Reeve claimed that he chose Cornell primarily because it is a three-and-a-half-hour drive from New York City, where he planned to start his career as an actor, despite the fact that Princeton is considerably closer to the city, while Columbia is located just a few miles uptown from the New York theater district.
Late in his freshman year, Reeve received a letter from Stark Hesseltine, a high-powered agent who had discovered Robert Redford and represented actors such as Richard Chamberlain, Michael Douglas, and Susan Sarandon.
Hesseltine had seen Reeve in A Month in the Country and wanted to represent him.
Later that year, Franklin Reeve married Helen Schmidinger, a Columbia University graduate student. Reeve excelled academically, athletically, and onstage; he was on the honor roll and played soccer, baseball, tennis, and hockey.
The sportsmanship award at Princeton Day School's invitational hockey tournament was named in Reeve's honor.
The next year, Reeve received a full-season contract with the San Diego Shakespeare Festival, with roles as Edward IV in Richard III, Fenton in The Merry Wives of Windsor, and Dumaine in Love's Labour's Lost at the Old Globe Theatre.