Noel Neill, best known for her role as Lois Lane in the 1950s series Adventures of Superman, died Sunday in Arizona after a long illness. She was 95.
The actress’ friend, manager and biographer, Larry Ward, confirmed the news in a lengthy Facebook tribute.
Neill made her debut as TV’s Lois starting with Season 2, replacing Phyllis Coates in the role. She actually first played the icon reporter in the 1948 Superman film serial (opposite Kirk Alyn). She had cameos in the 1978 Superman film (which marked Christopher Reeve’s debut as the Man of Steel) as well as 2006’s Superman Returns (starring Brandon Routh).
“Her work in The Adventures of Superman… best defined and cemented her legacy as ‘the intrepid reporter.'” Ward wrote. “After years of playing bit parts in bad films and great roles in forgotten films, she finally found her niche. As a teenager she knew all about the newspaper business from her father and she had also actually written for Women’s Wear Daily in the late 1930s, so it was a role she believed she was born to play. And as she would admit in interviews later in life, she simply played herself.”
Ward added that Neill “maintained that bright, perky and engaging personality up until her death.”