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Phyllis Coates, Original TV Lois Lane, Dead at 96


Phyllis Coates, the first actress to play Lois Lane on television in Adventures of Superman, has died. She was 96.

She took her final breath at the Motion Picture & Television Country House and Hospital in Woodland Hills, Calif., on Wednesday, according to Deadline. Her daughter Laura Press confirmed news of the death to The Hollywood Reporter.

Along with Laura, Coates is survived by daugher Zoe and granddaughter Olivia.

Coates’ real name is Gypsie Ann Evarts Stell. The Witchita Falls, Texas, native relocated to Los Angeles when she was a teenager and immediately began showing off her skills, getting one of her first gigs as a chorus girl. She also starred in Ken Murray’s shows and performed for the USO (United Service Organization).

She later landed a deal with Warner Bros. and got a big break as Alice in Joe McDoakes’ short comedic movies.

Actors George Reeves as Superman/Clark Kent and Phyllis Coates as Lois Lane in the American television series 'Adventures of Superman', circa 1952.
Actors George Reeves as Superman/Clark Kent and Phyllis Coates as Lois Lane in the American television series ‘Adventures of Superman’, circa 1952.Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images

Coates first took on the famous role of Lois Lane in the 1951 film Superman and the Mole Men, with George Reeves starring as the title character. The movie was so successful that it was adapted into a television series, and Coates returned as Lane for the entire first season.

Though she was invited back for season 2, she declined as she had already agreed to do a pilot starring opposite Jack Carson and Allen Jenkins. However, that show was never aired.

Her credits also include Jungle Drums of Africa, Lone Ranger, and Panther Girl of the Kongo, Leave It to Beaver, Perry Mason, The Patty Duke Show, and Gunsmoke.



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