Phyllis Coates of the original 'Superman' movie and series, dies at 96

 October 14, 2023

Fans of the original Superman franchise were saddened to learn of the passing of one of its most iconic actors.

According to the New York Post, actress Phyllis Coates, known as Lois Lane in the first Superman feature film, died at age 96.

She starred as the iconic character in 1951’s "Superman and the Mole Men." She would play the character once again in the first-ever TV version of the hit movie, "Adventures of Superman."

Her daughter, Laura Press, confirmed that her mother died of natural causes, and passed peacefully in the comfort of her home.


Coates, born January 15, 1927 in Witchita Falls, Texas, was born as Gypsie Ann Evarts Stell. Her family would later move to Hollywood, California, where her life would ultimately change.

In the 1940s, Coates acted as a chorus girl, and was would log several tours with the USO during the war, making a name for herself.

She would go on to star in a long list of movie classics.

The Post noted:

Her film career included roles in the Western “Panther Girl of the Kongo” (1955), “Girls in Prison” (1956), “I Was a Teenage Frankenstein” (1957), “Blood Arrow” (1958), “Cattle Empire” (1958), “The Incredible Petrified World” (1959), “The Baby Maker” (1970) and “Goodnight, Sweet Marilyn” (1989).

Her most popular role was the TV adaptation of the Superman film, in which she starred in 26 episodes.

Tributes pour in

Given her popularity as the original -- and arguably the best -- Lois Lane, Coates received an outpouring of tributes across social media.

Clearly, Coates left a wonderful legacy and will forever be adored and remembered for her work in the iconic American superhero franchise.

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