Margot Kidder’s 5 Greatest Genre Movie Triumphs


One of the most popular Canadian actresses of the ’70s and ’80s, Margot Kidder died on Sunday at the age of 69. Born in Yellowknife, she quickly found success in Hollywood, culminating in a four-movie run as Superman’s Lois Lane. While her career was relatively quiet in subsequent decades, she regularly appeared in movies and TV series, ultimately amassing over 130 credits. However, her most memorable performances were delivered in a string of iconic ’70s genre movies that remain influential after all these years. With that in mind, here are the five (actually six) roles that established her early legacy:

5. Marcia (The Reincarnation of Peter Proud)

In this unfairly overlooked sci-fi oddity—which David Fincher has been trying to remake for years—Kidder plays a troubled widow, who loses her cool when a man claiming to be her reincarnated husband has an affair with her daughter.

4. Kathy Lutz (The Amityville Horror)

Deviating from the (already widely disputed) facts of the George and Kathy Lutz case, The Amityville Horror got a powerful boost of credibility from Kidder’s committed performance. The resulting blockbuster helped set the stage for countless future Amityville sequels, spin-offs, remakes, and rip-offs.

3. Danielle and Dominique (Sisters)

In his first prominent foray into Hitchcock territory, director Brian De Palma—a one-time Kidder boyfriend—gave the actress an opportunity to play a pair of formerly conjoined twins, who get in hot water when one of them is spotted committing murder.

2. Barb (Black Christmas)

One of the great Canadian horror films of all-time and the movie that single-handedly inspired the slasher subgenre (or, at the very least, Halloween), Black Christmas cemented Kidder’s reputation as one Canada’s most esteemed scream queens.

1. Lois Lane (Superman I-IV)

Today’s superhero films are so cluttered with (mostly male) characters that it’s almost impossible for anyone to make the kind of impression Kidder made in 1978’s Superman. With charisma to spare, she delivered a star-making performance that was essential to the franchise’s initial success and enduring appeal.