Noel Neill: Smallville's Erica Durance, Others Remember Original Lois Lane

The original live-action Lois Lane, Noel Neill, was fondly remembered by Smallville cast members in the wake of her passing on Sunday at age 95.

Neill was the first to play the iconic newspaper reporter in the black-and-white 1948 Superman film serial (opposite Kirk Alyn). She then made her TV debut as Lois starting with Season 2 of Adventures of Superman, replacing Phyllis Coates in the role. Neill also put in 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).

Smallville‘s own Lois, Erica Durance, shared via Twitter several of the official EricaDurance.TV website’s photos of when she had the pleasure of meeting Neill. “She was a gracious, funny, spunky and strong woman,” Durance tells TVLine. “I was lucky to have met her.”

Michael Rosenbaum, who played Lex Luthor on Smallville, shared his own photo memory, hailing Neill as “an amazing lady.” Allison Mack retweeted Rosenbaum’s sentiment, also “sending love to all those who will miss” Neill.

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  1. KM says:

    RIP, but Erica durance will always be my Lois Lane, I really want to see her on the flash or supergirl, and i still miss Smallville.

  2. Wordsmith says:

    I don’t mean to diminish the importance of Ms. Neill’s role or the sadness of her passing, but if she replaced Phyllis Coates on Adventures of Superman, how is she still the “original” Lois Lane?

    • Wordsmith says:

      Oh, I see – she played the role on film before the TV series started, so in a way, she’s the first and third person to play the role.

  3. Gail says:

    Noel Neil was the first live action Lois Lane. The character was played on the radio by Joan Alexander and others from 1940. Joan Alexander also voiced Lois in the 1940’s Superman theatrical cartoons and the 1960’s Saturday morning cartoons.

    • Gail says:

      Sorry that should be Noel Neill. Always remember spotting her as a college student at the beginning of the film “An American In Paris” who Gene Kelly knows will look at but not buy his paintings.

  4. HAP says:

    Phyllis Coates is the last surviving member of the cast of The Adventures Of Superman.