mark Messier, whose number was retired that evening.[16]

Reeve died on March 6, 2006, at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City. On the night that she died, instead of having a live performer sing the national anthem at Madison Square Garden prior to the Rangers' game, a recording of Reeve singing was played.[17] She arranged for her son, Will Reeve, to live with their next door neighbors so he could finish school where he started instead of being forced to move in with relatives elsewhere.[18] Her burial was at Ferncliff Cemetery in Hartsdale, New York.


On March 11, 2007, the Christopher Reeve Foundation, which Dana chaired after her husband, Christopher Reeve, died in October 2004,[17] announced that it had changed its name to the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation on the first anniversary of her death.[19]

Episode 16 of the fifth season of Smallville titled "Hypnotic" is dedicated to her and the film Superman Returns is dedicated to both her and Christopher. The animated film Everyone's Hero (2006) is also dedicated in memory of Christopher and Dana Reeve.[13]


Year Title Role Notes
1983 Loving
1990 Steel Magnolias (TV Movie) Elise (listed as Dana Morosini)
1995 Above Suspicion Female Detective
2000 Oz Wendy Schultz
2003 Freedom: A History of US various roles PBS documentary (voice acting)
2004 The Brooke Ellison Story English Professor Television film
2006 Everyone's Hero Emily Irving (voice acting)


  1. ^ "Remembering Charles Morosini – Blog".
  2. ^ "Deaths: Morosini, Helen Simpson". New York Times (Press release). February 15, 2005.
  3. ^ Ruffino, Elissa. "Christopher Reeve & Dana Morosini Reeve To Receive "One America Award"at Italian American Gala in Washington, DC". www.niaf.org. Retrieved December 3, 2020.
  4. ^ Aiello, Tony (March 7, 2006). "Dana Reeve's Death Hits Home In Westchester: Remembered As Ultimate Role Model For Youths". WCBS-TV New York. Archived from the original on March 21, 2006.
  5. ^ "Christopher Reeve to co-deliver Middlebury College commencement address with wife and alumna Dana Morosini Reeve May 23". Middlebury. December 17, 2009. Retrieved October 9, 2020.
  6. ^ Brozan, Nadine (March 8, 2006). "Dana Reeve, Devoted Caretaker and Advocate, Is Dead at 44". The New York Times.
  7. ^ "Will Reeve Christopher Reeve's Son". DailyEntertainmentNews.com. November 1, 2016. Retrieved March 12, 2020. Will was born William Elliot Reeve on June 7, 1992 in Massachusetts but was raised in Connecticut. He has an older half-brother, Matthew, and half-sister, Alexandra, from his father's previous relationship with British model Gae Exton.
  8. ^ "Will Reeve: 5 Things To Know About 'GMA'Reporter Who Accidentally Went On AirWithout Pants". Hollywood Life. April 28, 2020. Retrieved June 30, 2020.
  9. ^ "CNN Larry King Live Interview With Christopher Reeve's Widow, Dana" (Press release). CNN.com. February 22, 2005. Archived from the original on June 19, 2006.
  10. ^ Reeve, Dana (2000). "AccessLife.com Column". Christopher Reeve Homepage.
  11. ^ "Reeve's Widow To Write About Married Life" (Press release). My USTINET News. April 4, 2005. Archived from the original on June 30, 2006.
  12. ^ "Dana Reeve to Attend State of the Union as Langevin's Guest" (Press release). Langevin. February 1, 2005. Archived from the original on April 9, 2006.
  13. ^ a b "Christopher Reeve obituary". ABC News. October 11, 2004. Retrieved January 16, 2018.
  14. ^ a b Brozan, Nadine (March 8, 2006). "Dana Reeve, Devoted Caretaker and Advocate, Is Dead at 44 (Published 2006)". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved October 9, 2020.
  15. ^ Andersen, Christopher P. (2008). Somewhere in heaven : the remarkable love story of Dana and Christopher Reeve. New York: Hyperion Books. pp. 21–22. ISBN 978-1-4013-2302-8. OCLC 181602415.
  16. ^ "Dana Reeve at Mark Messier Night". YouTube. January 12, 2006.
  17. ^ a b "CNN.com - Dana Reeve dies of lung cancer at 44 - Mar 8, 2006". www.cnn.com.
  18. ^ Friedman, Roger (March 25, 2015). "Dana Reeve's Son Will Remain With Friends". Fox News. Retrieved September 26, 2021.
  19. ^ "Christopher Reeve Foundation Changes Name" (Press release). March 14, 2007.

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