She was petite, she was pretty, she was sweet and, oh yes, she was fan-friendly. Noel Neill will always be the Lois Lane I will remember from my youth.
Her association with Superman started in the first two Superman serials: Superman (1948) and Atom Man vs Superman (1950). The man of steel in these two serials was Kirk Alyn (who died in 1999). Jimmy Olsen was played by Tommy Bond (who died in 2005) - a grown up Butch from the little rascals.
When the TV series The Adventures of Superman began its 6 year run in 1952, she wasn't able to repeat her earlier screen role for the show's first season or its unforgettable pilot: Superman and the Mole-Men (1951). She did appear in Invasion USA (1952) along with Phyllis Coates, who did play Lois Lane for the first 26 episodes of the series, although they shared no scenes together in Invasion. When the second season was ready to be filmed, Coates had already committed to another series, allowing Noel Neill to return as Lois.
Watching the reruns over and over, one could glimpse Phyllis Coates' Lois as more plucky, but for the most part, Noel Neill was and is Lois Lane to fans. When the TV series abruptly ended in 1958 because of the death of star George Reeves, she felt another actor should have been cast and the series continued. That was not to be. John Hamilton as Perry White, who often said "Great Caesar's Ghost!" and "Don't call me Chief!" when flummoxed by Jimmy Olsen, also died that year. Jack Larson, another fan favorite as Jimmy Olsen, who often said "Yes, Chief!" and "Golly Mr Kent!"), died in 2015. For a while, Noel Neill lived in a real town in Illinois named Metropolis (the "official home of Superman"). There is a statue of Lois Lane there in her likeness.
After the television series ended she didn't appear on screen for the next 20 years. In 1978, Kirk Alyn and Noel Neill made uncredited cameo appearances in Superman starring Christopher Reeves. She also appeared in the 1980s Superboy television series, and in the 1990s in Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman. She did a credited appearance in 2006's Superman Returns, starring Brandon Routh.
My only encounter with her was about 8 years ago at a Chiller Convention. She was petite, pretty, sweet, and very fan-friendly.
Zombos Note: I was at that Chiller Convention also, and was about to walk into the room where Noel Neill was signing, but something else came up and I missed my chance. I probably would have bumped into Professor Kinema, though we didn't know each other at the time.
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