SHORT HILLS, N.J. -- Actress Dana Reeve, who fought for better treatments and possible cures for paralysis through the Christopher Reeve Foundation, named for her late actor-husband, has died. The Associated Press reports that she was 44, while CNN reports she was 45.It's too sad for words.
Reeve died late Monday at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Medical Center of lung cancer, said Sean Dougherty, a spokesman for the foundation. Survivors include a teenage son, Will, and two stepchildren, Matthew and Alexandra.
"On behalf of the entire board of directors and staff of the Christopher Reeve Foundation, we are extremely saddened by the death of Dana Reeve, whose grace and courage under the most difficult of circumstances was a source of comfort and inspiration to all of us," Kathy Lewis, president and CEO of the foundation, said in a statement.
Reeve had announced on Aug. 9 that she had lung cancer.
Christopher Reeve, the one-time Hollywood "Superman" turned activist for spinal cord research after a horse-riding accident, died Oct. 10, 2004.
Dana Reeve was a constant companion and supporter of her husband during his long ordeal and his work for a cure for spinal cord injuries.
She was chairwoman of the Christopher Reeve Paralysis Foundation, which funds research on paralysis and works to improve the life of the disabled. To date, it has awarded $55 million in research grants and $7.5 million in quality of life grants.
She was performing in the Broadway-bound play "Brooklyn Boy" in California when she had to streak home to reach her husband's bedside before he died. She gave up the role for the New York run.
Reeve also served on the boards of The Williamstown Theatre Festival, The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, TechHealth, and The Reeve-Irvine Center for Spinal Cord Research and as an advisory board member to the National Family Caregivers Association.
She received numerous awards for her work, including the Shining Example Award from Proctor & Gamble in 1998, an American Image Award from the AAFA in 2003. In 2005, the American Cancer Society named her Mother of the Year.
She is also survived by her father, Dr. Charles Morosini, and sisters Deborah Morosini and Adrienne Morosini Heilman.
At this time, no plans for a funeral have been announced. For those who care to do so, donations may be made in Dana's memory to the Christopher Reeve Foundation, 636 Morris Turnpike, Short Hills, New Jersey 07078 or online at www.ChristopherReeve.org