NEW YORK (AP) - Dana Reeve, who fought for better treatments and possible cures for paralysis through the Christopher Reeve Foundation, named for her late actor-husband, has died. She was 44.
Reeve died Monday of lung cancer at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Medical Center, said Sean Dougherty, a spokesman for the foundation.
"We are extremely saddened by the death of Dana Reeve, whose grace and courage under the most difficult of circumstances was a source of comfort and inspiration to all of us," Kathy Lewis, president and CEO of the foundation, said in a statement.
Reeve won worldwide admiration for her support of her husband, the one-time Hollywood "Superman" turned activist for spinal cord research after a horse-riding accident in 1996.
She served as chairwoman of the Christopher Reeve Foundation and founded the Christopher and Dana Reeve Paralysis Resource Center.
Christopher Reeve died in 2004. In August, Dana Reeve announced she had been diagnosed with lung cancer. She said she had never smoked.
She said in November that said she was able to keep her spirits up because she "had a great model. ... I was married to a man who never gave up."
Reeve lived in Westchester County, near New York, with the couple's teenage son, Will. She has appeared on Broadway
, off-Broadway and regional stages and on the TV
shows "Law & Order," "Oz," and "All My Children."
"Dana will always be remembered for her passion, strength and ceaseless courage that became her hallmark," Lewis said. "Along with her husband, Christopher, she faced adversity with grace and determination, bringing hope to millions around the world."
She is survived by her father, Dr. Charles Morosini; sisters Deborah Morosini and Adrienne Morosini Heilman; two stepchildren, Matthew and Alexandra; and her son.
Copyright © 2006 The Associated Press