For the last nine years of his life, Christopher Reeve was paralyzed, yet he still managed to move the hearts of innumerable individuals.
More than 900 people turned out Friday to pay tribute to the late actor at an invitation-only memorial at the Juilliard School in New York, where Reeve honed his craft more than 30 years ago before bursting onto the big-screen as Superman.
Individuals who figured in different aspects of Reeve's life were due to speak at the service, including family members, fellow actors, like-minded activists and politicians.
Among those scheduled to share their memories of Reeve were Reeve's wife, Dana; his children, Matthew, Alexandra and Will; and his brother, Benjamin. His children planned to show a 20-minute film featuring the personal and professional highlights of their father's life, while his brother planned to discuss his recollections of growing up with Reeve.
On the A-list front, Reeve's longtime friend and Juilliard roommate Robin Williams was due to eulogize the actor, as were Glenn Close and Meryl Streep.
Mary Tyler Moore, Susan Sarandon and Kim Cattrall were also among the celebrities who turned to bid Reeve farewell. Television personalities Katie Couric and Larry King arrived early to the ceremony, as did Teresa Heinz Kerry, wife of presidential hopeful John Kerry, and U.S. Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton.
"His courage and inspiration will live on," Clinton said of Reeve.
Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and U.S. Senator Tom Harkin of Iowa and were due to speak about Reeve's commitment to activism and dedication to raising fund for spinal-cord injury research.
Paraplegic Scott Remington, injured in a logging accident, also turned out to pay tribute to Reeve. Remington raised $135,000 for the Christopher Reeve Paralysis Foundation and was invited to Reeve's home in February.
"I was very impressed," recalled Remington. "He was so incredibly knowledgeable."
Broadway star Brian Stokes Mitchell was expected to perform "The Impossible Dream" from Man of La Mancha, while the cast of The Lion King was scheduled to close the service with a performance of "Circle of Life."
Reeve died Oct. 10 at age 52, after suffering a heart attack while being treated for bedsores.
About 100 of his closest family and friends gathered at the Reeves' Pound Ridge, New York, home on Oct. 12 to honor the actor, director and activist.
Meanwhile, the Christopher Reeve Paralysis Foundation will proceed with its annual fundraising gala, the status of which was in doubt after the actor's death.
Nathan Lane is set to host the Nov. 18 affair, where Glenn Close will be honored with the Human Spirit Award for her charitable contributions. William H. Macy will also serve as a special presenter.
This weekend, fans of Reeve's 1980 film Somewhere in Time, which has chalked up something of a cult following, will be holding their own memorial for the actor at the annual Somewhere in Time weekend at Mackinac Island's Grand Hotel in Michigan.
Proceeds from the event will be donated to the Christopher Reeve Paralysis Foundation.