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Noel Neill: First Lois Lane Actress in 'Superman' Dies

Image: Noel Neill: First Lois Lane Actress in 'Superman' Dies
 (Rex Features via AP Images)

By    |   Tuesday, 05 Jul 2016 07:36 AM

Noel Neill, the first actress to portray "Superman's" Lois Lane on film and then reclaimed the role on television, died Sunday in Tucson, Arizona at 95, reported The Hollywood Reporter.

Neill died after a long illness, said her biographer and manager Larry Thomas Ward, according to THR. In a statement on Facebook, Ward said the actress became synonymous with the character, which she played in two movies and a portion of the television series featuring the comic book super hero.

"She was kind, selfless, hardworking, funny with a quick wit, and assertive – all the same qualities that embodied the character of Lois Lane," said Ward. "Noel truly was Lois Lane, and for many of us, she was the first working woman seen on television."

"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. Noel Neill maintained that bright, perky and engaging personality up until her death." 

Neill first appeared as the Daily Planet reporter in the 1948 movie "Superman" opposite Kirk Alyn as a 15-chapter serial, said THR. She reprised the role in 1950's "Atom Man vs. Superman."

The television series, "Adventures of Superman" started in 1952 with actress Phyllis Coates playing Lois Lane, but she left the series after the first year. Neill stepped in to take over the role in 1953 and stayed for 78 episodes until the series concluded in 1958, noted THR.

The Wrap said Neill also appeared briefly in 2006's "Superman Returns." Neill's acting credits also included a walk-on role in "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes" with Marilyn Monroe. Ward said, per The Wrap, that Neill signed a seven-year contract with Paramount Pictures in 1941.

Neill also worked opposite Bob Hope, Gene Kelley and Williams Holden in projects while working under directors like Cecil B. DeMille, Vincent Minnelli, and Hal Roach.

According to THR, she appeared in such films as "Henry Aldrich's Little Secret" (1944), "Here Come the Waves" (1944), "The Blue Dahlia" (1946), "The Big Clock" (1948), "The Sky Dragon" (1949), "The Greatest Show on Earth" (1950), "American in Paris" (1951), and "Invasion U.S.A." (1952).

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Noel Neill, the first actress to portray "Superman's" Lois Lane on film and then reclaimed the role on television, died Sunday in Tucson, Arizona at 95.
noel neill, first, superman, lois lane, actress, dies
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2016-36-05
Tuesday, 05 Jul 2016 07:36 AM
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