October 17, 1995 in Nation/World

Paralyzed Actor Appears At Benefit

Compiled From Wire Services
 
Tags:briefly

With his blue eyes bright and his chiseled features as handsome as ever, Christopher Reeve joked about his misfortune Monday at his first public appearance since a horse-backriding accident left him paralyzed five months ago.

Reeve, unable to move from the shoulders down, appeared in his wheelchair to present an award to Robin Williams at a benefit dinner for the Creative Coalition, an actors’ advocacy group.

Reeve told the audience of 500 celebrities that he decided to attend the gala after recalling what a former English teacher had once told another student about skipping school.

“She said, ‘The only excuse you could have is a quadruple amputation, and even then you could come in a basket,”’ Reeve said. “So I thought I’d better show up.”

Reeve, 42, broke his neck May 27 when he was thrown from a horse and landed on his head during a riding competition in Culpeper, Va.

The 6-foot-4-inch actor breathes with a ventilator and activates his electric wheelchair by blowing through a tube.


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