Margot Kidder’s Husbands: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

margot kidder

Getty Margot Kidder.

Actress and activist Margot Kidder, best known for playing Lois Lane in the original “Superman” film series alongside Christopher Reeve, has died at the age of 69. Kidder, who was born in Canada and later moved to the United States, where she became a citizen and outspoken Democratic activist, raising awareness about mental health based on her own battle with bipolar disorder, as well as speaking out against war and for the environment, was married three times and is survived by her daughter and grandchildren. Here’s what you need to know about Kidder’s husbands and marriages:

1. Kidder Was Married to American Novelist Thomas McGuane for 2 Years & Had Her Only Child, a Daughter, With Him

Margot Kidder’s first husband was American novelist Thomas McGuane. She was 27 when she married McGuane in 1975. A year later, Kidder had her only child, Maggie McGuane, with her novelist husband. The couple divorced in 1977. McGuane’s work includes several novels, short fiction and screenplays, along with a collections of essays about life in the outdoors.

She talked to the Toronto Star in 2010 about her first marriage:

I fell in love with (him) in the ’70s and after we got married, we moved to Montana and he expected me to turn into a submissive ranch wife and serve the great writer. That kind of put an expiration date on that particular project. We did the Taylor-Burton thing for a few years and were either madly in love or madly in hate, but we did make a beautiful daughter. I knew it wasn’t working, but I was so addicted to him, deeply in love with him, that I didn’t have the courage to leave him. Then I told him I’d been asked to do ‘Superman’ and it was going to mean I had to live in London for six months. He looked at me kind of funny, asked me if I was going to do it and when I said yes, I woke up the next morning and he’d packed all my things and moved them outside.

In 1996, Kidder was diagnosed with bipolar disorder after a manic episode that included a belief that she was being stalked by several men who had been hired by McGuane to kill her, according to The Washington Post. Kidder told journalists that McGuane was trying to have her killed and said, “He makes O.J. Simpson look like Alan Alda.”

McGuane, who is still working as a writer, told The Post that he was not trying to kill her, and had rarely seen her since their divorce. “We did not have a successful marriage,” McGuane told the newspaper. “We had a brief marriage, and I left it with a tremendous sense of relief. It was ‘Superman’ time, it was the ’70s. It was a hit-and-run sort of era.” According to The Post, Kidder once said, “I spent four years being drunk a lot of the time,” about their relationship. McGuane said he had seen Kidder a year earlier at his daughter’s wedding.

“I don’t even know how to react to it. I’ve barely seen her in over 20 years,” he said at the time. “It’s a shame she’s had the trouble that she has. I’m sorry she continues to have the feelings toward me and my family that she’s expressed. I’m afraid I can’t tell you why {she has them}. My biggest concern is that this is extremely painful for Maggie.”

Kidder later told People about that episode, “It’s very hard to convince a manic person that there is anything wrong with them. You have no desire to sleep. You are full of ideas.” She said she went from being “distressed to absolute delusion,” after parts of her memoir she had written on her computer were lost to a virus and couldn’t be recovered. She told People she saw agents and assassins everywhere, and would shout at them, “I know you’re looking at me!”

Kidder told the magazine, “It’s very hard to convince a manic person that there is anything wrong with them. You have no desire to sleep. You are full of ideas.”

Kidder’s daughter, Maggie, is a writer, activist and photographer. She had two children during her marriage to novelist Walter Kirn, and Kidder talked about spending time with them. “My grandson sees me as Lois on TV every Christmas,” she told Yahoo Movies in 2016, “and that scores me points.”

2. She Was Married to Actor John Heard for Just 6 Days in 1979

john heard

GettyJohn Heard.

After her divorce from McGuane, Margot Kidder married actor John Heard in 1979. But their marriage lasted just six days. The couple married on August 24, 1979, and split up six days later. Their divorce was not finalized until December 1980.

At the time, Kidder was working on the “Superman” movie series and had recently filmed “The Amityville Horror,” and hosted “Saturday Night Live.” Heard was at that time starring in a series of plays at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center, winning Obie Awards for his performances in “Othello” and “Split.” He also appeared in the film “Head Over Heels” (later re-released in 1982 as “Chilly Scenes of Winter”) during the year they were married. Heard and Kidder later appeared together in the 1997 movie “Silent Cradle.”

