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Lois Lane: 7 depictions that defined the character

As long as there’s been Superman, there has been Lois Lane. The intrepid reporter actually made her comic debut in the same issue as the Man of Steel. Since then, she’s not only served as both Clark Kent’s professional rival and Superman’s love interest, but became a hero in her own right—even earning her own successful comic-book series. But while she’s always had a presence in Superman comics, films, and TV shows, Lois Lane has never truly been in the spotlight … until now.

Fallout, Gwenda Bond’s latest YA novel, follows a teenage Lois Lane as she begins school in Metropolis, after moving around the country for most of her life. By far the youngest version of the character, Bond’s take on the character already shows traces of the qualities that have made Lois Lane such a role model. She stands up for what she believes in while still pursuing the truth.

In Fallout, this means jumping to a friend’s rescue at the risk of incurring the wrath of a group of cyberbullies. But at the end of the day, she still has all the insecurities and worries a teenage girl would have—not unlike her sleuthing contemporaries, Veronica Mars and Nancy Drew.

To celebrate Lois Lane’s latest adapted form, let’s take a walk down memory lane as we revisit (and celebrate) her many incarnations in film and television.

30 Rock Lois Lane

1. Phyllis Coates, Adventures of Superman (Season 1)
Though Coates’ tenure as the character only lasted a season, the actress perfectly captured the spirit of who Lois Lane was in the comic books—from her tough-as-nails attitude to her steely determination not to be out-scooped by newcomer Clark Kent to her talent as a reporter. After Agent Carter‘s almost too-accurate depiction of the sexism women faced at roughly the same time, it’s remarkable to see Lois being treated as an equal by her boss and colleagues—and to see her skills acknowledged in a show from that era. While Coates never played the role of Lois again, she did play the part of her mother, Ellen Lane, on Lois & Clark.

Phyllis Coates Lois Lane


2. Noel Neill, Adventures of Superman (Season 2–6)
After Coates left the show, Noel Neill was brought in to play Lois Lane … only this wouldn’t be the first time she’d do so. Neill holds the honor of being the first actress to bring Lois to life, having played her in two movie serials (Superman and Atom Man vs. Superman). This means that her depiction of Lois Lane would set the tone for how the character would be portrayed in the future. But while Coates focused on Lois’ journalistic ambitions, Neill brought out her lighter side while playing up her romantic feelings for Superman. Neill would never return to the role again, but she did go on to play Lois Lane’s mother in the 1978 Superman film, making it a tradition among actresses who’ve held the role.

Noel Neill Lois Lane

3. Margot Kidder, Superman I–IV
Kidder’s driven and sharp-witted turn as Lois Lane perfectly positioned her as the straight man to Christopher Reeve’s straight-laced Superman … and his bumbling Clark Kent. She was able to play off the shocking situations Lois found herself in and turn them into comedy. This helped establish her dynamic with Reeve—but even more important, Kidder’s reactions as Lois also allowed her to act as a stand-in for the audience, asking Superman all the questions we might in a similar situation. And while she’s never had a chance to play Lois’ mother, she did play Dr. Brigette Crosby on Smallville, opposite former costar Annette O’Toole, who’d played Superman’s rival love interest, Lana Lang, in Superman III.

Margot Kidder Lois Lane

4. Terri Hatcher, Lois & Clark
As the title of the series makes quite evident, the focus of the show was the relationship between Lois Lane and Clark Kent, with less of an emphasis on his superpowered alter ego. This meant that Terri Hatcher had a chance to let Lois Lane grow as a character, and viewers got to watch as her version of Lois slowly fall for both Superman and Clark Kent. What was particularly great about Hatcher’s take on Lois was that she allowed us to see Lois’ softer, more vulnerable side (insecurities and all), while still capturing the character’s edge and spunk. This version of Lois was unique in that she had her own rogues’ gallery of sorts. And in keeping with those before her, Hatcher would eventually step into the role of Lois’ mother on Smallville.

Terri Hatcher Lois Lane


5. Erica Durance, Smallville
Smallville didn’t just chronicle a young Clark Kent’s growth into Superman. It also followed Lois Lane as she grew into the woman we knew she’d become. Durance’s version of Lois emphasized her army-brat backstory, as well as giving her an early connection to Clark, by having her be Chloe’s cousin. Much like with Hatcher, this gave Durance’s Lois a chance to build a relationship with Clark, adding real stakes to her discovery of his secret identity. It also allowed him to grow as a character, as Lois’ constant teasing brought out Clark’s more human qualities, making him more relatable. Over her six seasons on the show, Durance’s Lois had a life outside of her friendship with Clark, allowing her to (realistically) pursue other romantic interests, before eventually falling for him.

Erica Durance Lois Lane

6. Amy Adams, Man of Steel, Batman v Superman
A core facet of the Superman–Lois Lane relationship has always been that his superhero identity is kept secret from her. However, Adams’ version of Lois not only uncovered who Clark Kent/Superman/Kal-El is early on, but she was responsible for inspiring his eventual job at the Daily Planet. This worked on many levels: It highlighted her skill as a reporter (she tracked him down to Smallville) and allowed her to form a bond with him right away—especially after she decided to keep his identity a secret. This allowed them to move forward as partners, which freed Adams to play Lois as the sharp (and observant) journalist we know her to be. In turn, this gave us a modern take on the character.

Amy Adams Lois Lane

7. Dana Delany, Superman: The Animated Series
Of all the actresses on this list, Delany has inhabited the role of Lois Lane the longest, having voiced the character in various animated episodes and movies over the course of 17 years. Much like her voice-acting colleagues Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill (Batman and the Joker on Batman: The Animated Series), Delany has come to define what Lois Lane should sound like to generations of young fans. And with good reason: Delany nails Lois’ intelligence and wit, while still keeping her teasing and playful. And even though the animated series’ version of Lois never figured out Superman’s secret identity, she was privy to Batman’s—even dating Bruce Wayne for a few episodes. This helped establish Lois’ independence, while still giving us a glimpse into what this Lois Lane would be like in a relationship with a superhero. Interestingly enough, while Lois and Superman never had an explicitly romantic relationship, Delany was more than able to maintain the chemistry between the two.

Honorable Mention

Kate Bosworth, Superman Returns
While Bosworth’s turn as Lois Lane was short and less than memorable, she is worth noting since both she and Brandon Routh helped herald Superman into this most recent spate of superhero movies.

What about you? Do you have any fond memories of Lois? Which of these actresses defined this character for you the most?

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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