Superman actress Margot Kidder dead at 69

Margot Kidder, best known for playing Clark Kent's love interest Lois Lane in the Superman films in the 1970s and 1980s, has died at the age of 69, triggering affectionate tributes from Hollywood.

Kidder's manager Camilla Fluxman Pines said the Canadian-born US actress died peacefully in her sleep on Sunday at her home in Livingston, Montana. The cause of death was not given.

Kidder began her acting career in her 20s and shot to international fame playing reporter Lois Lane in 1978's Superman, opposite Christopher Reeve, and in three sequels.

"Thank you for being the Lois Lane so many of us grew up with," DC Comics, the home of the Superman franchise, said on its Twitter account.

Star Wars actor Mark Hamill tweeted: "On-screen she was magic. Off-screen she was one of the kindest, sweetest, most caring women I've ever known."

Reeve died in 2004 from complications from a spinal cord injury in 1995. The Reeve Foundation, which funds research into such injuries, said it was saddened by Kidder's death, adding: "Fly high, our friend, shine bright."

Kidder was unable to work for two years after a serious car crash in 1990, and later became bankrupt.

Six years later, she suffered a mental breakdown and disappeared for four days. She was later diagnosed with bipolar disorder.

After her breakdown, acting work dried up for several years, but Kidder later re-emerged with guest starring roles in TV shows like Smallville and The L Word, and on stage, including a 2002 Broadway production of The Vagina Monologues.

She also was a political activist, campaigning against the Gulf War, energy fracking and in support of Democrat Bernie Sanders in the 2016 US presidential election. - REUTERS