Vale: Phyllis Coates

Vale: Phyllis Coates

Phyllis Coates, best known as TV’s first Lois Lane on The Adventures of Superman, has died aged 96.

She died last Wednesday of natural causes at the Motion Picture & Television Country House and Hospital in Los Angeles, her daughter Laura Press confirmed.

Coates was the first actress to play Daily Planet reporter Lois Lane on television, but left the Adventures of Superman after just one season to be replace by Noel Neill.

Coates first portrayed Lois opposite George Reeves in the movie Superman and the Mole Men in 1951. Its success led to a syndicated show for television. She was paid about $350 for each episode and said four or five were often shot at one time.

“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,” Coates said in 2006.

Although Coates was asked to return for season two, she had signed to do another pilot and wanted out.

After Superman, Coates appeared in the Republic serials Jungle Drums of Africa, Panther Girl of the Kongo, Girls in Prison and the 1958 Desilu sitcom This Is Alice.

Other credits included I Was a Teenage Frankenstein, The Baby Maker, Goodnight Sweet Marilyn, The Lone Ranger, Leave It to Beaver, Tales of Wells Fargo, Rawhide, The Untouchables, Perry Mason, The Patty Duke Show, Gunsmoke and a 1994 episode of ABC’s Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman as the mother of Teri Hatcher’s Lois.

Source: Hollywood Reporter