The superhero world lost an icon when Noel Neill passed away in July. She was the first live action Lois Lane, portraying the character alongside Kirk Alyn’s Man of Steel in the big screen Superman serial in 1948 and reprising the role in Atom Man vs. Superman two years later. Superman moved to television in the 1950s with George Reeves in the lead role, and Neill returned to play Lois Lane when Phyllis Coates left after the first season, staying with the show for the remainder of its run. For a generation of fans who grew up watching the Adventures of Superman TV show in its first run and then in syndication, Noel Neill WAS Lois Lane.
Neill led a long and fascinating life, and on November 5, 2016, many of her friends and admirers are gathering at the First United Methodist Church in Metropolis, Illinois, to remember and celebrate her life. It’s a fitting locale; Metropolis is the home of the annual Superman Celebration, and there’s a Lois Lane statue modeled after her likeness in the town. The three hour event will feature rare footage of Neill, along with presentations from several speakers, including:
- Dr. Pam Munter, author of Almost Famous and When Teens Were Keen
- Jim Nolt, editor of The Adventures Continue
- Jim Bowers, editor of CapedWonder.com
- Steve Younis, editor of supermanhomepage.com
- Larry Blankley
- John Field
- Lisa Gower & Karla Ogle of the Metropolis Chamber of Commerce
- Terry Ryan
- Stephanie Perrin
- Angie Sivori
- Larry Thomas Ward, author of Truth, Justice, & The American Way: The Life & Times of Noel Neill and Beyond Lois Lane
There will also by music from The Melungeons.
The event is open to the public and everyone is welcome to attend, so if you’re in the area you should definitely mark it on your calendar. Noel Neill was both a wonderful Lois Lane and a fantastic ambassador for the character for decades, and hearing about her life from those who knew her well should make for a fascinating afternoon. Such events always have a note of sadness, of course, but I’m sure it will also be infused with the joy that characterized Noel Neill throughout her 95 years.
The poster above appears in the October 2016 edition of Classics Images magazine.