Margot Kidder’s closest friends and family are remembering the late Superman actress for her kind, resilient spirit, but also that toward the end of her life she was very aware of her mortality.
“She was close to Carrie Fisher,” the Canadian-born actress’ longtime friend Cara Wilder tells PEOPLE. “There was a lot of death in her life lately and she felt the weight of that. We had a close friend pass away a week ago, I talked to her on Friday and she said that was hard to process. She said, ‘I think there’s going to be a lot more death like that happening.'”
Kidder died on Sunday at her home in Livingston, Montana, at the age of 69. Her cause of death is unknown.
Wilder, an actor and co-founder of the Bozeman Actors Theater, remembers Kidder as a survivor who lived life unapologetically — sometimes to her own detriment.
“She didn’t live her life terribly carefully I don’t think,” says Wilder. “She needed to make money in these last few years so she would go to [fan] conventions where they paid her a lot of cash to sign things.”
Kidder, who rose to fame in 1978 for her role as Lois Lane in Superman: The Movie opposite Christopher Reeve, also battled manic depression that left her homeless in the late ’90s. She later became an advocate for mental health awareness.
“I know her as this super sharp, amazing, brilliant woman who was so passionate about what she did,” remembers Wilder. “To have her life boiled down to an incident in L.A. in the ’90s when she was found wandering around, it’s a shame that’s how people remember her, as either Lois Lane or the crazy actress, she was so much more than that. She was such a caring person, I know she had difficulty with some members of her family but I didn’t know her that way at all.”
Wilder adds: “She had no qualms about being who exactly she was, saying things very much out loud wherever she was. She survived so much, she came from the wilds of Canada and survived all these different lives. We were very politically active so we had that in common. She loved the theater still and she was so good and so sharp on stage and such an amazing presence. She was such a strong woman. Ironically a colleague and I were just getting in touch with her the last few months about doing a documentary of her life and she wanted to do that.”