Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Your Daily Dose of Good Cheer (fictional human edition): Lois Lane

Over the past 75 years, a lot of women have played Superman's love interest, Lois Lane.  Yes, I have my favorites, but all of them brought something to the character.  Traditionally, Lois was the grounding wire from Superman to some semblance of a normal human, his romance and interaction with Lois gave him both someone he cared about individually and especially, but also alienated him with his dual roles as meek Clark Kent and the alien powerhouse, Superman.  But what kind of person would be interesting enough to draw the attention of a Superman?

You can't be a wallflower.  You've got to have spunk, speak your mind, be a risk-taker, and not because you're a dope, but because you're smart and you've got backbone...  and Lois did all that in spades, whether she was flying off to investigate a mad scientist and his death ray or clinging to the bottom of an elevator going up to the top of the Eiffel Tower where terrorists had an atomic bomb.  She didn't count on Superman to be there to save her skin, and she still flung herself headlong into trouble.

Of course, it's hard to remain forever between your mid-20's and late 30's, and so we've had a lot of women fill Lois's shoes over the years.

Let's take a walk through them, shall we?

Joan Alexander: Superman serial cartoons, radio show

Noel Neill:  Superman serials, Adventures of Superman, seasons 2-6

Phyllis Coates:  Adventures of Superman, Season 1

Lesley Ann Warren: It's a Bird, It's a Plane, It's Superman! (a musical!)

Margot Kidder: Superman I-IV

Teri Hatcher: Lois and Clark

Dana DeLany: Superman - The Animated Series, Justice League*

Kate Bosworth: Superman Returns

Erica Durance: Smallville

Amy Adams: Man of Steel**

By the way, this isn't a complete photo gallery or list.  We don't have Lois from all of the radio incarnations, stage productions, various cartoons -such as Super Friends or 60's or 80's-era cartoons, commercials, etc...

A lot of people have played Lois over the years.  It's always a new voice to match the year in which the media was made or the format it arrived in, and I'll let you read that like tea leaves.  But I think it's a possibility for a great role if the script, the actor and the understanding of who Lois is supposed to be all find themselves in synch.  We've been pretty lucky so far.

*we've never had a lot of opportunity to give Dana Delaney her due around here, so let us say this:  Dana Delany.
**we're pretty excited about Ms. Adams as Lois Lane.  She's pretty top notch.


ReallyIsaac said...

Yeah, Erica is my favorite Lois Lane. Then again, I've only seen about 4 of them in action.

Stuart said...

I had a super-crush on Dana Delaney.

The League said...

I think Durance did a great job of growing into the role. They gave her awful material when she started, and as cheesy as the show was, she seemed to be the only one to work with it in the end. She's not MY Lois, but that may be a generational thing.

And Stuart, as Yakko would say: