Yesterday I heard that Noel Neill, the first live action Lois Lane, had passed away.
She was 95 and had been in various Superman projects over the decades. Aside from the Adventures of Superman, she was also in Invasion USA which was featured on Mystery Science Theater 3000. In that she starred alongside former Lois Lane, Phyllis Coates.
Only recently, I started to watch her Superman serials. The first in 1948 when she was 17 or 18! This is one of the best serials I’ve watched and she is Lois Lane from the go. If you’ve only seen her Superman tv episodes, look this up and check it out. This is definitely a younger Lois Lane from the tv show.
I had met Noel Neill several times at the Superman Celebration in Metropolis, IL. Since I live about an hour away, I have gone most years I was able. For the majority of those trips, Noel was there. She was always there, with a smile on her face, eagerly greeting every fan she met. After meeting literally hundreds of fans, most people would be worn down by the experience and I have seen some guests there do just that. I can never recall that being the case with her. If it ever got to her, you wouldn’t know it. Every time, I would see her diminutive frame sitting behind a table, beaming.
Who know how many autographs she signed over the years? It’s clearly in the thousands. For years, I didn’t have anything of hers to get signed. I was ecstatic when the George Reeves starring Adventures of Superman finally came out on dvd. Finally, something legit for her to sign.
Naturally, she had not been to the Superman Celebration the past few years. When (if) I’m that age, I probably won’t want to go either. It’s hot out there. After attending for so many years, her absence is notable. The first year she was gone I did wonder where she was. However, the city of Metropolis appreciated her so much that they built a statue of her a few years ago. So, I guess I can still go to Metropolis and see Noel Neill.
A more thorough obituary and details of her career are available at http://variety.com/2016/film/news/noel-neill-dead-dieslois-lane-superman-1201808389/