Gossip columnist Liz Smith wrote at the time, “Superman’s girlfriend, Margot Kidder, got married last Friday afternoon in the rain-soaked Manhattan garden of a friend, to actor John Heard. I don’t have to tell you that Margot is hot in ‘The Amityville Horror,’ and John is hot in playing in ‘Othello’ in Central Park, and that when two people decide to get married, the weather is the last thing on their minds.”

Heard, who went on to appear in several films, including “Home Alone,” died in July 2017 at the age of 71 of a heart attack.

3. Kidder Was Married to French Director Philippe de Broca From 1983 to 1984

Kidder’s third and final marriage was to French director Philippe de Broca from 1983 to 1984. The met while she was starring in his 1983 film “Louisiana,” according to the Los Angeles Times.

“That was a bit impulsive, I’m afraid,” she told the newspaper in 1986. “Not a little irresponsible. We just weren’t meant to be married to each other. We just got carried away. But the honeymoon in Kenya was spectacular. I fell so in love with that country. I really felt I knew it. Other people have told me they had the same feeling about Kenya. I just know I’m dying to go back. And on days when I’m fed up with this business, I fantasize that I’ll wind up there, conducting safaris. Writing too, of course.”

De Broca died in 2004.

4. After Her Divorce From de Broca, Kidder Said She Preferred the Companionship of Her Dogs

margot kidder

Margot Kidder.

After her divorce from de Broca, Kidder joked that she preferred the companionship of her dogs, according to Sky News. She remained single for the rest of her life as she dealt with her mental health issues, spent time with her daughter and grandchildren and became an activist on several political issues, including as an anti-war protester and as an advocate for environmental issues and mental health awareness. She was living in Montana in a log cabin with her two dogs at the time of her death, according to NBC News.

“She was very, very happy living with her dogs in Montana and being part of a really strong community,” her sister, Annie Kidder, told the Montreal Gazette. “That’s how she wanted to live her life.”

Kidder also remained close with Christopher Reeve until his death in 2004, telling CBS News after his death, “When you’re strapped to someone hanging from the ceiling for months and months, you get pretty darned close. I can’t stop thinking about Christopher because he was such a huge part of my life. He was just such a great guy. …He was complicated, very smart, really smart, and he knew he’d done something meaningful. He was very aware of that and very happy with that role.”

In 2011, she joked with TMZ about Lois Lane no longer dating Clark Kent, saying four-legged companion might be better for the Daily Plant reporter. “Maybe Lois should get a dog! They are much easier than men.”

5. Kidder Had Several High-Profile Relationships, Dating Steven Spielberg, Richard Pryor & Former Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, Among Others

pierre trudeau

Pierre Trudeau.

Along with her three marriages, Kidder also had several high profile relationships. She dated writer/director Steven Spielberg, director Brian De Palma, writer/director Tom Mankiewicz and actor/comedian Richard Pryor.

Kidder also dated former Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, whose son, Justin Trudeau, is the country’s current prime minister. According to the Montreal Gazette, Kidder is credited with influencing Pierre Trudeau’s global peace initiative during his final months in office.

Kidder named one of her dogs Pierre after Trudeau, she told George Stroumboulopoulos in 2012. “When Pierre died, I was really, really sad and I got this puppy and it wasn’t quite the same as snuggling the human Pierre, but pretty darn good.”

Pierre Trudeau died in 2000.

While starring in the Nora and Delia Ephron play, “Love, Loss and What I Wore,” in 2010, she told the Toronto Star, “Love? When I was young I fell in love every five minutes. Damn, I must’ve had half of North America. After I hit menopause, I realized that I had ruined my entire life because of my hormones. I’m totally relieved to be free of it. I have two grandkids, three dogs and hundreds of friends. That’s enough.”

She told the newspaper, “One of the things when you pass 60 is that your life gets to be about a series of losses that mount like a funeral pyre. You develop a hyper-awareness that you’re in the last stretch. It’s very liberating and very empowering in some ways, but it’s also bittersweet. It’s a very Buddhist place you have to get into if you’re going to cope with all of it. A couple of weeks ago, I went into a vintage clothing store in Tuscon and I saw this great outfit, black skirt and top. I looked at it and said, ‘Margot, you better buy this, because you’ve got nothing to go to a funeral in. So I bought it. And the next week, my dear friend (screenwriter) Tom Mankiewicz died suddenly. And first all I felt was the pain and then I thought, ‘Well, I’m at least glad I bought that outfit.’”