Actress Margot Kidder, who appeared in well over 100 films and TV shows, according to the Internet Movie Database, but who also battled mental health issues which she discussed openly, died on May 13 at the age of 69. Now, almost three months after Kidder’s body was found by a friend in her Livingston, Montana home, a coroner there has ruled her death a suicide.
Park County coroner Richard Wood announced on Wednesday that the actress, whose final film appearance came in the 2017 independent crime thriller The Neighborhood, “died as a result of a self-inflicted drug and alcohol overdose,” The Associated Press reported. Wood also said that he would not release any more details about Kidder’s death.
Initial reports of Kidder’s death in May said that she died in her sleep of natural causes, as The Inquisitr reported.
Though she worked steadily as an actress over a remarkable 40-year Hollywood career, one role has defined Kidder ever since 1978, when she portrayed “Lois Lane” in the iconic 1978 Richard Donner-directed blockbuster Superman, still considered one of the greatest comic-book movie adaptations ever made. In one of her final interviews, with the pop culture site Hey U Guys in 2016, Kidder said that she never anticipated the success of the Superman film and was unprepared for the instant worldwide stardom that it brought to her.
“I remember when we were making it I thought it was going to be a flop. A lot of it was arduous and dull,” Kidder told the site. “The flying I didn’t think would work either. Nothing prepares anyone for that sudden thing of being world famous, it was such a shock. It wasn’t something I really liked or something I was very good at.”
Kidder suffered from bipolar disorder, according to People Magazine, which often caused episodes of erratic behavior that landed her in the tabloids with some frequency. She had a series of high-profile romances, including with comedian Richard Pryor with whom she co-starred in the sequel Superman III, and Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau — father of current Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Kidder was born in Canada’s Northwest Territories.
Her most-publicized mental health episode came in 1996 when she disappeared for four days, according to Toronto’s Globe and Mail newspaper, living among the homeless on the streets of Los Angeles until she was found by a homeowner in the Los Angeles suburb of Glendale, who found the celebrity actress cowering in her backyard.
Kidder’s daughter, Maggie McGuane, told the AP that she had known since May that her mother committed suicide. “It’s a big relief that the truth is out there,” McGuane tole the news agency. “It’s important to be open and honest so there’s not a cloud of shame in dealing with this.”
If you or someone you know is in crisis, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741741. For readers outside the U.S., visit Suicide.org or Befrienders Worldwide for international resources you can use to find help.