Noel Neill, who starred as reporter Lois Lane on the big and small screen, passed away today at the age of 95 in Arizona. As The Hollywood Reporter noted, she played opposite both actor Kirk Alyn in two Paramount movie serials, Superman in 1948 and 1950’s Atom Man vs. Superman. Neill’s most famous Superman collaboration came in the second season of the syndicated Adventures of Superman starring George Reeves as the Man of Steel, starting with the show’s second season until the series ended after Reeves’ death in 1958. Neill retired after The Adventures of Superman.
For a certain segment of fans (including myself), Noel Neill’s Lois Lane was their first exposure to this iconic character, via black and white Superman reruns on the local UHF station. The production values may have been eclipsed by bigger budgets and digital effects, but Reeves and Neill as Lois and Clark/Superman in The Adventures of Superman will always be, for many fans, some of the best presentations of what Clark Kent and Lois Lane could be. As Neill herself remarked in a 2006 interview, “People love the characters, they love the movies, they love seeing us..So we must have done something right.”
As noted in a statement released on Facebook from her friend and biographer Larry Thomas Ward, “Few of her fans actually knew her real name, almost always simply calling her “Lois” to which she would unfailing answer with a bright smile and a kind word. It was more than a role to her. “Lois” was someone she believed in and a character she happily and warmly embraced.”