Image: The Everett Collection
Just last week we were rediscovering the joys of an obscure 1970s television series called Nichols. It was for a story about the overlooked second acts of some iconic Western stars. In this particular case, James Garner of Maverick returned to a cowboy role as the lead character, Nichols. This being the charming, savvy James Garner, Nichols was a bit like a slightly more modern Maverick. But this Western had an ace up its sleeve — Margot Kidder.
In Nichols, which originally aired sporadically on NBC between 1971 and 1972, Kidder, born in the northwest corner of Canada, portrayed the love interest on the Western, the barmaid at a hotel. (You can see a promotional photo of her in the role above.) Her charisma immediately jumped through the TV screen. Previously, she had popped up in an episode of The Mod Squad, but it was clear that Kidder was rocketing towards movies. In 1973, Kidder landed her breakthrough role starring in Brian De Palma's twister Sisters. She played conjoined twins who had been separated.
A few years later, she was cast as Lois Lane in Superman, helping define the comic book character as a truly modern working woman. Opposite Christopher Reeve, she appeared in the four original Superman blockbusters. It was easy to see why Superman would want to spin the earth in reverse to save her.
Kidder also landed a memorable, acclaimed role in The Amityville Horror in 1979. Those lasting Seventies classics remain her most well-known works.
On the small screen, Kidder continued to appear in small guest roles over the following decades, turning up on series such as Tales from the Crypt, Murder, She Wrote and Touched by an Angel.
In 2004, Kidder reunited with Reeve in the Superman universe, as the two guest-starred together on Smallville.
On May 13, Kidder passed away at her home in Montana, as reported by TMZ. She was 69 years old.
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