First Lois Lane, Noel Neill, dies at 95

Noel-NeillWhen Superman first came to the big screen in 1948, Lois Lane was played by Noel Neill, a Minnesota-born actress whose father was a newspaper editor.

It tuned out to be a role that helped define a career.

Neill went on to appear in 78 episodes of the Adventures of Superman television series that lasted six seasons and then have cameos in other Superman films as part of a career that spanned seven decades. She died on Monday at age 95 after a long illness.

“Brave, smart, and witty. She embodied the very best qualities of Lois Lane. RIP Noel Neill,” read a message on the DC Comics Twitter account.

Her final role in a Superman film was as Gertrude Vanderworth in Superman Returns in 2006, which can be seen on at least one cardboard cameo in a Topps set made for the film. But it’s not her only cardboard appearance.

Neill was among the celebs found in the 2011 Panini Americana release, with her autograph found on seven of her 19 cards in the product. One Americana Co-stars signatures insert limited to only 49 copies pairs her with arguably the best-known Lois Lane, Margot Kidder.

The Lane character was one that helped influence a growing woman’s role in the workplace in the past — and that was something that Neill said she noticed.

“Quite a few of the little gals at the colleges would say they were inspired when they were growing up by the fact that Lois Lane could work with men,” she once told the Los Angeles Times. “They said that’s how they got into journalism. It was very flattering that the character inspired them.”

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