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Noel Neill

  • Birthplace: Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • Birthday: November 25
Date of passing: 
July 03, 2016

Obituary

Obituary: 

Noel Neill was an actress best known for playing newspaper reporter Lois Lane in 1940s Superman movie shorts and later on television in the 1950s. 

The Minneapolis native originally planned to follow the career path of her father, a newspaper editor, but during a trip to California she auditioned as a singer at the Del Mar racetrack near San Diego, and got the job. She caught the attention of film star Bing Crosby, one of the track's owners at the time, who introduced her to his brother Larry, a talent agent. Not long afterward she began to score small parts in movies, starting with the 1940 release Mad Youth.

Noel Neill was an actress best known for playing newspaper reporter Lois Lane in 1940s Superman movie shorts and later on television in the 1950s. 

The Minneapolis native originally planned to follow the career path of her father, a newspaper editor, but during a trip to California she auditioned as a singer at the Del Mar racetrack near San Diego, and got the job. She caught the attention of film star Bing Crosby, one of the track's owners at the time, who introduced her to his brother Larry, a talent agent. Not long afterward she began to score small parts in movies, starting with the 1940 release Mad Youth.

In the years that followed she also appeared in such films as The Blue Dahlia, The Sky Dragon, An American in Paris and The Greatest Show on Earth.

She first played Lois on screen opposite Kirk Alyn as Superman in 15 episodes of the 1948 serial Superman. Two years later she returned in Atom Man vs. Superman.

When the television series The Adventures of Superman, starring George Reeves as the Man of Steel, premiered in 1952, Lois was played by Phyllis Coates. When Coates left after one season, Neill took over the role and continued until the series ended in 1958.

After The Adventures of Superman, Neill left acting for many years. She went on to work in public relations and, for a time, had a job in the television department of United Artists.

In 1978 she resurfaced as Ella Lane, Lois Lane's mother, in Superman, the first film with Christopher Reeve in the title role. In the decades that followed she had other small acting roles, including the TV series Superboy and the 2006 film Superman Returns, starring Brandon Routh as Superman.

Neill died on July 3, 2016, in Tucson, Arizona. She was 95.

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