Phyllis Coates played the role of Lois Lane in the first season of “Adventures Of Superman”
Phyllis Coates, who played the role of TV’s Lois Lane in the 1950s, has died aged 96 of natural causes. The pioneering actress died Wednesday, Oct. 11, at the Motion Picture & Television Country House and Hospital in Woodland Hills, California, her daughter, Laura Press, confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter on Thursday.
Phyllis Coates became best known as George Reeves’ co-star on the black-and-white series “Adventures of Superman,” which ran from 1952 to 1958. She appeared in just 26 episodes of the show’s first season and was later replaced by Noel Neill.
SAD FAREWELL – Phyllis Coates
The first season Lois Lane from The Adventures of Superman has died at the age of 95. She was in many movies and TV shows, but I remember her best as the Lois who appeared in the earlier, darker, noir-like b/w episodes of Superman. RIP. pic.twitter.com/9dbRf7rhlK
— James L. Neibaur (@JimLNeibaur) October 12, 2023
The series ran for six seasons, and although a seventh season was planned, it was canceled after George Reeves’ death at the age of 45 in 1959.
Phyllis Coates played the role of Lois Lane in the first season of “Adventures Of Superman,” which became a hit after a short run. Although she was approached to reprise her role, she had already committed to a pilot with Jack Caron and Allen Jenkins, but it never materialized.
It’s worth noting that this wasn’t her first time playing Superman’s love interest, as she had starred as Daily Planet reporter Lois Lane in the 1951 film Superman And The Mole Men. Phyllis Coates was born on January 15, 1927 in Wichita Falls, Texas, before moving with her family to Hollywood. Her career began in the 1940s. In the early years of her career, she frequently toured with the United States Organization (USO) to entertain the American armed forces and their family members.
Years later, Phyllis Coates managed to land smaller supporting roles in films such as 1958’s “Smart Girls Don’t Talk” and 1949’s “My Foolish Heart.” In 1951, she returned to the role of Lois Lane for the low-budget film “Superman,” which followed the first year of the television series.
Regardless, she continued her successful career with television roles in iconic series such as “The Abbott And Costello Show” in 1953, “The Lone Ranger” from 1953 to 1955, “Lassie” in 1955, as well as the series ” Gunsmoke” and “Perry Mason” from 1958 to 1964.
She also had a role opposite Barbara Hershey in the 1970s TV movie “The Baby Maker.” Phyllis Coates’ career spanned more than 140 appearances, with her last television role being that of Mrs. Howard in two episodes of the series “Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman” in 1994.
Later, actress Lorry Ayers portrayed Phyllis Coates in the 2006 film “Hollywoodland.” The film was about a detective, played by Adrien Brody, who investigated the death of her “Superman” co-star, George Reeves, played by Ben Affleck, and initially ruled a suicide.
Phyllis Coates, the last of Superman’s regular cast, has passed away at the age of 96. pic.twitter.com/jMNyGU8vbI
— Jim Nolt (@jimnolt) October 12, 2023
Phyllis Coates was married and divorced four times. Her husbands included television director Richard L Bare, musician Robert Nelms, “Leave It To Beaver” director Norman Tokar, and physician Howard Press. The talented actress had two daughters and a granddaughter.
With a wealth of experience honed over 4+ years in journalism, I bring a seasoned voice to the world of news. Currently, I work as a freelance writer and editor, always seeking new opportunities to tell compelling stories in the field of world news.