Margot Kidder is now at peace.
The famous, Yellowknife-born actress, also known as Margie and Margaret, played Lois Lane in the seventies and eighties-era Superman movies opposite Christopher Reeve. She died in May 2018 at the age of 69 in her home in Montana. This week she had part of her ashes scattered on Frame Lake as part of her final wishes.
John Kidder, who was born 51 weeks apart from Margie, is the eldest brother and on Wednesday performed the act. Another part of her remains will also soon be left in Labrador, he said.
John was in town this week in part as husband and supporter of Green Party of Canada leader Elizabeth May.
“Through life, Margie and I were our only constant friends,” John said, recalling growing up in a mining family that was constantly moving – sometimes twice a year- from community to community across Canada.
Among those locations included Yellowknife in the late forties and early fifties where father Kendall, with mother Jill, did prospecting and mapping work around in the bush. The family moved on from Yellowknife before the children were in school and lived in such sparsely located places as Labrador City, N.L., Beloeil, Que., and Sept-Isles, Que. Other siblings came along including Michael, Anne and Peter.
“Every year we were always the new kids,” John said of he and Margot. “She and I developed a bond that was different than most people. The only person I knew in each town was Margie. And the only person she knew was me.”
Aside from being an actress, up to her final days she had been an environmental activist, opposing nuclear proliferation in the eighties, and the expansion of oil development and fracking in recent years.
In 2011, she was arrested during a protest against the Keystone XL Pipeline at the White House in Washington. She also attended the Standing Rock Reservation pipeline demonstrations in North Dakota over the winter of 2016 and 2017.
In a 2013 interview with Northern News Services, she said some of her warmest memories in life were her connection to early life in the Northwest Territories.
“As a kid in my twenties or thirties, when I was (an actress) in L.A. I had this image in my mind of the Canadian North and the Northwest Territories as this place of purity that somehow one could go back to if things got too ugly,” she said.
While in town, John had the opportunity to meet local activist Lois Little to clear up a longtime misunderstanding about the namesake of ‘Lois Lane’ – a short gravel road in Peace River Flats.
According to local folklore, when the City of Yellowknife turned 50 years old in 1984, the lane – which at that time was named both Penny Lane and Lois Lane after Penny Aumond and Lois Little – was renamed Lois Lane after Kidder and her famous Superman role.
The renaming had come when Margot was an honoured guest at the height of her fame in the same year and had come back for the festivities with John and others.
In a 2013 interview, Margot said she had thought it was named after her by the city when she visited for the 50th anniversary.
“I was just delighted,” Margot said of the re-naming of the road at the time. “They told me it was named after me, but the ego does rise to the occasion. I was told it was named after me and they took me there. I don’t know who Lois Little is, but maybe it was named after her. Somebody might have been trying to flatter me at the time.”
Little said Wednesday that the matter was cleared up and that she and John agreed that it is both named after her and Margot.
“I made it clear that the street is named after John’s sister and me and we share the honour of this,” Little said.
John thanked Little for helping clear up the uncertainty about the strip of road.
“We finally cleared up the mystery and I’m so glad,” John said. “I think the last time I was up here someone said to me that the lane wasn’t named after my sister and that it was named after a Lois Little. I had to find Lois Little to find out what the scoop was.”