Sunday, July 17, 2016

N.N. R.I.P.

At the height of her tenure on "The Adventures of Superman", you could have dropped a cinderblock on her head, and Noelle "Lois Lane" Neill would not have so much as cocked an eyebrow. She played it all absolutely straight regardless of underwritten scripts, spotty SPFX or rushed production methods. The woman simply never broke character ever, today's actresses could learn a thing or two on how to commit to a performance no matter how daunting the challenge. She got that training coming up The Hard Way as a pin up model (real popular in WW2 nudge-nudge), a drudge in poverty row productions and still later a contract gig at Columbia where she ground on in Serials, and it was at Columbia where she fortuitously cast as the movies first Lois Lane in the two Kirk Alyn Superman serials. And that was her ticket to ride, for when Superman was passed off to George Reeves there was a need for a new Lois after the first season's actress Phyllis Coates moved on to better things, there stood Noelle, tanned rested and ready from the git go. But the show was a real generator of typecasting, Reeves likely died from it in 1959, Jack "Jimmy Olsen" Larsen wisely drifted into writing and producing...Noelle tried her hand at journalism before settling into a "Lois Emeritus" status. It suited her, the woman was uncommonly nice and pleasant in a grandmotherly way, perfectly adapted to the comic book convention circuit. I met her briefly down in New Jersey maybe fifteen years ago, she was hawking a self published book of memoirs (a canny way to monetize her autograph, a gimmick pioneered oddly enough by her former castmate Kirk Alyn in the 1970's) and exuded friendliness and charm in a venue given over to KISS Fans, Amateur Klingons and the occasional Juggalo. She will be missed, like Jack Larsen Noelle Neill was blessed with longevity to remind us all that whatever tabloid sensation clings to the memory of George Reeve he was in all things a nigh perfect castmate. Well what the hell, so was she in every way....Class Like That Will Always Be Missed.