Superman’s original Lois Lane actress, Phyllis Coates, has died

Superman’s original Lois Lane star Phyllis Coates has died from natural causes.

The actress died on Wednesday aged 96 at the Motion Picture & Television Country House and Hospital in Woodland Hills, her daughter has announced to The Hollywood Reporter.

Phyllis was best known for her portrayal of Lois in the 1951 film Superman and the Mole Men and in the first season of the television series Adventures of Superman, which ran from 1952 to 1958.

The actress starred in all 26 episodes of the first season, opposite George Reeves, before Noel Neill replaced her.

She is believed to have been paid $350 for each episode and once said four or five were often shot at one time.

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In Tom Weaver’s 2006 book, Science Fiction Stars and Horror Heroes, she said of her stint: “We were nearly blown up, beaten up, exploded, exploited — I guess it was because we were young and dumb, but we put up with a lot of stuff.

“Not too long ago I saw an episode [Night of Terror] where I got knocked out!”

In the episode, reporter Lois stumbled upon a gang of criminals who were smuggling fugitives into Canada.

She and the innkeeper’s wife were caught and captured leaving Jimmy Olsen (Jack Larson) and Superman to save them.

Phyllis had a successful career which spanned over five decades.

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Aged just 17, she began working with 20th Century Fox and went on to quickly land small supporting roles in films including 1949’s My Foolish Heart and 1958’s Smart Girls Don’t Talk.

Many of her other roles include Jungle Drums of Africa, Panther Girl of the Kongo, Girls in Prison, The Baby Maker and Goodnight, Sweet Marilyn.

Her final appearance was in Hollywood: The Movie starring as Old Dora in 1996.

In her personal life, she was married four times, most recently to Dr Howard Press from 1962 to 1986.

Following the news of her death, many have flocked to social media to pay tribute.

John C.Hunt wrote: “A goddess… farewell #PhyllisCoates.”

Frank Conniff commented: “Oh my God, I didn’t know she was alive! My first Lois Lane.

“No disrespect to Noel Neil (love her), but Phyllis Coates was my favorite. Her season of The Adventures of Superman had a darker, tougher noir vibe that she was well suited for. Rest In Peace.”

Rod Batman Fan added: “Used to watch The Adventures of Superman on Saturday mornings or during the school holidays as a kid. It was and still is a great show to watch. Rest well Phyllis Coates.”

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