Original Lois Lane actress Noel Neill dies, aged 95

The actress's appearances in 'Superman' films and TV series spanned six decades

Noel Neill, the first actress to play Lois Lane on screen, has died at the age of 1995.

In a statement shared on Facebook, her friend and biographer Larry Ward said that the actress passed away at her home in Tucson, Arizona yesterday (July 4) following a long illness.

Neill originated the role of Lois Lane, Daily Planet reporter and Superman’s main love interest, in the 1948 movie serial Superman and its 1950 sequel, Atom Man Vs Superman. In both, Kirk Alyn starred opposite Neill as the Man of Steel.

She then played Lois Lane again in 78 episodes of the popular 1950s TV series Adventures Of Superman, starring opposite George Reeves as the Man of Steel.

Neill maintained her connection with the Superman franchise in the subsequent decades, making cameo appearances in the 1978 movie Superman, the 1988 TV movie Superman: 50th Anniversary and the 2006 movie Superman Returns.

Larry Ward said of Neill in his Facebook post: “Her stamina was legendary as she happily made personal appearances and attended book signings well into her 90th year. She was kind, selfless, hardworking, funny with a quick wit, and assertive – all the same qualities that embodied the character of Lois Lane.”

Neill’s acting career was most prolific in the 1940s and 1950s, when she appeared in more than 40 other films, many of them westerns, and made numerous guest appearances in TV dramas like The Lone Ranger and The Cisco Kid.

Star Wars actor Mark Hamill is among those to have paid tribute to Neill on Twitter, writing, “They say your 1st is always your favorite,” and recalling that the actress was “sweet, warm and wonderful in person too”.